CLAYTON’S: Quiet Vic ALP conference divides "Taliban" Right over gay marriage

gillardmarriageThe Victorian ALP Conference held in the grey place that is Monash University in Clayton was a pedestrian and mostly friendly affair, gaining national attention only because there were so few people there at the end that the conference couldn’t proceed for lack of quorum (sufficient numbers of delegates present for the Conference to proceed validly).

That’s mostly because everyone had voted already for the party’s various policy committees which were up at the Conference and because the stars of the show, new Leader of the Opposition Daniel Andrews and the PM Julia Gillard had already shone and gone.

Andrews, in particular, impressed the delegates, writing his own remarks and delivering some good lines with the excellent comedic timing some thought modelled on Elliott Goblet. Gillard’s home branch loves her still but generally thought her a little flat and with a speech that seemed to be written by Sussex Street (there’s no greater insult in Victorian ALP circles).

One of the highlights of the Conference was Noah Carroll’s tough remarks putting the “parasitic” Greens on notice that the days of Labor fighting them with one hand tied behind their back are over. The state Melbourne MP Bronwyn Pike is known to be particularly ferocious about what must be done about the Greens party menace and is putting steel in the spine of the Left on the issue. She has had a gutful of their lies, hypocrisy and double-standards. She cites, as one of many examples, how quietly they’ve gone on the issue of Baillieu keeping open the Hazelwood coal-fuelled power-station. Labor people say, and few could question this, that if Labor had done this they would have gone feral about it.

The “Taliban” Right (as they are referred to by opponents) had something of a split over gay marriage.


A NUW power-broker from the Hotham FEA Councillor Steve Staikos loudly and publicly attacked SDA-aligned delegates for pulling quorum (instructing their delegates to leave ahead of requesting a quorum count) ahead of the debate on gay marriage.

He followed up with a Tweet:

The truth is conf was shut down cos 147 delegates supported us, 10 were against. Disgraceful and intolerable

SDA-aligned delegates told VEXNEWS they thought Staikos was disgraceful and intolerable for attacking them in public and will be pushing for Staikos to no longer be part of the State Conference going forward. That will prove rather difficult as Staikos runs a substantial bloc of votes in Hotham and won’t be pushed around by the SDA, his supporters say.

The Victorian secretary of the SDA, Michael Donovan, commented to VEXNEWS after this story was published that those – as Staikos did publicly – who claimed it was the SDA’s fault the Conference didn’t debate gay marriage were not telling the whole story.

He said:

“The ALP Conference was abandoned because 459 delegates out of 606 did not return after lunch. SDA delegates were gone by 12.30 because there is a major Coles EBA rollout occurring at over 200 sites which started 10 May. We (were) visit(ing) weekend workers. Because of the rollout we were never intending to be there after lunch – a decision made well before urgency motions were even put in to (the) ALP. The SDA could not have a spat with anyone after lunch as it was not there. No person from the SDA has made any comment about Steve Staikos.”

Michael Donovan is honest and true in all respects but of course there were very many SDA-aligned delegates present even if the SDA’s own union delegates were not and had what sounds like perfectly good reason not to be there. As is the case with many trade unions who participate in the ALP, they nurture a support-base in branches. Nothing wrong with it, but there’s not much point in denying they exist either.

Whatever happened, Staikos made it very clear what he thought in full public view, at the conference and later on Twitter.

Some think the issue highlights a serious fault-line between the more socially liberal parts of the NUW bloc and their current allies at the SDA.

The federal government, it was thought by many delegates, could probably do without the guidance of the Victorian branch on the issue, gay marriage is thought likely to be debated at the next ALP National Conference where there’ll be strong division between those who passionately support it, those who passionately oppose it and those who think it’s a tenth-order issue that can only boost Labor’s enemies in the Greens and conservative parties. Because both supporters and opponents think it’s an idea for which their side has overwhelming moral and popular support, and because it is a non-partisan issue, we think a national plebiscite could resolve the issue, once and for all. Wouldn’t it be fun?

Meanwhile, a looming tussle between the Victorian moderate faction Labor Unity and what they say are their extremist “Taliban” rivals over the national assistant secretary position was worked out reasonably amicably in recent days.

Two Victorian moderates will be heading up to Canberra to help run the national ALP secretariat, former ALP Victorian Head Office campaigns officer George Droutsas and his mate current Victorian assistant secretary Nathan Lambert will serve in a senior campaign co-ordination role and as assistant secretary respectively. These positions are to be newly created. While Droutsas is from the moderate faction Labor Unity and Lambert is supported by the SDA, neither are seen as particularly enthusiastic factional spear-chuckers and they are thought to be keen on ensuring those hostilities don’t spill over nationally.



