Greens’ Docklands Declaration short on declaring
Save articles for later
Add articles to your saved list and come back to them any time.
About 75 Victorian Greens members met in a library in Docklands last Sunday and about a dozen more tuned in online from Gippsland to Mildura to draft a now-leaked memorandum titled The Docklands Declaration.
The vaguely worded document makes a commitment to “doing politics in new ways” and “engaging in debate respectfully” before harking back to the good old days of Bob Brown and Christine Milne.
Rohan Leppert was said to be one of the organisers of a recent Greens meeting.Credit: Jason South
It calls on members to engage in robust debate of “issues” without “being dictated to by the loudest voices” and outlined four principles to achieve this.
It was signed by 123 members, notably Melbourne City Councillor Rohan Leppert and senior industrial officer Linda Gale, two prominent Greens members who were accused of transphobia but later cleared in an internal party investigation.
The only problem with the declaration was that it failed to declare what it was declaring. Without it being specific about which “issues” have become out of bounds, transgender activists were quick to fill the vacuum.
National Tertiary Education Union rep Amy Sargeant wondered out loud (on Twitter) whether party leader Adam Bandt “will do anything about the transphobic virus” in the party, calling the signatories “idiotic bigots”.
CBD has spoken to a number of people present at the meeting who challenge this conclusion. They say the party has been increasingly unable to debate a range of topics. Gender policy, yes, but also the Voice to parliament and so-called “Big Australia”. Cancel culture and closed-mindedness are rife, they say – without wanting to be named.
“To get that many people together on a Sunday afternoon is not a very common occurrence, outside of massive state and federal campaign launches,” one member said. “The concern for where the party is at is very broadly shared. It’s a pretty genuine attempt to try and re-establish lines of communication across shared principles.”
Balancing scrutiny with sensitivity on issues affecting marginalised groups is often a toxic and divisive affair, but one federal Greens MP, who also didn’t want to be named, insisted the problem was a Victorian one and not spread through the wider party.
CBD has been told Leppert was the author of the report. We tried to contact him for comment but received no response. The same goes for party leader Samantha Ratnam. Seems like the party is getting its line straight before making any more declarations.
IS THIS YOUR NEW TAXMAN?
When he’s not remaking capitalism, federal Treasurer Jim Chalmers has kept himself busy finding people to run important institutions such as the Reserve Bank of Australia (Michele Bullock) and the Productivity Commission (Chris Barrett).
And that’s not the end of the recruiting. It has been noted elsewhere that three of the Future Fund’s seven board seats – including that of chairman Peter Costello, also chairman of CBD’s owner – fall vacant over the next 12 months (while one is already empty).
Tax commissioner Chris Jordan.Credit: Alex Ellinghausen
But less attention has been paid to Australian Taxation Office boss Chris Jordan, whose second term is up next April. Jordan, who was forced to defend the ATO’s heavy-handed treatment of some South Australian businessmen in 2019, has reportedly signalled he will not seek a third term, but nobody is ruling it out.
Another five years of Jordan might be a good thing for Chalmers, optically speaking. The internal candidate considered most likely to get the top job is second commissioner Jeremy Hirschhorn, who made his name climbing the ranks to lead partner at …err … KPMG.
Sure, it’s not PwC, but the prospect of appointing a former big-four heavy to replace Jordan, who took the ATO mantle after chairing KPMG himself, might be considered a little risky in Canberra, where consultants are currently a little lacking in the popularity department.
Bureaucrats, they’re just like us! Who among us hasn’t relieved some job-related stress by indulging in the movie of the moment?
Former secretary of the Department of Human Services Kathryn Campbell eschewed the fancy seats on her Barbie outing.Credit: Alex Ellinghausen
This column was reliably informed that Kathryn Campbell donned pink to attend a Canberra cinema on Sunday to watch Barbie, just one day before news broke that she’d resigned from her lucrative AUKUS advisory role.
