There are a wide variety of Policy Positions I hold, of many sizes and scale. I value them all but accept that some are perhaps more long term goals, so the conversation about them will start now. I also have some shorter term positions I think are more achievable.
I think it’s important to understand sometimes to get real change, we’ll need to have some uncomfortable conversations.
Direct Ballot Referendums
Also known as Direct Ballot Initiatives, I believe it to be one of the most achievable legislative goals, and the biggest first step in taking back some control in our Democracy.
A Direct Ballot Referendum would add an Issue of Importance, as determined by Parliamentary Petition, to our Electoral Ballots for Voters to Express their Will. The DBR will be independent of who you vote for, such as with a stand-alone Referendum. Whomever forms Government will be Bound to Enforce the People’s Will, even if they politically oppose it.
An example would be Former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s Parliamentary Petition for a Royal Commission, which resulted in only a Senate Inquiry. A DBR would add the choice for a Royal Commission to the next Federal Electoral Ballot, for the Australian Voters to decide.
Key Points: Issues of Importance added to Ballot for Voters to Decide.
Social Welfare Reforms
I: Centrelink Reforms towards Universal Basic Income
With the growth of the Gig Economy, insecure work, and the increasing casualisation of the workforce, coupled with ever growing automation of industries, millions of Australians face an uncertain financial future. Adding to that is the Coronavirus Pandemic, whereby lockdowns prevent many from working and earning.
Centrelink is a woefully inadequate social safety net, that requires major reforms. Payment Rates need to be lifted above the poverty line, and Mutual Obligations needs to be removed. The Disability Support Pension needs to be overhauled to remove the “Fully Diagnosed, Treated, and Stabilised” requirement, which demonstrates that legislators don’t understand how disability works, and replace the 20 Point System requirement with proper medical reviews/evidence.
All of which are steps towards a Universal Basic Income. A non-means tested income payment for all Australians aged 18 and over, to cover the basic necessities of life, and End Poverty in Australia Forever. Not only is it socially beneficial, it builds a strong consumer base for Australian businesses, ensuring stable cashflow throughout the economy. With a supplemented income, many Australians can choose to work less and spend more time with their families and friends, without a loss in quality of life. I believe this will lead to more job vacancies, higher wages, and better work/life balances for workers.
Long term, a UBI will become necessary for a functional economy as automation replaces workers.
Key Points: Centrelink Reforms. Raise the Rate. Remove Mutual Obligations. Overhaul the DSP. UBI. End Poverty Forever.
II: Expand Medicare into a National Healthcare Service (NHS)
The introduction of Medicare in 1984 by the Hawke Labor Government was a great first step in ensuring the health of Australians. However Medicare has limits in coverage, and rather than be expanded to cover the gaps, successive LNP Governments have repeated tried to chip away at it, in an attempt to privatise Healthcare in Australia. Medicare needs to be expanded into universal National Healthcare Service, that covers everything including Mental, Dental, and Specialist Care. And expansion of regional and rural services.
This National Healthcare Service would be publicly funded, and free at the point of service for those seeking care. The NHS would be independently audited to determine operational costs (including staffing, administration, maintenance, equipment and facility upgrades, consumables pricing, etc.) with discretionary spending to allow for unforeseeable events. This would form the baseline for a minimum funding amount, that no Government can cut or spend less than. This would ensure a fully function healthcare system that leaves no Australian behind, and forces nobody to choose between their finances and their health.
Key Points: Mental and Dental Coverage in Medicare. Create National Healthcare Service.
III: Universal Public Education
Australia deserves a world class Public Education System, that provides a solid foundation for our children in Primary and Secondary education, and ensures that no Australian be left behind without access to Tertiary, Further Education and Retraining opportunities. Our Public Education System needs to be expanded and infrastructure upgraded to close the divide between Public and Private, and City and Country. To put an end to the systemic disadvantage that exists between the Haves and the Have-Nots, and ensure Equality of Opportunity for all.
Our Education System should focus on the best outcomes for students, both academically and for personal growth and welfare. We should encourage a Love of Learning, and put in place systems to continually provide access to knowledge, and Institutions of Education. An educated and well informed public is vital for the survival of our Democracy.
