Unionist eyes Labor leadership
Unionist eyes Labor leadership

Union leader Adrian Evans has nominated for the Labor State presidency, in what shapes as a defining contest for the party's future direction.

Mr Evans, Maritime Union of Australia's deputy State secretary and Left faction candidate, will square off against Willagee MLA Peter Tinley, of the Right.

But a spanner could yet be thrown in the works of the contest after Federal Member for Perth Alannah MacTiernan's nomination for the position was received after yesterday's noon deadline.

She was travelling yesterday and could not be contacted.

Her office confirmed her nomination was received by party headquarters after the deadline and said she may seek to have it accepted under the party rules.

It is understood such a move would have to be considered by Labor's administrative committee because there are no specific provisions for late nominations.

Mr Evans, who ran unsuccessfully against Liberal Ken Wyatt in Hasluck in last year's Federal election, said he wanted to "build bridges between unions, rank-and-file members and the parliamentary party to make our party stronger".

"WA is currently in the middle of a once-in-a-lifetime resources boom," he said.

"Our party needs to ensure that we reconnect with working people to make certain that our State delivers for everyone."

That Mr Evans has emerged as the only candidate of the broad Left faction, whose biggest United Voice and Metalworkers factions split in the fallout of bitter preselection deals that elevated the Right's Joe Bullock to the top of Labor's WA Senate ticket, is further evidence of the MUA's continuing emergence as a force in the party.

The presidency will be decided at Labor's State conference in July, a meeting that looms as a watershed for the party after three election defeats in 13 months.

WA Labor leader Mark McGowan's proposed reforms to give rank-and-file members a say in leadership contests will be debated, and the position of State secretary could also come under review. Incumbent Simon Mead confirmed yesterday he would renominate for the position.

He could be challenged by Chamber of Minerals and Energy executive Bruce Campbell-Fraser, a former staffer to former premier Alan Carpenter.

"I've been encouraged to consider nominating and it's something I'm considering," Mr Campbell-Fraser said.

The West Australian

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