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Constitution of the Victorian division of the Australian Democrats



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AUSTRALIAN DEMOCRATS 96 ST KILDA ROAD ST KILDA VICTORIA 3182

CONSTITUTION

OF THE

VICTORIAN DIVISION

OF THE

AUSTRALIAN DEMOCRATS

EFFECTIVE 4th September, 1987

CONSTITUTION

OF THE

VICTORIAN DIVISION

OF THE

AUSTRALIAN DEMOCRATS

Effective 4th September 1987

SECTION 1 - IDENTIFICATION AND STANDING

1.1 The Victorian Division of the Australian Democrats is the body responsible to the Party for the conduct. of the affairs and the pursuit of the objectives of the Australian Democrats in the State of Victoria in accordance with the national Constitution of the Party.

1.2 This Constitution is complementary to the national Constitution of the Party, which shall take precedence over it in case of conflict.

1.3 An amendment to this Constitution may be made by a • majority of members voting in a divisional deliberative

ballot, provided that such majority constitutes at least 6% of the membership.

SECTION 2 - MEMBERSHIP

2.1 Any member of the Australian Democrats who is not a member of any other division of the Party shall be • eligible for membership of the Victorian Division.

• 2.2 The Rules of he Division shall stipulate conditions for the admission of a person to membership of the Division..

2.3 The Rules of t.e Division shall provide for a waiting period before - _:': member may participate in divisional ballots.

2.4 The Rules of the Division may provide for a suspension of the divisional membership rights of a member found to have acted against the interests of the Party.

SECTION 3 - BRANCHES

3.1 Any member(s) resident in a contiguous area of Victoria shall be eligible to form a branch of the Division.

3.2 The Rules of the Division shall stipulate conditions for the creation and continued existence of branches.

3.3 Each branch shall be responsible to the Division for the conduct of the affairs of the Australian Democrats in a geographical area of Victoria allocated to it by the State Council.

3.4 Each member of ithe Division shall be eligible for member-ship of one branch.

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3.5 Unless Otherwise det ermined by each branch shall be re sponsible h toS thee Divisionvfor electoral m atters in the ele ctorates the m ajority of whose e lectors reside in the branch's allocated area. SECTION 4 - THE STATE COUNCIL4.1 The setting of goals, and the allocation of resources mtoaStateoCommitt es eeses shall be the responsibility of the State Council 4.2 The State Council shall be responsible for the inter- pretation of this Constitution, subject to the jurisdiction of the Appeals Committee. 4.3 The State Council shall consist of:.1 One repre sentative of each b ranch, and an ad ditional repr esentative of each branch to which more than 4% of the members of the Division belong..2 The C onvener and Deputy Co nveners of the State Executive..3 The members of the National Executive of the Australia De mocrats who re present the members r esident in n Victoria..4 The leader and deputy leader of the A ustralian De mocrats in each House of the Victorian Parl iament. .5 Two members of- each House of the Australian Parliament who hold office with the endorsement of the Di vision. .6 Two persons elected by divisional ballot from the members of municipal and._..shire councils who hold office with the endorsement of the Division. .7 The co nveners of the Policy Co-ordination, Ca ndidate Endorsement, Administrative, Communication, Ballots and Rules Committees..8 The Deputy Convener of the Administrative Committee. 4.4Branch representatives shall be elected by secret ballot of all members of their branch w henever a gene election is held and at any time byral branch. 4.5 Additional persons may be elected by branch ballot to d eputise for a branch's representative(s) as required. 4.6 Each branch representative shall vote in accordance with the wishes of the m ajority of the branch's members, as far as they can be determined.4.7 Parliamentary repres entatives on the State Council shall be elected by divisional ballot as soon as is practicable after each election for half or more than half of the House of which they are members. 4.8Each member of the State Council shall have one vote. 4.9 The State C ouncil shall be convened b of the Div ision. Y the President

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4.10 A quorum for a meeting of the State Council shall be a quarter of its voting members.

