Community and Public Sector Union Queensland associate secretary Amy Smith. Picture: Zak Simmonds
Community and Public Sector Union Queensland associate secretary Amy Smith. Picture: Zak Simmonds

Labor faces fight over Senate preselections

QUEENSLAND Labor is facing a brawl over Senate preselections which are being fast-tracked as the Opposition prepares for an election.

In a battle that is threatening to overshadow Labor's state conference being held this weekend, contenders for the top two spots on the Senate ticket have accused each other of trying to exclude members from having a say on the plum positions.

The top spot, which is controlled by the Left faction, is likely to go to former Murray Watt staffer Nita Green.

Community and Public Sector Union Queensland associate secretary Amy Smith. Picture: Zak Simmonds
Community and Public Sector Union Queensland associate secretary Amy Smith. Picture: Zak Simmonds

However, rivals aligned to Community and Public Sector Union Queensland associate secretary Amy Smith have emailed party members ­complaining about a "farcical process" which only "appears to be democratic".

Ms Smith was running for the spot but recently pulled out of the race amid claims it had been tied up as part of a move to secure Senator Watt's power within the party.

Labor delegates from north Queensland are trying to scuttle Ms Green's candidacy in favour of rival Tania Major, an indigenous woman from Kowanyama and former Young Australian of the Year.

Former state minister Leanne Donaldson is also running for the spot while recovering from crashing her car into a cane train near Bundaberg, along with one-time Tourism Queensland deputy chairwoman Julie McGlone.

Meanwhile, the Right faction is set to abandon plans for a ballot of members for the No.2 spot in a move that will protect existing Senator Chris Ketter, who faces a challenge from former Brisbane candidate Pat O'Neill.

Queensland Labor has already chosen candidates in its targeted seats but still has some remaining preselections in unwinnable seats.

Labor's national executive is threatening to step in if these are not done as soon as possible, to avoid a rush that could see candidates chosen who are not vetted properly, federal sources said.



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