We thought she’d be more of an Oppenheimer fan. The former Department of Human Services secretary was formally suspended without pay last Thursday after damning findings out of the robo-debt royal commission showed she had failed to act when 434,000 welfare recipients were falsely accused of owing money to the government.
It was confirmed on Monday that she had resigned from her position. But unlike many of the nation’s movers and shakers who have snapped up swanky tickets over the past week, Campbell didn’t treat herself to a Gold-Class seat and was instead spotted among the plebs in regular seats. Given the occasion was timed with the end of her $900,000 salary, can you blame her?
FREQUENT FLYER FRYDENBERG
Former treasurer Josh Frydenberg was spotted on the 9am Virgin flight from Melbourne to Sydney on Thursday morning, sitting in the business section and chatting enthusiastically to the passenger seated next to him.
Josh Frydenberg is clocking up the air miles.Credit: Eamon Gallagher
He was in Sydney just for the day, fulfilling duties in his four-day-a-week role as Goldman Sachs’ Asia Pacific adviser. We’re told he travels interstate most weeks. Frydenberg’s Goldman role takes him on frequent international jaunts too. He must be clocking up those frequent flyer points!
SPILT MILK SPOILED
A board spill by the former leaders of Bubs Australia failed on Thursday after founder Kristy Carr and her loyal lieutenant Dennis Lin failed to gain the numbers to get their revenge on chair Katrina Rathie at the annual general meeting.
Rathie attempted to pay lip service to Carr on Thursday and was met with incredulous laughter from the former chief executive, who then muttered comments to those around her.
Bubs chair Katrina Rathie (left) and founder Kristy Carr. Credit: Nine
Rathie unceremoniously booted the pair from the ASX-listed infant formula business in May, citing financial underperformance. The axing is now the subject of an unfair-dismissal case, with the company counter-suing over allegations the former executives misused company funds.
Chemist Warehouse chair Jack Gance, who happens to be the company’s second-biggest shareholder, demanded a breakdown of “how many millions” Rathie spent on her campaign to discredit Carr and Lin. Rathie declined to put a figure on it.
Just when everyone thought the fireworks were over, an unidentified retail shareholder yelled at Rathie: “I do not wish you well; I hope you lose the lot,” referring to the multiple lawsuits the company is now embroiled in. Meeting adjourned!
Lygon Street will be filled with stories of US war crimes and whistleblowing on Saturday, with the unofficial book launch of former Reuters journalist Dean Yates’ Line in the Sand, alongside speeches from Julian Assange’s father, John Shipton, and military whistleblower David McBride.
But the event almost never happened. Yates’ publisher, Pan Macmillan, didn’t put forward any money, so Yates was left to organise the shindig himself.
He teamed up with Julian Assange campaigner Raine Cilicia, who searched far and wide for a venue. They were about to give up when Cilicia met CFMEU newsletter writer Lita Gillies. An avid Assange supporter, Gillies called in a favour from the CFMEU, which covered the $500 venue hire at Trades Hall.
The launch of Line in the Sand has gained a little help from the CFMEU.Credit: John Shakespeare
Sami Shah (comedian and partner to Kylie Moore-Gilbert, the academic who spent time in an Iranian jail on trumped-up spy charges) will now MC. Former ABC veteran Karen Percy and Hugh Riminton were interested but unavailable.
Almost every politician in the country has been invited. Greens MP David Shoebridge will be there. Labor’s Julian Hill is a maybe. The bulk of federal cabinet members failed to respond to invitations, with the exception of Penny Wong, whose team issued a polite “otherwise engaged”.
It’s not the first time the CFMEU has gone out of its way to promote the Assange cause. At the state Labor conference this month, union organisers signed up to the Free Assange campaign, including Adam Olsen, Kylie Brown and Lisa Zanatta.
The Morning Edition newsletter is our guide to the day’s most important and interesting stories, analysis and insights. Sign up here.
Most Viewed in National
From our partners
Source: Read Full Article