“No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.”
Martin Luther King
Action on Climate Change and the Environment
The New Liberals believe that we are in a climate emergency, and the World must reach net zero emissions by 2030. To delay any further will risk the very existence of our planet. We recognise that achieving this goal will cause difficulties in many areas. But we believe the nation is willing to endure those difficulties for the sake of our children and grandchildren.
In achieving our goal of net zero emissions by 2030, Australia will lead the world, as we need to do, after being the worst offenders on climate action for so many years. We strongly disagree with those who say Australia should do nothing to combat climate change on the basis that we are only a small nation and our contribution cannot therefore make any difference. In answer to that we say:
- If every country in the world took that approach, the planet would surely be doomed.
- We are not a small country. Finland and Norway, which have similar goals, have about 5.5 million of population. We are going on for 26 million. We are a medium size power with, in any event, economic resources and potentialities well beyond our population size. What we do has significant impact.
- When Australia was called upon to fight Hitler, we did not say that we were a small country and our contribution couldn’t make any difference, so we weren’t going to help. We proudly went to war and did our part.
- If we lead, others will follow, and we will have the satisfaction of knowing we were the driving force in saving the planet.
The defence of the planet is the greatest war we will ever fight, and we will not only provide the foot soldiers. We will also provide the generals.
In government The New Liberals will establish a war cabinet, consisting of the Prime Minister, the Minister for Climate Change, the leader of the opposition, the State Premiers, and representatives from unions and key industry sectors.
We know that our task is daunting. But so is fighting any war. We know that things will go wrong, emerging technologies may disappoint, predictions may fail us. But Churchill didn’t say “I hope we won’t have to surrender”. He said “We will never surrender”. And when things didn’t go to plan the Allies changed their plans. They kept fighting because they knew they could not afford to lose. Nor can we afford to lose. And we will not.
Coal workers and others who find themselves unemployed as a result of our policy, will be employed at a living wage on the government payroll for a year whilst they retrain. This will avoid distress for up to 37,000 workers, will defeat normally intractable structural unemployment problems, and will stimulate the economy.
Full Climate Change Policy is available here.
Beyond this, our environmental policies are summarised below.
- Cancel Adani contract
- Federal acquisition of national parks to prevent future logging and hunting
- Protection and preservation of native species
- Trees on farms
- Ethical farming practices
- Ban live export of animals
- Water management (see separate section)
- Traffic reduction (see Affordable Housing and Traffic)
Solar on Schools: The government should lead the way in transitioning to renewable energy. This is why our policy is to place a solar system on every school roof and every early education centre in Australia. Our preference would be to have this completed within five years, in line with our goal to achieve net zero emissions by 2030.
Action on Corruption – a Federal ICAC with Consequences
As one of its first priorities, The New Liberals will establish a retrospective Federal ICAC with teeth. It will have power to investigate and prosecute politicians, judges and bureaucrats who are corrupt or who act in dereliction of their duty.
For details of how our ICAC would work, click here.
Action on Unemployment – A Job Guarantee Scheme
We will return this country to full employment, will eradicate underemployment, and will make the homeless working poor a thing of the past. We will do this utilising our Job Guarantee Scheme and the economic tools at our disposal (See Economic Policy). For the complete Full Employment and Job Guarantee Policy click here.
Read the full policy here.
Anti-Ageism and Wisdom Retention
Evidence from the recent Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety has revealed bullying, callousness and cruelty. This must end.
The New Liberals will ensure that treatment of our aged citizens – in or outside of care, in terms of employment, of social welfare and housing, of aged pension/superannuation provisions, and of medical health – will be the best in the world.
We also propose the establishment of a Council of Elders, a body of living national treasures that will help guide government policy. They would not be ‘captains of industry’ or former politicians, but storytellers, writers, nurses, teachers, doctors, engineers, and in fact anyone with valuable life experience who cared to pass their wisdom on to the next generation.
- Grow cultural tourism
- Stimulate the economy through the arts
- Restore dignity of the ABC and Australia Council
- Ensure vibrant creative community
- Entertain and define a nation
Where artists go, money follows. The arts not only hold the mirror up to society: art and culture makes a place exciting and makes people want to go there. And it makes the people living there want to go outside rather than sit at home. This results in a stimulation of the local economy. Cultural tourism is the prime motivation for travel worldwide, and continues to grow. We will grow it here.
We will restore the dignity of the ABC and the Australia Council for the Arts, helping to maintain a vibrant creative community, as well as supporting the creation of great local content and export quality programming. We will reverse the flow of Aussie talent overseas by fostering a home-grown industry in which it is actually possible for artists to thrive and create great art that not only entertains us, but sparks our economy and helps define the nation.