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57 responses to “CLAYTON’S: Quiet Vic ALP conference divides "Taliban" Right over gay marriage

  1. Michael Donovan

    This story is a fabrication. The ALP Conference was abandoned because 459 delegates out of 606 did not return after lunch. SDA Delegates were gone by 12.30 because there is a major Coles EBA rollout occurring at over 200 sites which started 10 May. We visit weekend workers. Because of the rollout we were never intending to be there after lunch – a decision made well before urgency motions were even put in to ALP. The SDA could not have a spat with anyone after lunch as it was not there. No person from the SDA has made any comment about Steve Staikos.

    [VEXNEWS: The story is not a fabrication and mostly occurred in full public view. How one defines an SDA delegate is of course an important distinction, SDA delegates from the union can be distinguished from SDA-aligned delegates elsewhere…]

  2. Anonymous

    Did Droutsas write that last para for you? If he’s happy with the scraps …

  3. Ben

    “The Disagreens”? Now that’s funny.

  4. Anonymous

    Major Coles EBA rollout? SDA visit workers? Yeah, pull the other one Michael Donovan. THE SDA is univerally regarded as the most ineffective union in Victoria when it come to standing up for the rights of workers. SDA wouldn’t know a worker if it fell over one.

  5. coz

    As long as they got their lunch, that’s what matters.

  6. Joy Freeth

    Union delegates rarely stay after lunch anytime. But the fact the SDA & NUW are together given their differing views on so many issues is a reflection of the poor leadership of the moderates by 2 federal Cabinet Ministers who should not be rewarded for their incompetence.

  7. megsie

    Just get rid J U L I A.

  8. The Truth

    Typical of Labor union hacks – knock off at lunch time and then piss off for the day.

  9. anon

    [deleted – homophobic] In his role as a City of Kingston Councillor he has done ZERO to support and develop the ALP in the south east. His pathetic ignorance significantly helped the Liberals gain 4 seats and win government.

  10. Anon is gutless

    Anonymous comments that are homophobic and untrue are gutless. Come clean and be a ‘straight’ talker. Put your name to your comments.

  11. NUW Stalwart

    Come on Antony and Charlie, listen to what we are saying – we don’t want to be friends with the SDA cavemen anymore. It’s time to leave the religious psychos behind, it’s time to rejoin Labor Unity and be part of the ALP’s future. We’ve got talent, let’s leave the gay haters in our dust. We’re all thinking it and we’re all saying it to each other. Let’s stop talking about it and just make it happen.

  12. Benny Max

    I was looking for the SDA delegation but could not see them.

  13. NUW Delegate

    I am an NUW Delegate and member of Labor Unity and i am sick of being emabaressed of my association with the NUW. The NUW is a good union who must remove themselves from the bile that is the SDA. NUW should rejoin Unity!

  14. FLOP

    ALP Victorian state conference was circa the gay marriage debate, such a big flop and total farce! Now given the sheer lack of logic that sometimes emanates from the leaders mouths its not a surprise at all! Daniel Andrews is quoted as being all for gay marriage because one of his staff had to fly overseas to get married to another gay!
    Mr Andrews do you do any reading or in depth research on the subject of gay marriage or do you merely just try to appease those that are close to you eg your staff! Now Red Ted Baillieu will remain as premier a very long time if you are the best that the Victorian ALP can do!

  15. Rationalist

    Whatever people say the NUW is atleast a rational and common sense group.
    The SDA has always viewed themselves as seperate to the rest of the union movement and the labor party.

    This is their religous bigotry shining through.

  16. Emma

    Lets hope the majority of delegates don’t nick off after lunch at National Conference as well otherwise the debate about gay marriage will continue to go nowhere! Seriously though, what is the point of going to conference and not staying the whole day? I heard that the other policy debate to be had after lunch was around asylum seeker policy. I’m guessing this is also not important to the majority of Vic ALP delegates?

  17. possum

    The only long game voters have to endure is the totally inept Gillard as PM! Take a look at the refugee problem, look at the walkout at the recent Victorian ALP state conference. Gillard has lost authority and she so knows it! Gillard only wants to stay on as PM to serve herself, not her country see she so likes being PM because of all the perks she gets! Fancy paying far too much to cut down a tree at the Lodge and to get rid of possums. Hey Gillard you aint no possum, you have lost touch, you are just a profligate spender who has spent her chance! Get Gillard out before she does even more damage by taking the languishing ALP even lower in the polls- ALP should face reality because it seems that some of the Gillard supporting ALP now live in a state of denial re Gillard! Thats not good enough! ALP needs a federal new leader pronto!