Key Points: Public Education for All. Equal Opportunity in Education. Never Stop Learning.
IV: Universal Social Housing
As a part of Ending Poverty Forever, I want to End Homelessness in Australia. Housing should be considered a Human Right, however our legislation and regulation favours residential housing more as an investment. Housing affordability is in crisis, with many of us priced out of the market altogether. And the rising cost of Rent makes saving for a deposit virtually impossible. The Australian Dream has become a fantasy.
I want to expand Public Housing into Universal Social Housing, to ensure that everyone in Australia has a roof over their heads. To legislate a higher standard quality of housing, with modernised heating, cooling, insulation, and appliances. To introduce rent control measures to ensure greater access and affordability to housing. To expand availability by authorising and building new higher density residential structures, whilst maintaining suitable living spaces for larger families, and communal parklands and green spaces.
Private Home ownership will still be possible with Social Housing, and long term will become more affordable as Investment Housing will become far less profitable.
Key Points: End Homelessness in Australia. Raise Housing Standards. Rent Control.
Legalise, Regulate, and Tax Recreational Cannabis
The War on Drugs has been an objective failure. It is a waste of time and policing resources, that could be better used against violent and more socially harmful behaviours. I want to decriminalise all drugs, and treat substance abuse as a Health issue and not a criminal one. Recreational Cannabis should be legalised, regulated, and taxed along the same ways Alcohol and Tobacco are now. Not only could Recreational Cannabis help Australians endure Covid-19 lockdowns, it opens up all manner of business opportunities for related goods and services. Cannabis Tourism can become a viable economic lifeline for many Australian Towns and Cities.
With legalisation, all non-violent drug offenders would be released from incarceration, and all previous non-violent drug offences would be dropped and expunged from records. Rehabilitation services would be expanded for those with substance abuse issues, with a focus on harm minimisation towards the individual and community.
Key Points: Build Cannabis Industries. Decriminalise Drugs, Treat Substance Abuse as a Health Issue.
I: Taking Bigger Action and Setting Greater Goals
Climate Change is perhaps the greatest threat to Human Civilisation, as it is, and needs to be acted on as such. There is no single solution, so there’s many policies to adopt. There are many opportunities for us to benefit from saving our collective future.
We should set the goal as a Nation to achieve Net Zero by 2030, and build a powerful Negative Carbon Economy by 2050. With how Carbon Dioxide interacts with and rises in the atmosphere, even if the whole world went Carbon Neutral tomorrow, the effects of Climate Change would continue to worsen for decades to come.
It’s not enough to go Net Zero, we have to start fixing the damage that’s already been done, we need to go Carbon Negative.
We also need to Strengthen Environmental Protections & Enforcements, and put an end to Commercial Old Growth Deforestation. Also expand conservation efforts for, and invest in new, Ecological Preservation of the Australian Landscape, Islands, and Waterways.
The Government has the responsibility to build and subsidise National Recycling Infrastructure, to fulfil the Need where otherwise commercially unprofitable.
Key Points: Climate Action Now. Net Zero by 2030. National Recycling Infrastructure.
II: National Solar Renewables Electricity Grid
Australia is in a unique position globally, we have the Solar potential that other nation’s would dream of, and the geographic space to build vast infrastructure. We have the potential to be the Saudi Arabia of Solar Electricity, we could become an Economic Powerhouse. A Global Capital of Clean, Renewable Electricity, and Green Economic Exports.
We need to build a National Solar Renewables Electricity Grid, to be a legislated publicly owned asset forever. We need to phase out Fossil Fuels from our economy, end the subsidies for dying industries, and ensure training and transitional opportunities for the displaced Workforce.
Along with this will be the Electrification of Government, Industry & Commerce. Electric Vehicles are the future of Transportation, and the Government should lead the way in making the Transition.
With a large enough Electricity Grid, we could export electricity through undersea cables to Indonesia, island hopping up to Asia, and gradually spread across to Europe, Africa, and the Americas. And help bring about a faster Global Decarbonisation, and ensure Peace through Mutual Prosperity.
Key Points: Build Solar Renewable Grid. Electrify our Infrastructure. Export Green Power.
