2013 Socialist Alliance national conference

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Dear members,

The Ninth National Conference of the Socialist Alliance will be held in Geelong (Victoria), from January 18-20, 2013. It is open to all Socialist Alliance members and invited guests.

The national conference is our highest decision-making body, and delegates are elected from each branch to participate and vote at the conference on a number of resolutions on international and Australian politics and campaigns, party building and the plans of the Socialist Alliance for the coming year. The conference also considers any proposed changes to the Constitution and elects the incoming National Executive and national office bearers.

Pre-Conference discussion

Between now and the conference, Socialist Alliance branches will be organising local pre-conference discussions and members are encouraged to read and discuss the key documents being considered by the conference, which incude: 

Submitting policy, amendments and resolutions

Members and Branches with policy submissions, amendments or proposals for consideration by the conference should send these to Alliance Voices.

The deadline for new policy submissions, constitutional amendments and substantive amendments to Towards a Socialist Australia is Sunday December 16, 2012. Amendments to existing policy and other proposals for consideration will be accepted up to and during the national conference.

For members' information, existing Socialist Alliance policy (as adopted and amended by the National Conference) can be found on our website here.

Conference program so far

The conference program will kick off on Friday January 18 with a day of socialist educational talks, workshops and panels, and Friday night there will be a public forum to open the conference.

On Saturday and Sunday there will be reports, discussion and voting on international and Australian politics and campaigns; a feature session on Socialists in local government, featuring Socialist Alliance councillors Sue Bolton from Moreland and Sam Wainwright from Fremantle; and discussion around plans and perspectives of the Socialist Alliance and its party-building and organisational projects for the coming year.

A celebration of 2012 and launch of the 2013 Green Left Fighting Fund launch will take place on the Saturday night.

Parallel workshop sessions will be held during delegate discussions for non delegates, which will include introductory sessions for new members and non members wishing to find out more about the Socialist Alliance. There will also be (limited) space for national working group meetings during the conference.

Registration and accommodation

A secure online booking site for conference registration and payments has been set up. Paper registration forms will be available to branches from next Monday.

The registration fee is $50 — solidarity; $30 — waged; and $15 — students/pensioners. In line with our constitution, delegates will be subsidised for travel to and from the conference from the delegate fee (paid by branches for each delegate), which is pooled for this purpose. The delegate fee will be set at the National Executive meeting this Friday, November 9, and notified to branches following the meeting.

Accommodation and transport information will be circulated over the coming days to help members plan ahead for attending the conference.

Participants are encouraged to make their own arrangements for accommodation, as only limited billeting will be available in Geelong and Melbourne for delegates with on low income.

Delegate elections

To be eligible to stand as a delegate, and to vote on delegates, you must be in good financial standing. (If you are unsure of whether you are financial, please get in touch with your local branch.)

The National Executive has voted to set the ratio of members to delegates at 7:1. This means that the more financial members your branch has, the more delegates you will get. Branches are encouraged to chase up unfinancial members in the lead up to their delegate elections.

Branches are required under the constitution to provide 28 days notice of their delegate election to members. Branches are encouraged to hold their delegate elections before the end of the year, if possible (to facilitate early travel and accommodation bookings).

To assist with the voting process, a simple software program for branches to use to count the vote is available to download from the Socialist Alliance Wikispace.

Please contact the Socialist Alliance National Office if you need further information.