PROPOSED POLICY MOTIONS TO THE 2021 NSW LABOR CONFERENCE

Diversity in NSW Labor

The [Name of branch] resolves that NSW Labor:

Amends the NSW Labor Platform by inserting the following clause after 2.39:

2.40 - NSW Labor recognises the ongoing underrepresentation of culturally and
linguistically diverse people in senior leadership positions across business, politics,
government and higher education. NSW Labor is committed to improving the
representation of culturally and linguistically diverse people across all organisations and
institutions, including within the party.

Making Cannabis Legal


Chapter 6 - A Healthy Society


The [NAME OF BRANCH] resolves that NSW Labor:


Add to Chapter 6 - A Healthy Society:

 

6.47 - NSW Labor:

  • Supports legalising and regulating personal recreational cannabis in line with a harm minimisation approach to drug use. Labor recognises international evidence that shows regulation improves health outcomes and safety as well as delivering potentially major economic benefits.

  • Recognises the disproportionate impact that the prohibition of cannabis has on Indigenous Australians and supports measures to address this disparity. Labor believes that all past convictions for personal cannabis use should be expunged once cannabis is made legal.

  • Believes access to medicinal cannabis should be improved by removing barriers such as cost and limited availability of medical practitioners who are able to make relevant prescriptions. Cannabis for medicinal use should be included on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.

  • Supports reform to mobile drug driving testing to detect impairment rather than the mere presence of illicit drugs which may not affect driving capacity.

Add:

6.48 NSW Labor supports the decriminalisation of cannabis and the removal of penalties associated with the possession of cannabis.

Rehabilitation and Addiction

Chapter 6 - A Healthy Society

 

The [NAME OF BRANCH] resolves that NSW Labor:

 

Add to Chapter 6 - A Healthy Society: 

 

6.49 - NSW Labor recognises that drug and alcohol addiction should be treated as a health issue and policy responses to addiction should be guided by health experts. NSW Labor will expand access to rehabilitation and drug addiction services, especially in regional areas. 

Add: 

6.50 - NSW Labor will support and expand the availability of medically supervised injecting rooms, particularly in high-risk areas and supports the roll-out of a free Naloxone program across Australia so everyone has access to overdose reversal drugs.

Keeping young people safe

 

Chapter 6 - A Healthy Society

 

The [NAME OF BRANCH] resolves that NSW Labor:

 

Add:

 

6.51 - NSW Labor supports the implementation of medically supervised pill testing at music festivals in NSW.

 

Add:

 

6.52 - NSW Labor will show leadership on the policies that disproportionately target and harm young people and drive unhealthy and uninformed interactions with drugs and the police by:

  • Implementing pill-testing at music festivals and other appropriate sites

  • Phasing out the use of sniffer dogs at music festivals

  • Prohibiting strip searching of young people except in the most exceptional circumstances

  • Supporting the roll-out of other harm minimisation strategies such as amnesty bins

Condemning Mandatory Disease Testing

 

Chapter 6 - A Healthy Society

 

Preamble

 

Mandatory diseases testing is ineffective and counterproductive.

It does not address the real occupational health and safety issues confronting frontline workers.

It is therefore an unnecessary and unjustifiable attack on the human rights and civil liberties of people who may have specific vulnerabilities, and who are also the most likely to be stigmatised.

[INSERT NAME OF BRANCH] condemns any assault against any worker, regardless of health risk.

 

As the ultimate employer of frontline workers, the NSW State Government has a legislated responsibility to protect their workplace health and safety. However, Australian and international evidence, demonstrates unequivocally that mandatory diseases testing is entirely ineffective in preventing or reducing harm or risk to frontline workers involved in potential exposure incidents.

 

The proposed legislation by the NSW Liberal-Nationals Government is not supported by scientific evidence.It does not take account of existing successful frameworks for managing occupational exposure to blood borne viruses, including HIV and Hepatitis.

It does not consider the counterproductive and negative consequences of mandatory diseases testing.It does not address the many very real and urgent occupational health and safety issues confronting frontline workers that have been identified by evidencebased research.

