News National Shorten to announce major Labor Party reforms

Shorten to announce major Labor Party reforms

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ALP leader Bill Shorten is expected to announce sweeping changes to the Labor Party that will make it easier and cheaper to join and will remove a union membership provision, an exclusive Fairfax report says.

In a speech that was cancelled after his mother died suddenly, Mr Shorten planned to announce the changes to shift the balance of power in the party away from the powerbrokers and recommend fewer factional leaders are pre-selected for the Senate.

The changes, according to Fairfax political correspondent James Massola, who saw a copy of the speech before the opposition leader was forced to cancel, also include plans to make the party cheaper to join and remove the rule that members must also be union members.

Other recommendations include:

– Local branches with more than 300 members will have a 70 per cent say for pre-selection of the House of Representatives.

– State-based head office selection committees’ influence will drop to a 30 per cent weighting.

– Pre-selection to eventually move to the entire rank and file membership base.

– A larger pool to pre-select senators.

Mr Shorten is expected to give the speech when he returns from leave.