Labor crossbencher David O'Byrne will not rejoin the party caucus if he should be re-elected next election if Labor leader Rebecca White has her way.
Following confirmation from Mr O'Byrne on Monday that he would seek pre-selection as a Labor candidate in the next state election, Ms White said she remained firm on her previously stated position that he would not be invited back into the parliamentary Labor Party while she was leader.
Mr O'Byrne was kicked out of the inner circle in 2021 following an investigation into a sexual harassment allegation made by a party member against him while he was head of the Liquor, Hospitality and Miscellaneous Union.
While an independent investigation found he had not breached any party rules, it was found he had acted inappropriately towards a junior female staffer.
Mr O'Byrne told ABC Radio on Monday morning that he would seek pre-selection to run for Labor at the next election.
He said this would rely on approval from a team formed by the party's national executive.
Mr O'Byrne said he was open to sitting down with Ms White to discuss how they could best work together.
"There is much more that we agree on than disagree on," he said.
"If it doesn't [happen], well I'm not leaving the Labor movement and it will play out as it plays out."
Ms White said her position on Mr O'Byrne's place in parliament had not changed.
She said she did not want to discuss the party's pre-selection process, other than to say she was focused on taking the best team forward at the next election.
"I'm confident that we will have 35 candidates who are endorsed and pre-selected as Labor candidates that can help us win government," Ms White said.
Government minister Nic Street said Mr O'Byrne's pre-selection would essentially be a vote on Ms White's leadership.
"She's made it clear what she thinks about David O'Byrne's position in the parliament," he said.
"If David O'Byrne is pre-selected by the national executive of the Labor Party, then her leadership is effectively over."
The Health and Community Services Union is the state's largest union in terms of membership.
The union's industrial manager Robbie Moore said he had found Mr O'Byrne to be an effective member of parliament.
"David O'Byrne is supported broadly by most people that I talk to," he said.
"I would like to see him be a Labor-endorsed candidate at the next state election ... and I think there's broad support for David O'Byrne amongst ALP members.
"It would be great to see Rebecca and all of David's colleagues welcome him back into the team to put their past differences behind them and to move forward."
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