The proposed legislation may be good PR for a government wanting to look tough, but in reality is simply  bad public policy.

It is not fit for purpose and should not be passed into legislation.

Motion

 

[INSERT NAME ON BRANCH] calls on the NSW Labor Opposition to oppose the introduction of Mandatory Disease Testing legislation in the NSW Parliament. If the legislation is second read, Labor should move extensive amendments to try to limit the damage it will cause.

Long Overdue Criminal Justice Reform

Chapter 2 - Stronger Democracy and Social Justice

 

The [NAME OF BRANCH] resolves that NSW Labor:

Add to Chapter 2- Social Justice and Legal Affairs: 

 

Amend:

 

2.69 Remove “not for punishment” and add “and for rehabilitation.”

 

Add:

 

2.70 - NSW Labor believes private prisons should not be a part of our criminal justice system and recognises that the interests of private companies are do not align with our goals for a criminal justice system that is centrally focussed on community safety, rehabilitation and justice

 

2.71 - Per capita, Australia imprisons more people in private facilities than anywhere else on earth. NSW Labor will abolish private prisons and bring them back into public ownership.

 

2.72 - NSW Labor:

  • Recognises that strip searching laws are fundamentally broken and cause trauma and hurt to some people who have been illegally strip searched

  • Will prohibit strip searching of minors, except in exceptional circumstances, and establish a strong legal framework to clarify the role of strip searching in policing and prisons. The legal framework will prioritise safety, privacy and limit strip searches to exceptional circumstances.

Ending Indigenous deaths in custody

 

Chapter 7 - Indigenous people and reconciliation

 

The [NAME OF BRANCH] resolves that NSW Labor:

 

Add to Chapter 7 - Indigenous people and reconciliation:  

 

Add:

 

7.32 NSW Labor recognises that since the 1991 Royal Commission hundreds of Indigenous Australians have died in custody. Every preventable death in police or prison custody is unacceptable. NSW Labor will ensure the full implementation of the Royal Commission into Indigenous Deaths in Custody and work with Indigenous organisations with a goal of ending preventable deaths in custody

 

7.33 NSW Labor recognises the significant overrepresentation of Indigenous Australians in our criminal justice system and will support the removal of laws that disproportionately target disadvantaged communities such as public drunkenness, offensive language and loitering.

Stopping Wage Theft

 

Chapter 4 - Prosperity and Fairness at Work

 

The [NAME OF BRANCH] resolves that NSW Labor:

 

Add:

 

4.28 NSW Labor will hold a Royal Commission into Wage Theft to explore the wage theft crisis in NSW and develop practical ways to ensure working people are paid properly.

 

4.29 NSW Labor supports the establishment of a Government body that will ensure wage compliance by employers including mass auditing and using payroll tax figures to identify employers that are stealing wages from working people.

Creating good manufacturing jobs through government spending

Preamble

 

The NSW Government spends billions of dollars every year procuring goods and services, including significant quantities of manufactured products. This scale of government purchasing can be a powerful force for economic and social good in NSW, particularly as we rebuild and strengthen the economy in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

The pandemic underscored the importance of a strong domestic manufacturing sector in securing supply chains. Manufacturing also plays a critical role in anchoring other sections of the economy, in fostering innovation and specialisation, and is a major source of regional employment, diversifying regional economies that have been traditionally reliant on primary industries and providing opportunities for local skills development.

 

The approach to manufacturing procurement in NSW in recent decades has been a narrow focus on the bottom line of individual projects, instead of the broader benefits to economies and communities that manufacturing brings. This has seen good, secure manufacturing jobs offshored to cheap overseas labour, skills capacities lost, and resulted in low-budget, faulty products that are not fit for purpose.

 

NSW needs an industry plan for manufacturing that includes a targeted, holistic, and ambitious government procurement policy. By adopting a holistic approach to assessing tenders for any good or service that spends taxpayers’ money, government purchasing can ensure all costs and benefits over the medium to long term across the whole of government are considered, not just the short-term price tag to one government department.

