Preparing for 2018


This year the Australian Greens Policy Coordinating Committee has kicked off the latest review of national policy in preparation for an election in late 2018.

By Rod Swift and Catherine Garner

Following the July 2016 election, the Australian Greens Policy Coordinating Committee's tasks returned to the process of designing and conducting the next national policy review. Despite the Federal Parliament having generally three-year terms, the AGPCC is required to devise a plan within 12 months of an election, and to then conduct the review before the next election, with enough time to present recommendations to our National Conferences, held in May and November.

After the November 2016 conference, the AGPCC worked hard across the summer to devise a two-tranche review process. This plan was approved by the National Council early in 2017, far ahead of the 12-month deadline, to be able to launch the review in March-April.

The product of the first half of the review is set to be presented at the November 2017 conference, while the second half is set for May 2018. This will ensure our party policy is ready for a possible election in late 2018.

The AGPCC was also tasked by the National Council with investigating the party's by-laws and operations about initiative space. A discussion draft was presented to the National Council earlier this year, with recommendations for improvement in this space.

The year that was

The AGPCC has met approximately monthly during this term, and has devised and rolled out the National Policy Review. The AGPCC co-convenors also visited most states in the early part of the National Policy Review cycle to run workshops on national policy development.

At the November 2016 conference, the AGPCC recommended small technical changes to our Disability Policy, and recommended landmark changes to the Drugs, Substance Abuse and Addicition Policy.

At the May 2017 conference, a number of carry over proposals were adopted including amendments to our economics policy stream to support taxation measures on extreme dynastic wealth and a financial transaction tax.

State delegations have also completed most deliberations on Tranche A of the National Policy Review, which will see more than 200 amendments presented to the National Conference in November 2017, while Tranche B consultation is well underway for the May 2018 conference.

Process and passion

The 2017-2018 term will see a heavy work focus of the AGPCC on completing Tranche B of the National Policy Review, with an aim for face-to-face deliberations and consensus development for January 2018.

The committee also expects the focus to turn to initiative development as the policy platform changes come into effect and as the party turns its eye to the 2018 election cycle.

As in previous years, the success of the Australian Greens Policy Coordinating Committee comes from the dedicated hard work of state, territory and party room delegates in being the conduit between the committee, party room, state bodies, branches and members. All delegations continue to work hard to run comprehensive consultation and feedback processes to allow our policy process to thrive.

The collaborative processes first developed in 2015 endure, with the committee continuing to work with a spirit of genuine consensus decision making. Consensus processes used by delegations mean that proposals for policy amendments are often workshopped and word-smithed to reflect the best language in policy proposals and amendments.

It is not possible to overstate the incredible amount of work done by all committee members, listed here. It continues to be a great pleasure to work with such dedicated individuals without whom this committee, and our policy development, could not function.

  • Catherine Garner, Rod Swift — National Policy Coordinators
  • Georgia Webster, Rod Goodbun, Larissa Brown, Sophie Nicolle, Jay Tilley, Rose Newbury-Freeman — Party Room representatives
  • Patrick Tobin, Maiy Azize — ACT representative
  • Damiya Hayden, James MacDonald — NSW representative
  • Justin Tutty, Wayne Wood — NT representative
  • Ian Clow — QLD representative
  • Sarah Moulds, Peter Mahoney — SA representative
  • Scott Jordan — TAS representative
  • Sean Mulcahy, Rod Swift, Olivia Greenwell — VIC representatives
  • Mark Cooper — WA representative

If you are interested in finding out more about the ongoing policy development work of the Australian Greens, you can contact your state representatives or the AGPCC convenors directly at