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Northern Territory ALP Branch
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Labor is not only the largest and oldest major political party in Australia, it is also the most democratic with much policy and power flowing from branch members to Party office holders and Members of Parliament.
The following material provides a brief outline of the Northern Territory branch of the Australian Labor Party - its units and their functions.
The document is in no way a substitute for a full and detailed knowledge of the Party but it will act as a guide for new members or those simply interested in the ALP.
The ALP welcomes that interest. Further information can be obtained from your nearest Labor MLA, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (08) 8981 3801.
The Local Branch
This is the basic Party unit which members join if they want to be active in the Party. Branches can discuss matters pertaining to all levels of Government - Local, Territory and National.
This is the main area for conducting and organising all Party activities. We have 17 branches around the Territory, and every part of the Northern Territory is covered by a Branch. While it is recommended, you don't have to join the Branch that is closest to where you live, you may join any Branch.
Active membership in a local Branch provides the best opportunity to influence Labor policy and activities, and Branches have the main role in selecting candidates for Legislative Assembly elections.
Young Labor encourages young people under 30 to participate in the party at all levels. The focus of Young Labor is active policy debates and discussions with a social emphasis.
The responsibility of articulating a youth perspective on party policy falls to Young Labor.
Labor Women welcomes all female members of the ALP to participate in their activities. It also takes responsibility for articulating a women's perspective on party policies.
Labor in the Territory has a proud tradition of active female members in leadership roles. Most importantly our current leader Clare Martin, and our previous leader Maggie Hickey, have been at the forefront of female endeavours within the party. In 1998 Trish Crossin was elected Senator for the Northern Territory, she is the first female Senator for the Northern Territory.
The Territory Parliamentary Labor Party (TPLP)
The TPLP (the Territory equivalent of the Federal caucus) is composed of all the Labor Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs).
MLAs are selected as candidates for the Labor Party by Electoral Colleges made up of 10 party members who are members of the branch in the relevant electorate, and five members elected by Annual Conference.
Unionism is, by its very nature, political: the Labor party was established by Unions who saw that the gains they made in the workplace were taken away by hostile political groups.
Unions affiliate to the Party to expand their ability to give political expression to their members' interests.
They can forward resolutions for determination by Annual Conference, in the same way as other Party bodies.
They receive representation at Conference according to their size, and the unions together make up a little less than 50% of the delegates to Conference, with a formula being applied to give equal votes to the union and branch delegate blocs at Conference.
Annual Conference is the supreme policy-making and governing body of the Party in the Northern Territory.
It considers resolutions from Branches, Labor Women, Young Labor and affiliated Unions, usually after they have been considered by the appropriate Platform and/or Machinery Committees.
Conference is currently composed of approximately 100 delegates from branches, unions, Federal Parliamentarians, Territory Parliamentarians, Young Labor and Labor Women.
The Administrative Committee administers the Party between meetings of the Annual Conference.
It is responsible for the functioning of the Northern Territory Branch of the Party. It is composed of the five Party Officers (President, Vice-President, Secretary, Assistant Secretary and Vice President - Finance), the Territory Parliamentary leader, one Federal Parliamentary representative, a representative from each of the northern and southern rural areas, five ordinary members, and representatives from Labor Women and Young Labor.
These committees are elected by Annual Conference.
Platform Committees consider all resolutions from Party units, and then report and recommend to Annual Conference for adoption.
Machinery Committees have a similar role, but in relation to such things as rules, conference agenda and so on. It is usually through the reports from these Committees to Annual Conference that the Platform and rules are amended. Standing Committees vary in size, and the platform committees cover the entire possible policy field.