 

A well-designed procurement policy will drive growth in NSW manufacturing sectors, create thriving regional communities, boost skills development, improve the quality of infrastructure, increase living standards and quality of life, and be a driver of good social change by promoting workers’ rights, tackling exploitation and more.

 

A NSW Labor Government will:

 

  1. Implement a ‘Buy NSW First’ procurement strategy encompassing all tenders for government procurement manufacturing projects, which will:

    1. prioritise local suppliers in consideration of tenders, defined as a supplier of goods or services that maintains a workforce whose usual place of residency is located within a defined radius of where the good or service is to be supplied, or if a capable local supplier does not exist within the defined radius, the radius is extended to include NSW,

    2. mandate that procurement decisions resulting in tenders being awarded to other suppliers ahead of local suppliers should be explained and justified in transparent manner,

    3. prioritise procurement from local SMEs where possible,

    4. mandate that tenders include a local industry development plan outlining the number of existing and new employees engaged in delivering the project and their location, the number of local suppliers engaged, and the number of apprentices engaged, as well as the projected length and status of employment of workers engaged,

    5. mandate a set minimum target for percentage of local content that is included in government procurement projects including outlining the reasons behind the percentage, in consultation with relevant stakeholders,

    6. mandate implementation and compliance mechanisms for best practice employment conditions for the successful tender, including obligations regarding labour laws, labour hire, WH&S, superannuation, tax, equal employment opportunities, and other best practice obligations.

 

  1. Implement specific and targeted regional industry development plans to increase manufacturing capabilities in regional communities, developed in consultation with local governments, relevant trade unions, industry representatives, VET sector representatives, and other parties as needed. These plans should include:

    1. Strategies to increase local industry capabilities,

    2. Current and future infrastructure requirements,

    3. An audit of existing skills and training capacities and strategies to close any gaps,

    4. Sector strategies for growth and innovation.

 

  1. Establish a manufacturing council and investment fund to:

    1. Identify promising sub-sectors of manufacturing,

    2. Engage all stakeholders in each sub-sector,

    3. Develop investment and innovation plans, in consultation with governments, relevant unions, industry, education and training institutions, and research organisations.

Jobs-led response to climate change

Preamble

The imperative to act on climate change is both a moral and economic one. We know that, regardless of the ongoing debates over climate change that dominate our media and politics, decisions are being made in boardrooms around the world that see investments increasingly moved away from coal towards renewable energy.

 

While this change will not happen overnight, we can be sure that change is coming - and that there will be impacts on industries that are currently reliant on fossil fuels. Therefore, we have a responsibility to make sure that workers and industries are prepared for these changes when they do come, and that we don't squander the competitive advantages Australia has in renewable energy to create good, secure jobs and build a prosperous and sustainable future for generations to come, particularly in regional communities.

 

[NAME OF BRANCH] calls on a future NSW Labor Government to:

1. Establish a statutory authority backed by the full resources of government to oversee and coordinate a jobs-led response to climate change and industry transition, with representatives from local governments, community groups, industry, the VET sector, and unions, to include: 

  1. a plan for public investment in renewable energy industries and opportunities for economic diversification, particularly in heavy industry and infrastructure requirements, through government procurement projects,

  2. a targeted regional jobs plan for impacted regions, including well-resourced and evidence-based approach to attracting private industry investments and supporting workers through retraining, retrenchment and other required support,

  3. a plan to identify and support current and future education, training, and skills requirements, including through an audit of transferable skills and retraining opportunities between fossil fuel industries and others,

  4. a commitment to support regional communities and workers through the transition period, including examining the potential to reinvest coal royalties into structural change support mechanisms and other community and worker support services.

Consent Education in Schools

 

Chapter 5 - Education and Skills

 

The [NAME OF BRANCH] resolves that NSW Labor:

  1. Acknowledge that this Government and past Governments have not upheld their duty of care, and have neglected the safety of girls and women across a range of institutions wherein they should be safe.

  2. Recognise and thank the work of young activists over generations for sharing their truths and pushing for change as a result of their experience.

