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We’re on the way up: ALP

Thursday, 8th December, 2011

By Erica Visser 

The president of the local ALP, Darriea Turley, says that the city is well on the way to attracting its share of the 8000 new members per year requested by Prime Minister Julia Gillard. 

The PM reiterated the call at the ALP’s three-day conference held in Sydney on the weekend.

Mrs Turley, who is also a Labor councillor, said that things were looking up for the local branch which has been inviting the public to monthly luncheons at the clubs where they can have their say on various subjects .

“I think Broken Hill has already started the process,” she said.

“What the Labor Party wants to do is attract local people to run for local government.”.

According to Mrs Turley, the ALP had also begun to reach out to people online via the social media and networking websites such as Twitter.

“The party can now communicate to people who aren’t actually members. People can now get on a website and see blogs from people in the ALP and see what’s going on without being a member.

“So people can be drawn by a variety of issues. There’s a cultural blog, for example, on the refugee issue.

“You have to have a voice.”

Mrs Turley said that she was happy with some of parts of the weekend’s national conference but disappointed with others.

She said the rejection of the “on-shore processing” of refugees was particularly disappointing but she applauded the recognition of gay marriage through a conscience vote.

The conference has been criticised by the left wing of the party which claimed that 42 per cent of their motions were rejected.

On top of that, the Government has been criticised for presenting a weak and stage-managed session, with former Labor leader and PM, Kevin Rudd, lashing out at the rejection of calls to give local members a greater say.

As a result, the power balance remains tipped in favour of the right wing so that it will still be difficult for local members to have their say.

“The stark alternative remains: either more power to the factional powerbrokers or more power to the 35,000 members of the Australian Labor Party,” Mr Rudd said.

A 2010 ALP National Review Report by Steve Bracks, Bob Carr and John Faulkner, reported that party had lost 10,000 members in the last 10 years and that more than 100 branches had closed.

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