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Politics

MAJORITY: Moderates strengthen control of Vic ALP

The ALP faction in Victoria that delivers support to people like John Brumby, Bill Shorten and other Labor leaders has grown considerably in size after a meeting last night.

The executive of the Labor Unity group unanimously resolved to admit the one-time renegade National Union of Workers back to the faction they’d started many decades previously. According to an email obtained by VEXNEWS, a meeting of all faction members will be held on Sunday 17th of August to ratify the decision.

The change will give the Right a clear majority in practically all ALP decision-making structures in Victoria.

One meeting participant told VEXNEWS that “Public campaigning in the media had created the impression that there’d be lots of instability in the Right after the NUW’s return but that’s probably not going to happen. They don’t want to be seen as wreckers, they are mostly pretty constructive in their outlook these days. Look at (Water Minister) Tim Holding, he’s a new man, determined to win friends and influence people.”

Another was less confident saying that they feared the head of the Shop Assistants Union Michael Donovan would bow to pressure from his sub-factional colleagues like Lizzie Blandthorn who’ve been loudly calling for the head of Party state secretary Stephen Newnham. Others in the SDA grouping, like newly re-elected Senator Jacinta Collins are believed to oppose Newnham’s ousting on the basis that he has performed well in the job and ought not be attacked merely for being aligned to the ex-AWU boss Bill Shorten. The SDA insider said “Ultimately, everyone agrees though that the decision will be Michael Donovan’s to make, and he’s known as a strong, cautious leader of the union who won’t be rushed into either giving promises of tenure or into gratuitous blood-letting.”

While much of it has avoided mainstream media coverage – other than constant speculation about possible changes at ALP head office – there has been a furious round of attempted sub-factional poaching and a race by some to claim credit with the NUW group for readmitting them since the Kororoit by-election where the Right had a serious internal dispute about their candidate.

Older observers explained while there are very strong personality conflicts – centred on former allies David Feeney and Bill Shorten – that great credit should be given to former warring enemies at the Health Services Union and the National Union of Workers who put aside a very serious past conflict to rebuild the Labor moderates into a dominant force in a state where they were once nearly extinct.

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