  3. Unequivocally recognise the importance of active and enthusiastic consent in all interpersonal interactions, and acknowledge that the social coding on consent begins in children’s formative years. 

  4. Confirm that adequate training on consent and its many nuanced manifestations must be more than a line in a PDHPE textbook. Rather, that it must be a cultural and social priority taught consistently throughout a child’s education.

  5. Commit to acting on embedding consent education in primary, secondary, vocational and tertiary curriculums. 

  6. Commit to consulting with survivors, activists, advocacy groups, peak bodies and relevant teachers’ representatives in implementing this education program.

It’s time for PARTY REFORM

 

The Lavarch Report in 2019 recommended a number of important changes to the function of NSW Labor.

The recommendations were good but we must go further.

 

There was unfinished business in this reform package that fails to deal with how power is shared in our party and how members can have a direct engagement with our decision making bodies.

 

In particular:

  • NSW continues to be the only state where all members are denied the inability to directly elect our State Conference Delegates

  • The changes to the election of the President do not go far enough. Every member should have a vote on who the president is, as is done at a national level 

 

RANK AND FILE ELECTION OF STATE CONFERENCE DELEGATES

 

The (NAME OF BRANCH) notes that NSW Labor is the only branch in the country that does not have a direct election of rank-and-file delegates to the state conference.

 

The NSW Labor state conference is the most important decision making body in the party but it is not genuinely representative of rank-and-file members. We cannot hold our leadership accountable if our conference is not democratic.

 

The (NAME OF BRANCH) moves that NSW Labor: 

  • Amends the party rules to change to a model of direct election of rank-and-file delegates to NSW Labor annual conference. 

 

DIRECT ELECTION OF PARTY PRESIDENT BY THE MEMBERSHIP

 

The (NAME OF BRANCH) notes that in the Lavarch Report there were two options presented for the election of the NSW Labor Branch President; by a special majority of the annual conference, or by direct election by membership ballot of all financial members in NSW.

 

In order for the election of the president to be genuinely contestable and democratic there should be a direct election.

The (NAME OF BRANCH) moves that NSW Labor:

  • Amends the party rules to mandate direct election of the president role by a membership ballot of all financial members in NSW, as is done at a national level. 

 

 

 

REMOVAL OF SURGICAL REQUIREMENTS FOR TRANS AND

 

GENDER DIVERSE PEOPLE

Chapter 2 - Social Justice and Legal Affairs

The [NAME OF BRANCH] resolves that NSW Labor:

  1. Notes that the Office of Births, Deaths and Marriages still require a trans or gender diverse person to undergo invasive surgeries in order to legally change their gender marker on birth certificates;

  2. Notes this causes unnecessary harm to trans and gender diverse people in our community;

  3. Calls on NSW Labor to remove the requirement for invasive surgeries when recognising trans or gender diverse persons in NSW, as is the case in other states and territories including the ACT, South Australia, the Northern Territory, Tasmania and Victoria.  

BUILDING STRONGER COMMUNITIES: ACTIVE TRANSPORT

 

The [NAME OF BRANCH] resolves that NSW Labor:

 

Acknowledges Sydney’s traffic congestion is estimated to cost the NSW economy $15.9 billion by 2031;

  1. Recognises that building infrastructure for people who ride or walk creates local jobs, reduces congestion, activates public spaces, improves public health, lowers carbon emissions, and provides a cheap and safe way for people to travel;

  2. Fund a program to turbocharge the building of infrastructure for people who ride or walk, including cycleways, footpaths, shared paths and rail trails, noting that historically, the delivery of this infrastructure has been especially inadequate in Western Sydney and regional communities in NSW;

  3. Recognises the right of all children and families to be able to travel safely to and from school and commits to building infrastructure to improve road safety around schools safer;

  4. Will develop and fund a series of “great walks’ in NSW, that highlight our remarkable natural landscape;

  5. Will develop and fund a series of rail trails on disused railway tracks in NSW for cycling and walking. Rail corridors used in this way should be kept in public hands as a measure to allow future use.

Download the proposed policy motions to the 2021 NSW Labor Conference:

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