The Guardian July 2, 2003

MUA elections

The results of the Maritime Union of Australia elections were declared 
last week after a two-month-long election period. There was a vigorous 
contest with 51 candidates standing for 21 positions.

National Secretary Paddy Crumlin who was re-elected unopposed said through 
the union's website that "MUA elections have historically been robust, we 
have one of the highest voter turnouts in the country (65 per cent this 
ballot), reflecting a strong and active involvement of members in the union 
and all its affairs".

All members of the MUA national leadership were re-elected. In several of 
the Branch ballots new officials were elected.

In Melbourne only one former official remains and in Western Australia, 
incumbent Branch Secretary, Wally Pritchard was defeated by Chris Cain. 
Cain ran on a "rank and file" ticket whose campaign website was adorned 
with excessive degrees of vilification and slander against incumbent 

All current officials were returned in Brisbane as they were in South 

For the Sydney (Central NSW Branch) Warren Smith, who stood for a vacant 
position, topped the poll for the position of Assistant Branch Secretary 
with approximately 46 per cent of the vote in a seven-candidate field.

Paul Garrett, (the son of retiring Sydney Deputy Secretary John Garrett), 
was also elected as an Assistant Secretary. Robert Coombs, was re-elected 
Branch Secretary. However, two retiring Branch officials were defeated. A 
former wharfie official Glen Wood was elected as Deputy Secretary.

In all, six incumbent officials were defeated and 18 current Branch 
officials were re-elected.

The Guardian asked Warren Smith what he thought was the message from 
the election. "The message I received from the jobs was that members want 
to see their officials on the job more often. I heard this from every area 
I campaigned in. The members also responded to strong fighting policies and 
generally rejected campaigns based upon denigrating or criticising other 

"MUA members love their union and are prepared for the challenges that will 
surely face them during the next four-year term of office. The unity 
between the officials and the members will be of utmost importance if we 
are to win the many battles that lie ahead."

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