  18. good grief

    Dear FLOP –
    What “reading or in depth research on the subject of gay marriage” is required to support it?
    It’s pretty simple – gay people can’t get married. Straight people can. This is discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.
    Do you get it or should i draw you a picture?

  19. Cardinal Pell

    Brother Abbott don’t forget we have another eager lad to induct into St Chesters Choir tonight at 7pm sharp.

  20. Anonymous

    Craig Langdon was outside looking for a sausage.

  21. Anon

    Anonymous, sorry you have it wrong. Craig Langdon was outside with Terrie Seymour, they are both looking for jobs. A match made in heaven I would say

  22. Cowards who would be kings

    S D A are underhand moral cowards who hang in hallways to prevent an issue being debated. They do not even have the courage of their convictions.

  23. anon

    SDA really stands for Stupid Dickheads Australia.

  24. S da purity league is disgusting

    Very sad to see Charlie and Antony joining th S DA fight to keep the Alp pure and free of Muslims, homosexuals and others. The taliban is taking labor back to the early 50s. Only hetrosexual Catholics need apply and gee why would these folk need marriage rights?
    Exactly when did the NUW start judging people on the basis of their private lives – would not have happened under sword.

  25. Anon

    Correction anon 24 may:

    Craig and Terry were outside looking for a job but also there was Pete… Who was looking for a clue….to how he has also become a ‘HSU has been’ and fallen from the gravy train and is now forced to pay for his own wine.

    Will Terry and Craig find a job? Will Pete ever get back to a union or ratepayer funded wine cabinet?

  26. Anon

    Ah….Pete…do not dispair….If Nazih can back Craig for banyule council then he can back you in darebin in 2012.
    You will soon be back on the ratepayer funded red… And the developers Christmas parties are also there waiting for your return….do not abandon hope dear red nosed one.

  27. Dean

    If you try to pretend you are a big tuff bloke and you marry someone that wears heavy makeup and has boobs and looks like a woman but also happens to have a big dick surely that wouldn’t be considered gay marriage???
    Because my new party I’m starting with Katter is against it (in most cases that is)

  28. lol

    gawd this is what constitutes your party and you guys wonder why you can’t run a government…

    You bitch a lot about Julia right? But you guys are ALL acting like clowns… and then you all wonder why you get a leader which makes the ALP look like a circus. It’s because it IS ONE. lolll

  29. John Yianoulatos

    Go away Fegan, you should check the information Butler gives you!Hows ya 400 clients going big timer?

  30. @possum

    You arent wanting a new ALP leader, you want to make trouble so your bosom buddy Abbott can sit in the big chair. Gillard might be bad, but she remains a hope once Abbott gets off his PR leash, which he inevitably will.

  31. Irene Webber

    Hey fegan good job with the Yianoulatos family

  32. A joke

    Oh dear, just accept the fact that you are a failure FEGAN!!

  33. Patriot

    SDA delegates started voting en mass and pushed quorum to the extreme. It’s ridiculous how they have so much pull, they did not need 46 delegates.
    Other than that, some usual suspects from the super-right made a no-show or showed up late enough to screw around with quorum numbers

  34. S da mp collective

    S D a mps and their branch stacking mps and councillors know there is only one marriage made in heaven and that is multi storey developers and Alp ethnic war lords.

  35. Democracy bypass

    Ethnic branch stacking or multiple recruitment robs normal Alp members of any say. Bypassing these distorted branch memberships at preselection is also fundamentally undemocratic. Bypassing state conference to avoid debates is also undemocratic.
    The Victorian labor brand was once proudly blue and red and represented the hope of Australian workers.
    Today it has morphed into a muddy red logo that represents democracy denied. A brand at war with its own core values – a democratic political party that holds democracy in contempt.

  36. Joy Freeth

    Blue collar unions are not interested in the gay marriage issue With members quitting over so many issues, they cannot afford another excuse for members to quit as they surely will.


    Gay and marriage are oxymoronic and conventional marriage was around a very long time! Even before the ultra- pushy, all for gay marriage, most vociferous and strident ALP lobby came into existence! Was the genesis for the gay marriage push ten years ago or only five? Well it wasnt there when eg Mr Paul Keating was the able PM!
    oh its discrimination oh yeah so the rest of the general public have this gat mararige forced on them so isnt that a form of reverse dicrimination!?
    Some sections of the ALP always want their own way it never ever stops ah well ALP go your gay marriage way and face the consequences
    ALP forget that many ascribe to the notion of Adam and Eve in marraige, not an Adam and Steve!


    Because the SDA leader doesnt agree with Adam B that is offensive hey Adam you may offend people too by saying that, and please tell why do you have such a monopoly on offensive views! Why because some arent falling into line with your archiac views!

