Readers will have noticed a new byline in Crikey this week: Josh Taylor has now joined us in the bunker as a general reporter.

Josh comes to us from ZDNet, where he cut his teeth on technology reporting. He’ll be expanding his remit at Crikey to include federal and state politics, investigative projects (he’s a gun with freedom-of-information requests) and general news and scuttlebutt.

As part of his hazing ritual, we’ve sent him down to Jeff’s Shed today to cover the ALP national conference. He (and the rest of the Crikey team) will be live-blogging the event all weekend.

There’s sure to be plenty of biffo down by the Yarra as Labor’s left and right factions thrash it out and the party sets its agenda for the next federal election campaign.

Key issues will be emissions trading (repeat after Bill: “not a tax!”), secret trade deals, and whether or not MPs should be afforded a conscience vote on same-sex marriage.

But as Josh writes in his conference preview today, the real fight will come when the party debates the wisdom — and morality — of turning around boats and handing asylum seekers back to their persecutors. Bill Shorten thinks me-too asylum seeker policy is a great idea; the left of his party vehemently disagrees.

You can keep up to date with the debate at Crikey’s live blog.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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