Western Australians deserve a clear choice at every election.
Leading into the Party’s 2022 Annual State Conference – which will be the most consequential in our recent history – we’ve taken these steps:
- In September 2021, State Council met to discuss the Review Panel’s 66 Recommendations. 29 were agreed to at this meeting, with further consultation to be done on those remaining.
- In October 2021, State Conference agreed in-principle to trialling plebiscites for the upcoming Federal election.
- In November 2021, State Executive endorsed a plan by the State President for party-wide consultation on preselection reform and the drafting of a proposed model building on the agreement of State Conference and an earlier workshop.
- In November 2021, the State President hosted the first of 14 workshops across the Party, with the Perth Division, to listen to feedback from grassroots members. Several hundred Party members from all over WA would ultimately have their say.
- In December 2021, State Council established an Organisation and Constitutional (OCR) Committee to implement review recommendations and provide drafting instructions for C&D. Ordinary Party members could nominate for 4 positions on this Committee to be elected by State Council.
- In January 2022, four nominations for the four positions on the OCR Committee had been received.
- In January 2022, the State President circulated a proposed preselection model, based on feedback received. All Party members were invited to make a submission on that model by 18 March 2022.
- In March 2022, the OCR Committee invited from all Party members submissions on their Terms of Reference, and review recommendations, by April 2022.
- In March 2022, the State President held the final workshop on preselection reform, which was with the Pearce Division. The State President continued to meet with stakeholders on a regular basis to refine the model.
- In June 2022, State Council endorsed the proposed plebiscite model to be decided on at the Party’s 2022 Annual State Conference.
- In June 2022, the OCR Committee tabled its Options Paper with State Executive and State Council. The Chair briefed both bodies on its contents. It was endorsed by State Executive and drafting instructions were provided to C&D.
- In June 2022, Constitutional Amendments, which are the culmination of eight months work and consultation, were circulated to State Conference delegates.
- In July 2022, changes to Party Rules, which are reforms not requiring changes to the Constitution, were circulated to State Council for the August meeting.
Significant work has been undertaken to progress Party reform. We have listened, we know what we need to do and are getting on with the job.
Currently, there are three reform processes underway which focus on:
- Preselection Reform
- Increasing Women’s Participation
- Organisation and Constitutional Change
Work is also being undertaken in other key areas, as identified in the report, and this page will continue to be updated as we make important progress.
How did we get to this point?
The review into the 2021 State Election recommended improving the way we select candidates by giving all local members a say in who represents the Liberal Party in their community, and ultimately, in Parliament.
Following the consideration of the Road to Reform report at a special meeting in September 2021, two motions were passed at last year’s State Conference. These demonstrated in-principle support for change and empowered the State President to run a consultation process to inform constitutional amendments which would bring this change into effect.
Party members also agreed to trial a plebiscite model to select candidates for the 2022 Federal Election using existing clauses in the constitution. The Federal candidates for Brand, Burt, Cowan, Pearce and Fremantle were selected using this method. Some of these trials were successful, some highlighted where the model should be improved.
In November 2021, State Executive endorsed a series of workshops with the Party’s Divisions to be run by the State President. 12 of 15 Divisions have hosted a workshop and invited members to express their views. During those workshops data was presented which showed that preselection committees in Western Australia are smaller in size, have fewer locals, and are more difficult to administer than those conducted in other States.In January this year, the State President circulated a memo which outlined options for reform. Party members were provided a further opportunity to put their views through a submission process.
Hundreds of Party members have had their say on what preselections should look like in Western Australia. Notably, very few people who attended a workshop believe our current model cannot be improved. The widest possible range of these views are represented in the model that being proposed.
The next State Council meeting will be asked to endorse this model to allow the Constitutional & Drafting Committee to prepare detailed constitutional amendments to be considered at the 2022 State Conference.
We must demonstrate to the public that our actions embody our values, and that we are serious about picking candidates on merit.
We must also demonstrate to those in our community, whose values align with ours, that we welcome their contribution.
We must show them that if they choose to stand for preselection, the result isn’t determined before they’ve even filled out a nomination form.
In 2025, the WA Liberal Party potentially faces both a state and federal election within weeks of each other. We need to ensure we have both the required number of talented candidates to put forward as well as a strong membership base to support 59 Legislative Assembly campaigns and 15 House of Representatives campaigns.
We should be confident the Liberal Party will present the choice Western Australians deserve at the next election, but our ability to do so will be determined by what action we take now.
Memo to State Council
State President’s Opinion Piece on Reform
Memo – Audit of the Party’s Membership Records
There is a clear need for change. We are undertaking consultation with the Liberal Women’s Council and their members to draft and endorse principles to improve participation.
A number of group sessions will be undertaken to provide Party members with the opportunity to have their say on what needs to change.
At the conclusion of these group sessions, we will identify models based on what Party members have told us they want to see and provide them a further opportunity for input.
Preferred strategies will then be drafted and included in the reform package.
Organisation and Constitutional Reform
The Organisation & Constitutional Committee is one of four processes initiated by the Party in response to Road to Reform: Review of the WA Liberal Party 2021.
This Committee was established by State Council on 11 December 2021 to provide options for the implementation of those recommendations which require that the Party’s Constitution and Rules be amended or the structure of our organisation be changed. The Terms of Reference agreed by State Council also provide the Committee with scope to consider reforms in addition to those recommended by the Review Panel.
The Committee’s Options Paper was released on 10 June 2022. You can read it below.