FACTIONAL heavyweights are exploiting a technical loophole to launch a hostile and sometimes bloody take-over of the NSW Liberal Party’s candidate selection process.
The technicality in the Party’s anti-branch stacking rules has led to violent scenes between factional heavies and local branch members – and could result in more physical injuries if not addressed.
The loophole permits Young Liberals unrestricted movement to vote across electoral boundaries. While all other members are bound to their home electorates.
An infamous 2018 Liberal Party all-in-brawl at a Sydney chicken shop – a public glimpse of wider and ongoing tensions – was a direct result of this loophole, according to media reports.
FACTIONS PLOT TO OVERTHROW MEMBERS
This blow-up saw a branch member hospitalised and four assault charges laid.
Factional heavies linked to the NSW Left’s Moderate faction had attempted a take-over of the Liberal Party’s Arncliffe branch in Sydney’s south, according to the reports.
Young Liberals from outside the electorate were allegedly “bussed in” with orders to vote down the wishes of local members.
Although “bussing in” is outlawed for senior Party members, the long-time loophole allows Young Liberals to drift freely across electoral boundaries and to vote against locals.
To exploit this loophole, factional bosses have allegedly recruited large numbers of Young Liberals and mobilised them into targetted electorates – shutting out local branch members from choosing who represents them in Parliament.
By controlling who sits in Parliament, factions and political lobbyists are better able to determine the outcome of Parliamentary votes – which can be to the legislative benefit of cashed-up clients.PC