By Marit Hegge
BRISBANE — On Sunday, June 16, the Queensland Green Network met to discuss the formation of the new national Green Party. Nearly 500 notices were sent throughout the state, and about 40 persons attended the meeting, with representatives from the Australian Democrats, Democratic Socialist Party, New Left Party, Socialist Party of Australia, Rainbow Alliance and various community and conservation groups.
Drew Hutton, deputy registered officer for the name "Green", outlined what had occurred so far in the process, and went a long way to answer many of the questions which have been raised over the months as to lack of consultation and secrecy.
He stressed that the process was never intended to be secret, that the August meeting was intended to be just a preliminary meeting which would lead to a much broader dissemination of information, that the meeting had to be kept to a manageable level, that any structure or party organisational documents which would have been presented at that meeting were not to be viewed as final, and that the "Melbourne Group" had a number of leading conservation movement representatives involved who at this stage did not wish to publicly announce support for a green party.
The meeting gave many groups and individuals a chance to air their dissatisfaction and anger over the process as well as for many to reaffirm the right of non-aligned activists to form an independent political party if they so choose. Discussion continued for several hours and when motions were proposed and consensus could not be reached, the meeting went to a
55D>majority vote. The majority agreed to the following proposals which a mandated committee has presented for national dissemination:
"It was decided to recommend to all interested groups and individuals that a national conference to establish a unified national Green party, which proscribes membership of other existing political parties, go ahead and be held in about November of this year. The meeting further recommends that members of existing political parties have neither speaking nor decision making rights at this conference but may apply for observer status. Queensland must be adequately represented at this conference and on the conference organising committee.
"A preparatory national meeting should occur in about August to develop proposals for the November formation conference, also a wide process of consultation on these proposals must occur with groups in the broader green movement including the existing Green Parties, conservation organisations, community groups and other
existing political parties.
"In Queensland the consultation process would include a State conference to discuss these proposals. Members of existing parties would be extended speaking but not decision making rights at the preparatory meeting and the Queensland State conference."