Green Independents form party
By David Wright
HOBART — At a meeting on August 1, the Tasmanian Green Independents agreed to adopt a constitution which formally lays the foundation for a Tasmanian Greens Party.
Previously the Green Independents had no constitution, and meetings were open to all members of local groups and their supporters.
The new structure is based on proportional representation. Each electorate will have representatives on a state council, which will also include parliamentary representatives. The council will be the main decision-making body between annual general meetings or conferences.
The parliamentarians are largely accountable to the membership but will be allowed to vote according to their consciences on issues such as abortion. Apparently there is considerable division on this question.
The Tasmanian Greens Party will stand candidates in the next Senate election. Each of the five local groups will decide whether or not to stand in lower house seats.
Former Green Independent leader Bob Brown said after announcing the party, "We have adopted a comprehensive constitution and will link in with other states' Greens as we evolve towards a nationwide, permanent, exciting entity on Australia's political stage".