Court bid to stop Victorian Labor pre-selections fails

Senator Carr was dumped in favor of unionist and national executive Linda White. Cassandra Fernando, a member of the Shop Distributive and Allied Employees, was elected to the safe seat of Holt, in south-east Melbourne, to replace the outgoing MP Anthony Byrne.

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The Victorian unions that appealed to the Supreme Court included the unions that formed Senator Kitching’s power base – the HWU and the Plumbers Union – as well as the United Firefighters Union, a major mainstay of Senator Kim Carr, who stepped down this week after it became clear he would lose pre-selection.

The unions have been fighting unsuccessfully against the PvdA on this issue in court since last year.

The lengthy lawsuit began after the federal ALP director subsequently took over the Victorian branch The age revealed widespread stacking of branches, allowing it to select candidates to run for election. A coalition of up to 10 unions unsuccessfully challenged the move in the Victorian Supreme Court, which ruled it legal in October. A number of unions subsequently dropped the case, as unions close to Senators Kitching and Carr appealed to the state appeals court, which was dismissed last month.

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