Another annual Party conference has concluded, with a stronger, more progressive policy platform adopted that will guide the state Labor government into the second half of its current term. Held on the Sunshine Coast, the 400-delegate conference saw a number of significant amendments to the ALP’s state platform.
With Labor as the only party at the federal and state level that can deliver on climate change, its commitment to protecting our planet was front and centre. The newly updated platform confirms clear support for ongoing public investment in renewable energy across Queensland, as well as providing a ‘Future Jobs Fund’ to protect mining communities as the state transitions to a renewable future.
The conference voted to legislate the new Energy and Jobs Plan, including enshrining a first ever Queensland Energy Workers Charter. Delegates also voted unanimously to hold the mining and resources sector to account through transparent approvals, and to protect Queensland’s precious biodiversity.
The new Energy and Jobs Plan was a direct result of years of advocacy by the labour movement and will mean a cleaner future with local, quality and secure jobs at its core.
In the important area of housing and homelessness, delegates supported moves to take urgent action to address the social and public housing backlog and to ban the use of anti-homeless architecture in public spaces.
Education has always a central part of Labor’s policy framework. The amended platform now includes investigating the co-location of early childhood education centres with primary schools, recognising Auslan as a language in Queensland schools, as well as ensuring our teachers are properly resourced.
Also adopted were amendments to review the rights of all workers to be able to access long service leave after 7 years, and ensuring workers are represented on all Government boards. Labor will also now strengthen our industrial relations system by cracking down on fake unions.
Labor’s policy platform also now seeks the establishment of a Government Natural Disaster Insurance Office, so Queenslanders are properly protected in natural disasters.
In defining Labor’s values, the conference has now enshrined support for LGBTIQ+ Queenslanders, and affirmed the Party’s belief in the science of climate change and the need to plan for its impacts.
Importantly, the conference became the third such ALP state body to formally back a much needed Royal Commission into media diversity, which has been publicly and strongly championed by former Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd.
The 2022 conference also supported such measures as:
• decriminalising social drugs and legalising cannabis;
• reforming the vaping industry, to ensure it is properly regulated and can no longer target children;
• rolling out pill testing at music festivals and other high-risk locations; and,
• implementing a ‘harm reduction approach’ to drugs, by expanding diversion and health responses
• strengthening Labor’s commitment to decriminalising sex work in Queensland;
• reforming the Anti-Discrimination Act to bolster protections for LGBTIQ+ Queenslanders, including those at religious schools;
• recognising the importance of Ambulance workers and the current challenges they are facing, as well as developing a plan for better resourcing;
• building on the work that is already underway to strengthen Queensland’s consent laws
• tackling corporate tax avoidance by ensuring no government contracts are given to companies based in tax havens;
• reconfirming Labor’s support for the recognition of Palestine.
The next ALP state conference is due to be held in Mackay in June 2023.