Attwood denied membership to Ipswich ALP left faction
CR VICTOR Attwood has been denied membership to the left faction branch of the Labor Party in Ipswich but is yet to be given a reason why.
The Deputy Mayor had his $50 application fee returned to his council office recently by the mother of Danny Donohue.
Mr Donohue is the Ipswich ALP's left faction branch secretary and will be Cr Attwood's opponent in the Division 3 council elections in 2016.
Mr Donohue has denied any involvement in the rejection of Cr Attwood's application, which he filled out when he sat in with the left caucus at the ALP's regional conference.
"I went to the regional conference and filled out an application form and paid them $50," Cr Attwood said.
"I had previously been a member of the left for six or seven years.
"Probably about 10 years ago the left in Ipswich got disbanded and people were told to go to Brisbane if they wanted to be members of the left, but a lot of people didn't.
"I wasn't aware that the left had been re-established in Ipswich and when I found out I applied to rejoin.
"My application has been rejected but I haven't been told why. I haven't even been told officially.
"All I know is that Danny Donohue's mother returned the $50 to my office about a week ago and demanded a receipt for it."
Mr Attwood was out at the time when the money was returned and an office worker accepted it.
"All I know is that she said 'Here is Victor's money back from his application to join the left'," Cr Attwood said.
Cr Attwood said ALP state secretary Evan Moorhead did ring him about his application.
"He rang me the night they were deciding whether I should be a member or not and asked me if I knew any good reason why I shouldn't be admitted as a member and I said 'no'," he said.
"He said there was a bit of controversy about it."
Mr Donohue said the Ipswich branch of the left faction did not refuse Mr Attwood's application.
"That is not a decision we make at the Ipswich level so you would have to speak to someone in the executive," he said.
"I personally haven't denied him entry….but I am not in a position to discuss it.
"Those decisions are made by the executive, not by the regional branch."
Mr Moorhead was not available for comment yesterday.
The QT asked Mr Donohue whether it was correct that his mother handed Cr Attwood's $50 back at his Redbank Plains council office.
"That is true," Mr Donohue said.
Mr Donohue said in a story on page seven of today's QT that the left faction was inclusive.
"If it is inclusive, it doesn't include me," Cr Atwood said.
Cr Attwood said he expected to have been given an opportunity to argue his case when his application was considered.
He said that he "always felt that being a member of the left wing of the Labor Party most closely fitted in with my personal philosophy".
"I have always believed in the philosophies and ideals of the Labor Party and I have always advocated for a society where everyone is given a fair go and treated equally... and whether you are born with a silver spoon in your mouth or not shouldn't dictate your opportunities in life," he said.
Cr Attwood added that he was surprised Mr Donohue was running against him again.
"On Anzac Day up at Redbank Plains I was talking to Danny Donohue and he said that running against me wasn't the smartest thing he ever did in his life," Cr Attwood said.
"Then he told me he wasn't going to run against me this time and that he wanted to work with me so that when I decided I wanted to retire I would assist him with his campaign.
"He told me that a while later, but then he changed his mind again. He told me he was getting a bit of grief in the Labor Party over it.
"When he said that he was quitting he was all choked up with emotion. He told me he didn't want to waste another $15,000 for 20% of the vote."
Mr Donohue denied telling Cr Attwood he wouldn't run.
"That is not totally true," Mr Donohue said.
"I said I was considering not running.
"I am not convinced that he is running…so I am campaigning. I will be running in Division 3."
Cr Attwood, a veteran of 15 years in the job, confirmed to the QT that he would be running again.