Ending Corruption in Government
I: Federal ICAC
Australia needs a Federal Independent Commission Against Corruption, one with teeth and retroactive investigative authority. At no time in our Nation’s History should we ever just accept that corruption happened, and let it go. No Immunity for any current or former Members of Parliament.
Along with an ICAC – Parliament House needs a written formal Code of Conduct, to adhere to modern societal norms. With Sexual Harassment and Assault being common attributes of Liberal Party Government, regulation of Parliamentarian behaviour has become essential.
Key Points: Federal ICAC with retrospective authority.
II: Getting Money Out of Politics
Big Money Donations from Corporate and Industry interests have some of the most corrupting influence over the Politics of Modern Australia. The major parties will drop important policies to avoid risking losing their donor money, and even give the appearance of “pay for play” by awarding their donors with lucrative Government Contracts, often skipping the bidding process. Many former MPs even secure jobs within Industries they were previously meant to regulate.
I personally will refuse to accept donations from Corporations and Industry Lobbyists. And along with legislating a Federal ICAC, will work to Ban Corporate Donations and ensure public funding for Elections, and End the Revolving Door of Corruption by Banning MPs from Employment in the Private Sectors they regulated. Parliamentary work should be seen as a public service, not a career stepping stone.
Key Points: Ban Corporate and Industry Donations. End Revolving Door Politics.
Tax the Rich
The Australian Taxation System is far too reliant on Personal Income Tax, not only does this put a huge tax burden on the Australian Public as a workforce, it allows the wealthiest individuals and corporations to exploit loopholes to avoid paying tax altogether. Not only do they avoid paying any tax, some even claim refunds for losses despite making profits. As we’ve seen with the Jobkeeper Rorts, they will claim benefits not meant for them to the tunes of millions of dollars, and the Government will allow then to keep their ill-gotten gains with no clawback methods even attempted. Yet when Centrelink overpays the neediest amongst us, the Government will harass us to get it back, to the point of driving people to suicide.
We have one set of rules for the rich, and another set of rules for the poor. This needs to change.
We need to overhaul our Tax System, add new Ultra-Wealth Tax Brackets, close the loopholes and workarounds, and fund the Australian Taxation Office to Audit and Investigate Tax Evasion and Fraud from the biggest offenders in the country. To ensure everyone pays their fair share.
Key Points: Make the Rich Pay Their Fair Share. Equity between Rich and Poor.
Reconciliation & Republic
I believe that a true reconciliation with our Indigenous Australians is not only vital for the survival of the First Nation’s people and cultures, I see it as a crucial step on the road to Australia becoming an Independent Republic. Declaring Independence from the Commonwealth will be the ultimate form of Self Determination for Australia, to stand on our own we must first know who we are, and what we stand for. We are a multicultural society and yet our native cultures have been often overlooked at best, or perhaps even actively exterminated at worse.
My vision for reconciliation would involve integrating more traditional culture into mainstream Australian culture. I realise I can’t determine what reconciliation means for Indigenous Australians, so the conversation needs to include them, and value their perspectives.
Key Points: Reconcile our past and build an inclusive future.
Bill of Rights
Australia has no legislated Bill of Rights, we have Common Law protections. In the US the Government cannot restrict the people’s Freedom of Speech. In Australia our Politicians can and do sue their critics for defamation if they say something mean on Social Media. Our Politicians can sue the ABC, our public broadcaster, to stop them from reporting alleged crimes. Our Politicians have legislated to allow Police to access our devices and social media accounts, take control of them, then change, delete, and even add to them. Our Police could potentially frame us for crimes, and it would be legal.
A Bill of Rights that defines and protects our innate Human Rights is fundamentally important to the future of Australian Democracy. Free Speech that can’t be suppressed by litigious MPs. Privacy that Police can’t ignore on a whim. Ownership of Personal Data that Corporations can’t harvest, buy, and sell. Rights to Healthcare, Housing, Education, and Quality of Life. It’s time for Australia to have our Human Rights legislated and protected by Law.
Key Points: Federally Legislated Bill of Rights.
While this is the main policy platform I intend to run on, I won’t limit myself to these and will continue to expand my issues of importance. I will take a reasoned approach to all matters, with my focus being on the best possible outcomes for all.
For the First Australians before us, and the Next Australians after.