  39. Miles

    But what about ME???

  40. lol


  41. party hak

    where is the real Taliban or Craig Johnson when you need them?

  42. A progressive


    How is gay marriage going to be forced upon you? I was unaware that by legalising gay marriage they were in fact forcing us all in to gay marriage

    If you don’t believe in gay marriage don’t marry some one that is gay, otherwise how is it your problem?

  43. Inspector Gadget

    Craig Johnson wouldn’t waste his time being in the same room as the SDA Employers Union. As for the SDA Officials visiting members at Coles, that’s about as likely as the Federal ALP winning the next election. They were more likely getting manicures, pedicures and Brazillians paid for by the Employers who support what the SDA stand for…Nothing.

  44. Patriot

    Democracy bypass; it’s not ethnic branch stacking if it’s a family outing…hell, I can’t seem to recall a time where a Turkish grandmother was interested in Australian politics


    Only ALP leftie views are deemed progressive by none other than the ALP themselves! So can ALP ever see how self serving they are! NO! Gay marriage and eg abortion so called law reform are deemed by leftie ALP progressive yeah sure! Now the late term abortion rate jumped skyhigh after that draconian ill- informed Victorian abortion act passed, yet some ALP told us the rate wouldnt escalate!But it did! So why should anyone ever believe a word that ALP ever says! ALP have no credibilty left at all with their views that are regressive because sometimes these indulgent views harm society! Now about 400plus Victorians are aborted a week, Funny how everyone that agitates is for abortion has already been born! What hypocrisy ie lap up your own life yet countenance taking it from others that are totally innocent! Yes Gay marriage is our problem because it undermines the traditional family stuctures of society! Children should grow up with a mother and a father not two mothers or two fathers! Gays can have a gay union and why are gays so insecure that they need to embrace conservative terminologies eg marraige, so that is hardly being progressive that is justgays and their supporters trying to minimise their pyscholgical insecurities re their own named status in society!

  46. sick of moral throwbacks

    The S d A should try to pull out their delegates when their own lousy candidates stand for pre-selection.

    This self exclusion would have saved many innocents from harm and spared the ALP brand from ongoing shame.

    Oh I forgot – this vile ALP sub-faction is only shocked by what goes on between consenting adults.

  47. Sicko deviant alliance

    The sda owes the kids of Australia an apology.
    When will they clean up their act.
    They need to screen their candidates better.
    If they won’t do this then the national executive needs to trim back their presence in all parliaments.

  48. Mambo Italiano

    I now have the numbers in Pascoe Vale. As a peace offering, I will employ Lizzie Blanthorne as my electorate officer on two days a week.

  49. Progressive

    Ah yes who could forget that member…another great sd a former minister…having any s da mp in charge of children’s and human services is a strong reason to not vote labor.
    S dA is a sub fraction that never admits to its own sins.

  50. Anon

    Cambodians and Vietnamese have done a deal = Youhorn Chea will become next Mayor of Dandenong with support of Vietnamese council colleague, while Camb0dian votes are delviered to Vietnamese candidate for Clayton. Clayton does not need another ethnic warlord in Clayton. Steve Staikos would be far better for Clayton.

  51. ease up comrade

    How is an Asian candidate ‘ethnic’ and a Greek one not?

    We all have an ethnic background/s of some kind.

    Can either of the three candidates on offer (including Robin Scott’s former employer Hong Lim and fellow Cambodian association member) show any merit to help get the state opposition re-elected?

  52. stacking does not add up

    Has the would be mayor of dandenong not got the mail….admin committee will bypass stackers…

  53. protected

    c’mon stcking does not add up. the ALP stackers are the only protected species…

    just ask Naziih..

  54. redaction please

    Please redact that…Naziih is a multiple recruiter not a stacker

  55. princess

    Well, well the truth is people votes labor with respect and it is their blood from generation to generation, …. the only problems are if you bring them to be part of the party that’s when you get into trouble or so called stackers… ha ha ha they can vote for us but don’t join us. funny weird… It makes me feel sick.

  56. Handbagger Staikos

    I’m up for gay marriage I’d love to wear a bridal frock.

  57. frog

    Dear princess

    the labor party is generally a born to rule party with established union clans and spouses of union organisations promoted.
    The dominant clans are 2nd generation now. Creans, Fergusons and Jenkins are just some of this born to rule mob.
    Ehtnic stacks have to be negotiated with and are given crumbs in terms of state seats etc
    Very few migrants have made it to ‘club fed’. Those that have have also fallen hard – Theophanous comes to mind.

    The truth is if you kiss the ALP you will eventually turn into a toad.

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