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Day 2 ALP National Conference – AFTERNOON


Day 3 ALP National Conference – 


Penalty rates went under the microscope this morning in a panel hosted by Victorian Young Labor featuring David Bliss of Unions NSW, Madeleine Holme National Political Campaign Director for United Voice and Young Labor member Keira Broadman.

The panel was held whilst key elements of Labor’s policy on ‘Decen’t Jobs’ were still being debated on the conference floor, sponsored by Shadow Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations said “it is vital that we grow as an economy and that all Australians get to share in that growth” making the discussion on lower income workers and unsociable working hours particularly pertinent. 

Panellists didn’t seem too bothered that Shadow Minister Brendan O’Connor was unable to make the panel due to his sponsoring the ‘Decent Jobs’ chapter and went on to discuss the benefits / drawbacks of changes to penalty rates.

Here are some highlights:

“It’s frightening to think of how young people who are trying to study full time have to try and keep up with the high cost of living without penalty rates”  Keira Broadman

It’s important that we see what this for what it is: Tony Abbott’s attack on young people” Keira Broadman

“The penalty rates issue is no longer an industrial issue it’s a political issue” David Bliss

“What our opponents have learnt since Work Choices is that you don’t attack front on, you get other organisations or businesses to load the bullets and do your dirty work” David Bliss

“Our members work in aged care and the aged care facilities don’t shut down at five on a Friday afternoon” Madeliene Holme

“This isn’t just about people who work on the weekend, penalty rates act as a buffer and protect the weekend for the rest of us as well” Madeliene Holme




Day 2 ALP National Conference – 


‘A Fair Go For All’ Discussion:

Shadow Minister for Social Services Jenny Macklin and Deputy Manager of Opposition Business Mark Dreyfus will be moving this chapter covering children in poverty, following the recommendations of the Royal Comission into Child Sexual Abuse and gender equality. Shadow Minister for the Environment and Climate Change Mark Butler will be charing the discussion and amendments of this chapter.

UPDATE: State MP for Brunswick Jane Garrett has replaced MP Butler as chair  of this discussion. Ms Garrett is an MP for one of the most marginal seats in Victoria only narrowly defeating The Greens at the last election. 

“Child sexual abuse is a contemporary crisis in Australia today” says Darcy Byrne on following the recommendations of the commission

Kate Washington will be seconding an amendment regarding family violence saying “we must act and we must act soon. Our approach must be from a state and federal level.”

Member for Griffith (Kevin Rudd’s former seat) Terri Butler is also speaking on the subject of family violence saying “We all know that it was Gough Whitlam who reformed family law in this country in the 1970s… we also know that Tony Abbott is someone that has previously floated the idea of getting rid of no-fault divorce”.






‘Moving Towards a Republic’ Panel:

This afternoon’s panel features NSW Senator Sam Dastayari, Member for Hotham Clare O’Neill, Member for Gellibrand Tim Watts and director of the Australian Republic Movement Tim Mayfield.

Here are some highlights so far:

NSW Senator Sam Dastayari says “We made a really big mistake in our last term of government by not using the opportunity to push this issue” 

Member for Hotham Clare O’Neill told the room that “We’ve got to broaden out the movement” if it is to be successful

Member for Gellibrand Tim Watts says that a republic would “not only effect how we see ourselves but how we’re seen by others in our region”

More to come…



Session 3: ‘Building Australia’s Future’ 10:55am

Anthony Albanese has kicked off Labor’s discussion on infrastructure policy this morning saying Labor has a “proud history” of infrastructure development but made no new policy announcements.


Some highlights:

“We have a very proud history, in government we doubled the roads budget”

“They’ve trashed Infrastructure Australia, which has failed to recommend a single project to the government while they’ve been in government”

“They have punished Victorians for electing an Andrews Labor government by allocating just 8% of infrastructure budget to Victoria”


So far no new policies have been announced but we are yet to get through all amendments.

Albanese was followed by Shadow Minister for Agriculture Joel Fitzgibbon who thanked “our friends at the CFMEU” and said that Labor was committed to protecting the forestry, fishing and agribusiness.


Session 1: Leader’s speech Sat 10.40 am

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has officially opened day two of the ALP National Conference in Melbourne by acknowledging members “do not all agree” on Labor’s new direction in immigration policy.

“I do believe in a new direction for Labor’s immigration policy, ” he said.

He said the proposed ‘turn back the boats’ policy would deter people smugglers and prevent deaths at sea, sending “a message to illegal people smugglers and their criminal network.”

Labor’s proposed new direction in refugee policy:

  • Doubling refugee intake by 2025
  • Creating an independent authority to represent and advocate for the needs of children currently in detention
  • Reserving the right to turn boats around if safe to do so
  • Getting all children out of detention “as soon as possible”
  • Mandatory reporting of child abuse in detention centers

Highlights from the leader’s speech:

  • “We will end the moral shame of children in detention as quickly as possible.”
  • “A Labor government must have the option of turning back boats if it safe to do so”
  • “I did not enter politics to shirk hard policies and hard decisions”
  • “We do not play to the politics of fear… the party I lead will not use labels to denigrate desperate people”

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