4.11 Decisions of the State Council shall be made in the light of the recommendations of the appropriate State Committee(s) and any branch submissions received.

4.12 A State Council decision which exceeds the scope of all decisions currently in force may be vetoed by divisional ballot, provided that any State Council decision which is substantially an administrative decision shall not be subject to veto.

SECTION,5 - STATE COMMITTEES

5.1 A State Committee shall be established for each area of responsibility identified in this Constitution.

5.2 Each State Committee shall be responsible for recommending strategies to the State Council within its area of responsibility and for managing its area of responsibility in accordance with the Rules of the. Division and with the strategies determined by the State Council.

5.3 Each State Committee shall be responsible for liaison with branches, other divisions and the national organisation of the party within its area of responsibility.

5.4 Each State Committee shall be responsible for preparing reports on its activities for the State Council and for publication to the members of the Division.

5.5 Each State Committee shall be accountable to State Council for carrying out its responsibilities and to the members for the substance of its decisions.

5.6 All members of each State Committee shall be members of. the Australian , Democrats..

SECTION '; -- PUBLIC POLICY 6.1 Tije Division's policy on matters of public importance all be consistent with the Party's national poli;:.es and shall as far as is practicable be determined by

the members.

6.2 For each policy area identified a policy paper shall be developed and maintained by divisional ballot.

6.3 The views of members on matters which are not dealt with in any policy paper shall be ascertained as far as is practicable in the time available before a decision is required.

6.4 Policy development shall be co-ordinated by a State Committee known as the Policy Co-ordination Committee.

6.5 The convener of the Policy Co-ordination Committee shall be elected by divisional ballot.

6.6 Ordinary members of the Policy Co-ordination Committee shall be appointed by the convener, subject to ratification by the State Council.

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6.7 Each area of policy de velopment shall be managed by, a standing sub-committee established by, a ppointed by and r esponsible to the Policy Co -or dination Committee.SECTION 7 - P OLITICAL ACTIVITY7.1 The Division shall engage in po litical a ctivities directed towards the im plementation of the policies of the Party and the Division.7.2 A State Committee known as the State Executive shall be r esponsible for making recom mendations to the State Council concerning Political strategy and for conductingpolitical activities in Victoria in accordance with strategies determined by the State Council.7.3 The convener and two deputy conveners of the State Executive shall be elected . as a group by divisional ballot with ranking, and shall be known, in rank order, as the President, Senior Vic e-president and Junior Vice P resident of the Division.'7.4 Ordinary members of the State Executive shall consist of six members elected by divisional ballot. 7.5 The members of the National E xecutive of the Australian Democrats who represent the members resident in Victoriashall be ex officio members of the State Executive. 7.6 Each area of political activity shall be managed by a standing sub-committee of the State Executive established under the Rules of the Division.7.7 Convenors of State Executive su b-committees shall be appointed by the State Executive.7.8 Ordinary members of - State Executive sub -committees shall be a ppointed by the State Executive.SECTION 8 - PUBLIC ELECTIONS8.1 In pursuit of its objectives the Division shall endorsecandidates for elections for public office and shallconduct campaigns in support of such candidates in accordance with guidelines es tablished by the State Council.8.2 A decision to contest an election shall be made by the State Executive in con sultation with the branch r esponsible for the electorate.8.3 The number of candidates to be endorsed for a senateelection shall be determined by the State Executive. 8.4 Endorsement of a candidate for public office shall require agreement between the branch r esponsible for the electorate and a State Committee known as the Candidate Endorsement Committee, in accordance with the Rules of the Division.8.5 Endorsement of Senate candidates shall require agreement between the Candidate Endorsement C ommittee and the members of the Division, whose wishes shall be ascertained by ballot.

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9.4

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8.6 The Candidate Endorsement Committee shall consist of seven persons elected as a group by divisional ballot as soon as is practicable after each federal Parliamentary election.

