The Supreme Court of Victoria has rejected the push by a splinter right-wing Labor faction known as the â€œTaliban Rightâ€ for court orders that would have unsettled the ALPâ€™s preselection process for the safe seat of Broadmeadows.
As a result, Frank McGuire, aligned with Bill Shorten and Steve Conroyâ€™s Labor Unity group, will be endorsed as the Labor candidate.
The expensive court proceedings were apparently funded by a number of trade unions, including the Health Services Union. The Court also ordered those applicants, including HSU National Secretary Kathy Jackson, to pay the legal costs of the ALP. They are likely to be in the tens of thousands of dollars, insiders say.
The decision goes some way to validating the so-called supremeâ€œplenary powersâ€ of the ALP National Executive to solve problems that arise from time to time.
It will have the effect in the internal workings of the Victorian branch of making threats of litigation over preselection and procedural matters much less likely to be taken seriously, observers say. It has also greatly diminished the perception of the splinter group in the eyes of the National Right faction that was mostly appalled at their attempt to challenge the plenary powers that are routinely used to clean up internal messes in many other states and address issues like branch-stacking.
A big factor, we understand, in the judgeâ€™s decision (written reasons will follow soon) was that the applicants had failed to use the ALPâ€™s elaborate internal Disputes resolution processes.
Our article yesterday that suggested this was all a bit of theatre calculated to hang on to some State Conference votes does appear to be confirmed. A very bleak situation indeed for all involved in it.
Kathy Jackson for her part was not letting an embarrassing defeat get in the way of her fun, pulling out her Taliban bazooka for a final blast:
Kathy Jackson from the Health Services Union has accused the so-called “faceless men” of the Labor party of acting shamefully.
“It’s a shameful day for the ALP and it’s a shameful day for party members in this state,” she said.
“I just can’t believe that some sections of the party think they can run the party as a private company or a personal fiefdom.
“It seems to me that if you’re related to Frank McGuire or Eddie McGuire you can do whatever you want in this state.”
The boss of the CFMEU Construction division in Victoria, Bill Oliver, is displeased too with the ABC’s intrepid Ryan Sheales soliciting comment from the big man:
“This is just … factional warlords looking to parachute someone in, as suits them”
We always enjoy the irregular verbs of ALP activity:
I broaden the base.
She got in on affirmative action.
They are factional warlords who should be probed by the dodgy Ombudsman or Red Ted’s new ICAC.