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Constitution of the Victorian division of the Australian Democrats



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. Supplement to the Australian Democrats Victorian Division Newsletter. Registered by Australia Post as Publication No. VBG 2588 Category B.

CONSTITUTION

OF THE

VICTORIAN DIVISION

OF THE

AUSTRALIAN DEMOCRATS

Effective 25 August 1984

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 the Division shall stipulate conditions for the admission of a person to membership of the Division.

2.3 The Rules of the Division shall provide for a waiting period before a new member may participate in divisional ballots.

2.4 The Rules of the Division may provide for the 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 the Division shall be eligible for membership of one branch.

3.5 Unless otherwise determined by the State Executive each branch shall be responsible to the Division for electoral matters in the electorates the majority of whose electors reside in the branch's allocated area.

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SECTION 4 - THE STATE COUNCIL

4.1 The setting of goals, the determination of strategies and the

allocation of resources to State Committees shall be the responsibility of the State Council.

4.2 The State Council shall be responsible for the interpretation of this Constitution, subject to the jurisdiction of the Appeals Committee.

4.3 The State Council shall consist of:

.1 One representative of each branch, and an additional representative of each branch to which more than 4% of the members of the Division belong.

.2 The members of the State Executive.

.3 The members of the National Executive of the Australian Democrats who represent the members resident in Victoria.

.4 The leader and deputy leader of the Australian Democrats in each House of the Victorian Parliament.

.5 Two members of each House of the Australian Parliament who hold office with the endorsement of the Division.

.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 conveners of the Policy Co-ordination, Candidate Endorsement, Administrative, Communication, Ballots and Rules Committees.

.8 The Treasurer of the Division.

4.4 Branch representatives shall be elected by ballot of all members of their branch whenever a general divisional election is held and at any time determined by the branch.

4.5 . Additional persons : may be elected by branch ballot to deputise for a branch's representative(s) as required.

4.6 Each , branch representative shall vote in accordance with the wishes of the majority of the branch's members, as far as they can be determined.

4.7 Parliamentary representatives 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.

4.8 Each member of the State Council shall have one vote.

4.9 The State Council shall be convened by the President of the Division.

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 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.

SECTION 6 - PUBLIC POLICY

6.1 The Division's policy on matters of public importance shall be consistent with the Party's national policies 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.

6.7 Each area of policy development shall be managed by a standing sub-committee established by, appointed by and responsible to the Policy Co-ordination Committee.

SECTION 7 - POLITICAL ACTIVITY

7.1 The Division shall engage in political activities directed towards the implementation of the policies of the Party and the Division.

7.2 A State Committee known as the State Executive shall be responsible for making recommendations to the State Council concerning political strategy and for conducting political activities in Victoria in accordance with strategies determined by the State Council.

7.3 The convener of the State Executive shall be elected by divisional ballot and shall be known as the President of the Division.

7.4 Ordinary members of the State Executive shall consist of six members elected by divisional ballot with ranking.

7.5 The titles of Senior and Junior Vice-President of the Division shall be offered to the ordinar¢ members of the State Executive in rank order.

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 Conveners of State Executive sub-committees shall be appointed by the State Executive.

7.8 Ordinary members of State Executive sub-committees shall be appointed by the State Executive.

SECTION 8 - PUBLIC ELECTIONS

8.1 In pursuit of its objectives the Division shall endorse candidates for elections for public office and shall conduct campaigns in support of such candidates in accordance with guidelines established by the State Council.

8.2 A decision to contest an election shall be made by the State Executive in consultation with the branch responsible for the electorate.

8.3 The number of candidates.to be endorsed for a Senate election shall be determined by the State Executive.

8.4 Endorsement of a candidate for public office shall require agreement between the branch responsible 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 Committee and the members of the Division, whose wishes shall be ascertained by ballot.

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 Endorsement Committee shall elect its own convener.

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• Committee known as the Administrative Committee.

9.2 The Administrative Committee shall be responsible for making recommendations to the State Council on administrative matters and for managing the administration of the Division in accordance with guidelines determined by the State Council.

9.3 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.

9.4 The convener of the Administrative Committee shall be appointed by the . State Council and shall be known as the Secretary of the Division.

9.5 Each area of administrative responsibility shall be managed by a sub-committee of the Administrative Committee established under the Rules of the Division.

9.6 The conveners of administrative sub-committees shall be ordinary members of the Administrative Committee and shall be appointed by the State Council.

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

9.8 The State Council may appoint paid officers to administrative positions 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 Members 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 Communication Committee,

10.3 Al) 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 or length shall be edited or if necessary rejected.

10.4 The Communication Committee shall publish a regular newsletter at least six times a year.

10.5 The convener of the Communication Committee shall be elected by divisional ballot and shall be known as the Newsletter Editor.

10.6 Ordinary members of the Communication Committee shall be appointed by the convener, subject to ratification by the State Council.

SECTION 11 - DELIBERATIVE BALLOTS

11.1 A proposal on any matter within the power of the Division other than an administrative matter may 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 Co-ordination Committee, two branches or fifty members. A divisional ballot on any other matter may be initiated by the State Council, the State Executive, two branches or fifty members.

11.4 Proposals which conform with the Rules of the Division in scope and wording shall be published to all members.

11.5 Arguments for and against any proposal and amendments to any proposal in the form of options may be submitted by any member.

ii.o Arguments wnicn conrorm in scope and length, and options which conform

in scope and wording with the Rules of the Division shall be published • to all members.

11.7 When a reasonable opportunity has been provided for arguments to be presented to members the proposal shall be put to ballot. The minimum and maximum intervals between the publication of a proposal and the ballot shall be specified in the Rules of the Division.

11.8 The ballot shall enable members to vote for or . against the proposal and to rank options in order of preference.

11.9 The alternative preferential system of voting, with optional allocation of preferences, shall be used for all deliberative ballots.

11.10 The conduct of deliberative ballots shall be the responsibility 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 ratification by the State Council.

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

12.4 If only one person is eligible for a position (s)he.shall be declared elected; a call for nominations for all other vacant positions shall be published to all members.

12.5 Any member who is eligible to participate in divisional ballots 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 representation, 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 shall be filled by a recount of' the votes in the previous election for the position, votes for candidates who are no longer eligible or available being passed on as indicated by each voter; otherwise the same procedure shall be followed as for a general election.

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 a State Council vote.

12.14 The conduct of divisional elections shall be the responsibility 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 Return ing Officer.

,Constitution of the Victorian Division of the Australian Democrats

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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 A majority of the Elections Committee and its convener shall be members of the Australian Democrats.

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 - APPEALS

13.1 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 appeals shall be the responsibility of a State Committee known as the Appeals Committee.

13.3 The Appeals Committee may delay or modify implementation 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 upholding, modifying or overruling the decision against which the appeal was made.

13.5 The convener of the Appeals Committee shall be elected by divisional ballot and shall be known as the Ombudsman.

13.6 Ordinary members of the Appeals Committee shall be appointed by the convener.

13.7 No member of the State Council, any State Committee or a subcommittee of those bodies may be a member of the Appeals Committee.

13.8 No member of the Appeals Committee may take part in the determination of an appeal in which (s) he has an interest.

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 Constitution, subject to veto by divisional ballot.

14.2 A State Committee known as the Rules Committee 3hal1 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 divisional ballot.

14.5 Ordinary members of the Rules Committee shall be appointed by the convener, subject to ratification by the State Council.

END

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