8.7 The Candidate E ndorsement, Committee shall elect its own convener. SECTION 9 - ADMINI STRATION

The administration of the Division shall be co-ordinated by a State Committee known as the administrative Committee. The A dministrative Committee shall be responsible for making re commendations to the State Council on administrative matters and for managing the administration of the Division in accordance with guidelines determined by the State Council.

The Administrative Committee shall be responsible for making on behalf of the'State Council administrative decisions which, in its opinion, it is impracticable for the State Council to make.

The convener and deputy convener of the Administrative Committee shall be elected as a group by divisional ballot with ranking, and shall be known in rank order and the State Secretary and Assistant State Secretary. Each area of a dministrative responsibility shall be managed by a sub-committee of the Administrative Committee established under the Rules of the Division. 9.6

9.7

9.8---

The conveners of administrative sub-committees shall be ordinary members of the. Administrative Committee and shall be appointed by the State Council. The rules of the division may provide for additional members of the Administrative Committee.

The treasurer of - the Division shall be a member of the Administrative Committee and shall be appointed by the State Council.

The State Council may appoint paid officers to administrativ positioans within the Division. They shall be directly responsible to the Secretary of the Division. 9.9 All -paid and ordinary appointed persons shall be members of the Australian Democrats or shall become members within the period stated in the Rules of the Division.

SECTION 10 - COMMUNICATION 10.1 of the Division shall be kept informed of the Division's activities and the views of other members. 10.2

All communication to the membership as a whole, unless authorised by the national organisation of the Party, shall be made through a. State Committee known as the C ommunication Committee.

10.3 All material submitted to the Communication Committee shall be published as soon as is practicable, provided that material which does not conform with the Rules of the Division in scope of length shall be edited or if necessary rejected.

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10.4 The Communication C ommittee shall publish a regular newsletter at least six times a year.10.5 The convener of the C ommunication Committee shall be elected by divisional ballot and shall be known as the Newsletter Editor.10.6 Ordinary members of the Communication Committee shallbe appointed by the convener, subject to ratification by the State Council.SECTION 11 - DELIBERATIVE BALLOTS11.1 Any proposal on any matter within the power of theDivision, other than an administrative matter, whichis submitted in accordance with the Constitution andRules shall be put to ballot of the members of the Division.11.2 A divisional ballot shall be required for any proposal to:.1 Determine the Division's public policy..2 Give assistance to another political party..3 Enter a formal agreement other than a . commercial contract with any other organisation..4 Change this Constitution..5 Veto a decision of the State Council..11.3 A divisional ballot on a matter of public policy may be initiated by the Policy C o-ordination Committee, two branches or fifty members. A divisional balloton any other matter may be initiated by the State Council,the State Executive, two branches or fifty members.11..4 Members shall. be given notice of any proposed ballot in accordance with the Rules.11.5 Additional proposals and amendments to a proposal onnotice which are submitted in accordance with the Rules shall be i ncorporated into the ballot.11.6 Arguments relating to any proposed ballot which aresubmitted in accordance with the Rules shall be published to all members.11.7 Members shall be given sufficient opportunity to preparesubmissions, consider those of others, and vote.11.8 The ballot shall enable members to vote for or againstthe proposal and to rank options in order of preference.11.9 The alternative preferential system of voting, withoptional allocation of preferences, shall be used for all deliberative ballots.11.10 The conduct of deliberative ballots shall be the responsi-bility of a State Committee known as the Ballots Committee.11.11 The convener of the Ballots Committee shall be elected by divisional ballot.11.12 Ordinary members of the Ballots Committee shall be appointed by the convener, subject to ra tification by the State Council.

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11.13 Notwithstanding the above clauses an indicative ballot may be held on any matter of Divisional concern. Such ballots shall not be binding in any way.

