Queensland ALP in disarray

Issue 

Queensland ALP in disarray

By Bill Mason

BRISBANE — The war of words continues in the ALP in the aftermath of the state election debacle. On August 4, Brisbane Lord Mayor Jim Soorley called on Queensland Labor Party secretary Mike Kaiser to resign. Soorley had written to Kaiser criticising Labor's election campaign and accusing him of abusing Soorley's staff.

Several ALP branches, including West End and Windsor, have passed resolutions attacking the party leadership and the character of Labor's election campaign. A letter from the Windsor branch said: "When a campaign is conducted that was as disgusting, dishonest and inept as this one then heads should roll".

The West End-South Brisbane branch has attacked party president Bob Gibbs, leader of the Left faction, a split-off from the Socialist Left grouping. The SL is bitter at being squeezed out of leadership bodies in the recent period.

Kaiser has warned dissident ALP members of possible action if they speak out publicly and has threatened members who campaigned against the Goss government. "If, as a result of that soul-searching, they cannot resolve their problems, they ought to question whether they want to be members of the Labor Party", Kaiser said on August 3.

Kaiser on August 4 announced the formation of a committee of inquiry, headed by former ALP heavyweight Mick Young, to assess Labor's performance in the state election.