|Reforms to ALP conference: Faulkner|
|Saturday, 08 December 2012 09:57|
Senior Labor senator John Faulkner will move reforms at New South Wales Labor's next annual conference aimed at opening up the Australian Labor Party (ALP) and eliminating corruption.
Senator Faulkner this week said ALP powerbrokers held too much control over the party and Labor rank-and-file needed a greater say.
Mr Faulkner's call comes as a NSW corruption watchdog inquiry probes the involvement of former Labor ministers Eddie Obeid and Ian Macdonald in the opening up of coal mining in the state's upper Hunter.
The inquiry has heard Mr Obeid was able to exert considerable control within parliamentary Labor as leader of a faction called the "Terrigals".
Mr Faulkner has called for a code of conduct covering MPs and senators, including a "one strike and you're out" policy for any Labor member found guilty of corrupt behaviour.
Senator Faulker on Friday said he would take his reforms to NSW Labor's 2013 annual conference.
"It's my intention to move those proposals as rule changes at the next NSW annual conference," Mr Faulkner told ABC television's 7:30 Report.
"I don't intend to let those matters go. I intend to proceed with them."
Mr Faulkner said reform was urgent and conceded that without it Labor would take a hit at the next federal election.
"In a federal election this will cost us votes and cost us support as it will in a state election," he said.
The ALP stalwart said one key reform would be to end binding factional votes, an internal rule blamed for making it easy for party powerbrokers to maintain control.
"The problem comes when factions' interests are put before the interest of the Labor Party," Mr Faulkner said.
"The binding issue is just unacceptable, there's no need for that."
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