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Issue #1596      June 5, 2013

Active and United for a Socialist Australia

Statement on the leadership change

The Central Committee Executive of the Communist Party of Australia (CPA) today announced that it has accepted a request by Comrade Hannah Middleton to be relieved of her responsibilities as General Secretary of the CPA. Comrade Hannah will remain active on the Party’s Central Committee and other leading Party organisations.

Comrade Hannah Middleton is the first female General Secretary of the CPA and has made a long and distinguished contribution to the advancement and consolidation of the Party during her period as General Secretary from 2009.

The Central Committee Executive today announced the appointment of Comrade Bob Briton as Acting General Secretary to lead the Party until the Central Committee meets in August.

The Party and the working class face great challenges as a likely conservative rightwing government takes power in Australia. The working class will face savage attacks on wages, conditions, rights and social standards. The development of the Party’s future leadership in the lead-up to these struggles is seen as a necessary and a practical step to ensure the Party operates effectively and can play its role as a revolutionary party.

Comrade Briton joined the Socialist Party of Australia in 1984. At that time he was active in the Australian Capital Territory in struggles for low-cost housing, against unfair dismissals and in solidarity with the peoples of Latin America. He was the youngest person to receive the service award from his union (the ACOA which merged into the CPSU) for his leadership of the campaign to remove asbestos from the National Library where he worked.

Since moving to South Australia he has remained active around the issue of political prisoners in Colombia, solidarity with Venezuela and Vietnam and is treasurer of the South Australian May Day Collective. He has served for many years on the South Australian State Committee of the CPA and became its secretary in 2001.

He became a journalist on the Party’s weekly newspaper, The Guardian, at that time. He is a member of the MEAA. He was elected to the Central Committee in 2005 and has served on its Peace Sub-Committee. He is currently secretary of the CC’s International Department. He has represented the Party at several international forums. He is highly regarded in the labour movement in South Australia.

Comrade Andrew Irving has been appointed the Party’s Acting Assistant General Secretary.

They both join the leadership team of Comrade Vinnie Molina as National Party President and Comrade David Matters as Party Vice President.

These changes are occurring at a very important time for the Communist Party. This is our Congress year and comrades are currently studying the Congress documents and preparing amendments and contributions on the many areas of activity the Party has been involved in over the last four years.

The focus of this year’s Congress will be the strengthening and building of Party activity in the community particularly the working class, making all of our Party organisations centres of political activity.

Communist Party of Australia
Central Committee Executive
Sydney 1-2 June 2013

Next article – Dos Rooney 1939 – 2013

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