Jumat, 22 Agustus 2014

Qld Labor membership has surged since 2012 election loss, state conference told (ABC)

Labor s state conference is being held in Brisbane this weekend.ABC Labor's state conference is being held in Brisbane this weekend.

Queensland Labor membership has almost doubled since the party's 2012 thrashing, state president Dick Williams has told the party faithful.

Labor is holding its annual state conference in Brisbane, the last before next year's poll.

Mr Williams said Labor had done better than expected since the election whitewash, when the party was reduced to just seven out of 89 seats.

It had resounding wins in two by-elections and membership numbers had increased by about 4,000.

The party is now the fastest growing in the country.

"We have gone from about 5,000 members to almost 9,000 in just two-and-a-half short years," he said.

"That represents growth in excess of 65 per cent. That growth continues unabated."

Political analysts have predicted that the Liberal National Party (LNP) has such a huge majority it could hold onto power for between three and five terms.

Consecutive polls however indicate Labor is emerging as a viable alternative and Premier Campbell Newman is at risk of being a one-term wonder.

Mr Williams said Labor needed to gain another five percentage points to get 40 per cent "magic number" in primary support.

"Much, much more must be done to convert a front-page story about an out-of-touch LNP Government polling badly into a front-page story about Queensland Labor achieving what many say is the unachievable," Mr Williams said.

"Without getting too carried away, Queensland Labor is now in a position that even the most optimistic of us would not have dreamed possible just two short years ago."

Later today, the conference will debate whether to go ahead with giving unions and ALP members a say on who is chosen to be the party's parliamentary leader if it loses the next election.

A new system giving caucus, ALP members and affiliated unions equal say was adopted in principle last year, however it was due to be voted on today.

Debate is expected to include whether to sideline unions and solely divide the vote between caucus and ALP members.

It comes following similar reforms at a federal level.

The party's state secretary, Anthony Chisholm, said it was an exciting opportunity to reform the party.

"I'm confident that no matter what model we adopt it will be one that will take the party forward and ensure that we get good involvement from our party membership," he said.


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