Cameron Milner argues that if the left faction chooses a man to replace current Jan Senator McLucas, the right faction’s top spot on the ticket must go to a woman.
‘”In the Senate, Labor must keep its current level of women, especially if Senator McLucas — a woman from regional Queensland — is replaced by the very capable human rights lawyer Murray Watt,” he said.
‘The ABC has seen legal advice given to the party’s national executive that states a woman must be in one of the top two spots, even in a half-Senate preselection process, otherwise the ALP’s affirmative action rules would not be met.
‘Labor has one other female senator from Queensland, Claire Moore — who was re-elected at the last election — and one female lower house MP, Terri Butler.
‘Preselections for five Lower House seats in Queensland are also underway — in Petrie, Capricornia, Bonner, Brisbane and Forde.
‘ALP State Secretary Evan Moorhead said under the affirmative action rules, at least three of those seats should have a female candidate and he was “confident” that would be achieved. This round of preselections will be held under new rules that give equal weighting to union votes and rank-and-file members.’ (ABC News, 12.2.15).