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NLS reneges on Unity to form new SRC Executive Deal

Peter Walsh and Dominic Ellis finish as they started: gossiping about student politics.


A new deal will see a broad left contingent composed of Grassroots, National Labor Students (NLS), and Socialist Alternative (SAlt) take the majority of positions within the SRC at this week’s Reps Elect. This deal works to block a prior deal, brokered between the Labor factions and the Liberals, which would have seen the Liberals returned to the SRC Executive for the first time since 2011.

The deal, which sees the smaller NLS break from big sibling Unity, reportedly stems from a desire to maintain what Grassroots’ Liam Carrigan described as “probably the most left-wing and progressive SRC in Australia”. While nobody from NLS would speak on the record, Grassroots co-negotiator Tahlia Chloe says she is “excited to see Labor Left and Grassroots collaborating… We need to see a more principled stance within the SRC and the student movement that favours left-wing progressive ideologies”. Councilor-elect, Lachlan Ward, who has split from SLS to join the new deal, said it was “because [SLS] became obsessed with positions rather than what’s best for students”.

There are further rumours that NLS’s departure was prompted by caveats in the original deal, which would have promised next year’s USU presidency to Unity and the following SRC Presidency to SLS. However, a number of sources within NLS denied that any such agreement was ever in place. Similarly, Unity’s Alisha Aitken-Radburn vehemently denied such claims, saying “it is my priority that there’s no association between Reps Elect and Union Board or SRC next year”.

Most significantly, the deal will see Unity lose half of General Secretary, which will now be split between Grassroots and NLS, with Education and Vice Presidency also held by Grassroots. SAlt, interestingly, will not receive any part of the coveted Education Portfolio. However, the positions they will receive represent a large step-up from the sweet nothing they expected under Unity’s deal. The full details of the deal as reported to Honi can be seen at the bottom of the story. However, Aitken-Radburn said she was “quietly confident” that Unity could salvage something by Reps Elect, saying “no mercy for stooges”, as her faction likely angles for what would be the fourth allegedly-binding signed deal for the SRC next year. At time of publishing, Liam Carrigan confirmed that “Unity and SLS are refusing to negotiate with the broad left and are pressuring NLS to honour the Liberal deal for the sake of party unity”.

It is yet to be determined how this will affect Unity and NLS’s working relationship at NUS, with Unity’s Robby Magyar still rumoured to be pursuing the position of NUS General Secretary. One source suggested the ruckus at USyd would “disastrously affect” Magyar’s chances at NUS Gen Sec, suggesting “he might even be lucky to get welfare at this point”. However, Aitken-Radburn said: “[Unity] like to keep our elections pretty delineated, except for when the party we most closely work with for NUS—read: NLS—decide to rat on their main partner. I suppose, nationally, it has implications more for NLS than it has for Robby.”

Reps Elect is scheduled for Thursday, 5th November, at 6pm in the Professorial Board Room, Main Quadrangle.


The New Deal


½ General Secretary


Vice President

2 x General Executive

1 x Sexual Harassment Officer

1 x International Student Officer

1 x Student Housing Officer

3 x Director of Student Publications

1 x Standing Legal Committee


½ General Secretary

1 x General Executive

1 x Welfare Officer

1 x International Students Officer

1 x Social Justice Officer

1 x Global Solidarity Officer

2 x Mature Age Officer

1 x Student Housing Officer

2 x Standing Legal Committee


1 x Welfare

1 x Social Justice

1 x Global Solidarity

The rest of the positions are to be divided between the remaining Labor Factions, the Liberals, and any independents, etc.