SECTION 12 - DIVISIONAL ELECTIONS

12.1 Elective positions established under the Constitution and Rules shall be filled by divisional elective ballot.

12.2 A general divisional election shall be held between nine and fifteen months after the previous such election, subject to the Rules of the Division.

12.3 In general divisional election all elective positions shall become vacant except as otherwise specified in this Constitution.

12.4 A call for nominations for all vacant positions shall be published to members.

12.5 Any member who is eligible to participate in divisional ballot may nominate for any number of elective positions, but may be elected to only one.

12.6 All nominations which conform with the Rules of the Division shall be accepted and published to all members.

12.7 Single vacancies shall be filled by the alternative preferential method of voting.

12.8 Positions which are elected as a group shall be filled by the quota-preferential method of proportional represen-tation, in accordance with the rules of the Proportional Representation Society of Australia, subject to the Rules of the Division.

12..9 Voters shall be enabled to rank acceptable candidates in order of preference, and to cast an effective vote • against unacceptable candidates.

.12.10 If any position is not filled nominations shall again be called for, provided that the unexpired term of office exceeds four months.

12.11 An elective position may be declared vacant by the State Council on the grounds that its constitutional responsibilities are not being fulfilled.

12.12 If possible a casual vacancy of the votes in the previous votes for candidates who are available being passed on as otherwise the same procedure a general election.

shall be filled by a recount election for the position, no longer eligible or indicated by each voter;

shall be followed as for

12.13 The State Council may make an interim appointment to any elective position for any period in which it is not filled by an elected person, provided that all steps specified in this Constitution for filling the

position have been taken. Such appointment shall not entitle the person appointed to State Council vote.

12.14 The conduct of divisional elections shall be the responsi-bility of a State Committee known as the Elections Committee.

12.15 The convener of the Elections Committee shall be appointed by the State Council and shall be known as the Returning Officer.

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12.16

Ordinary members of the Elections Committee shall be appointed by the convener, subject to ratification by the State Council.12.17 (repealed)12.18 The Rules of the Division shall specify the minimum and maximum intervals between the call for nominations , the close of nominations, the publication of ballot papers and the close of poll.SECTION 13 - APPEALS13.1 Any member, group of members or person eligible for membership personally adversely affected by a decision of a divisional body shall be entitled to appeal against such decision on the grounds that it was unjust or was beyond the authority of the body. 13.2 The determination of a of a State Committee knownlassthelApp the responsibility Appeals Committee. 13.3 The Appeals Committee may delay or modify im plementation of a decision of a divisional body for up to three months pending determination of an appeal. 13.4 The Appeals Committee may determine an appeal by modifying or overruling the decision against which pholding,the appeal was made.13.5 The convener of the Appeals by divisional ballot and shall bet known h aslthe Ombudsman. 13.6 Ordinary members of the A a ppointed by Appeals Committee shall be by the convener. 13.7 No member of the State Council, an or a sub-committee of those bodies may State Committe may be amember- of the Appeals Committee.13.8 No member of the Appeals Committee may take the determination of an

y Para in appeal PPeal in which (s)he has an

SECTION 14 - RULES 14.1 The State Council shall establish and maintain Rules for the conduct of the Division's affairs in accordance with this Con stitution, subject to veto by divisional ballot.14.2 A State Committee known as the Rules Committee shall be responsible for drafting Rules and changes to this Constitution for submission to the State Council at the request of any divisional body. 14.3 The Rules Committee shall also be responsible for making recommendations to the State Council concerning the interpretation of the Constitution and Rules of the Division.14.4 The convener of the Rules Committee shall be elected by di visional ballot.14.5 Ordinary members of the Rules Committee shall be a by the convener, subject to ratification by the St.at^P inted Council.END jLIIIIIIIIIIIt IIIIi II I I I II^^^ III^I III II^^II ^II^ I^III ^III II^II ^I^I II^^II ^^II !!I 0051138-09724-0