Asylum Seekers, Refugees and other Immigrants
- End mandatory detention
- Bring Manus and Nauru refugees to Australia
- Keep navy in place whilst we work with northern neighbours to stop boats
- Refugee farmers to help revive dying country towns
- Establish Truth and Reconciliation Commission
Non refugee immigration which is resource appropriate and beneficial to Australia
First, we will remember that refugees are not criminals. They do not deserve to be locked away in camps, behind barbed wire, handcuffed and herded like animals. When we are in government mandatory detention will no longer be the law. We will legislate it into the dustbin of history where it will decompose next to the law that made Auschwitz perfectly legal too. We will dispense with the cruel fiction that these people must suffer so people smugglers are deterred. We will remind the Australian people that the navy is out in the Indian Ocean. The navy does the deterring. The refugees in their squalor suffer only so politicians have someone to make the people fear.
The very first thing we will do when in government is bring the offshore detainees to their new home here in Australia. The navy can stay where it is for the time being, for we will not be responsible for people dying at sea. But we will work with our northern neighbours to make sure those fleeing persecution, if at all possible, do so by air. We will instruct our embassies around the world not to deny visas to those whose lives are at risk.
In the process we will forge real friendships with Indonesia, and the other countries of the region, because for once we will be listening to them. And this will not only surprise them, but incline them to listen to us when we want to talk about trade and a common defence policy.
Then, finally, we will establish a Truth and Reconciliation Commission, to heal the wounds that the asylum seekers have endured at the hands of their new persecutors, here in Australia.
The American Century was built by the willing hands of those fleeing persecution. The Australian Century will be built the same way. There is no one keener to work hard and build a good life for themselves and their new nation, than those who have nearly had their lives taken away.
We reject the notion that more people will clog the cities. Even now farmers from some of the world’s poorest nations are revitalising country towns by bringing skills and population back to them. This is being arranged, with no government help, by caring individuals, here and there. We will legislate real incentives to make it work on a large scale, to the benefit of the country towns, the refugees and the economy.
Those who are forced to leave their homelands will find in Australia, if they care to trust us, a nation which will welcome them into the cog of our economy called ‘hard work’. And they will give us more than we can ever hope to give them.
For those who wish to come to Australia, but who are not refugees, we will adopt a policy based on what is in the best interests of Australia and Australians. Policy will be determined from time to time on what skills are really required and/or what resources the given immigrant can bring to the benefit of the nation. The number of immigrants will also vary from time to time depending on what is ‘appropriate’ given the resources the country has, the resources the immigrant can bring, the possibility of the immigrant taking up residence outside the major cities, the current investment levels, both private and public and on what the environment can sustain. We totally eschew the fruitless argument of Big Australia v Small Australia. These are meaningless terms which are only ever divisive, and take no account of the myriad possibilities a country, its societies and its economic policies will require from time to time in the future. Only a policy based on what is sensible and what is appropriate will suffice.
We are well aware that First Nations people feel that to celebrate Australia Day on 26th January, the day of British invasion, is offensive, and something that keeps open long standing wounds. Australia became a nation on the 1st of January, 1901. The New Liberals will move Australia Day to January 1, the day on which it should always have been celebrated. The New Year’s Day public holiday will be replaced with Reconciliation Day to be celebrated on the first Monday after or on May 27, the anniversary of the 1967 referendum. (Note that Reconciliation Day is already a public holiday in the ACT, established 2018, and marks the start of National Reconciliation Week.)
Bill of Rights
The New Liberals view the protection of human rights to be fundamental to the preservation of a functioning, advanced democracy. To that end, The New Liberals are committed to a Charter of Human Rights and to entrench such protections in our Constitution. See full Charter here
Child Protection Policy
- Indigenous recognition in the Constitution
- A Republic
- The entrenching of a Bill of Rights into the Constitution
- Lower the voting age to 16
CSIRO and University Interactions With Industry
For too long governments have seen science and education as cost centres rather than centres of innovation which, if properly managed and funded, can help enrich the nation socially, intellectually and economically. We intend to make sure the latter approach is adopted. See full policy here.
Digital Justice Strategy
Read the full policy here.
Every Australian stands a chance of acquiring a disability or having a loved one, family member and/or close friend acquire a disability that constrains their ability to participate as dignified citizens with agency in the community, thereby subjecting them to a significantly increased risk of abuse, poor health, stress, unemployment, underemployment and discrimination.
- The facts are that:
- 47% adults with a disability have experienced violence after the age of 15 – compared with 36% without disability
- 24% of adults with disability experience very good or excellent health, compared with 65% without disability.
- 32% of adults with disability experience high or very high psychological distress, compared with 8% without disability
- 48% of people with disability are employed compared to 80% of people without disability
- 41% of employed working age people with disability work part time compared with 32% of those without disability
- 54% of employed working-age females with disability work part-time, compared with 28% of their male counterparts
- The Australian Human Rights Commission receives more complaints (44%) about disability discrimination than about sex (26%), racial (16%) and age discrimination (7%).
Disability was in the past viewed as due to a work, sport or vehicle accident, a mistake made during the copying of a DNA sequence, a missing chromosome, an infection during pregnancy, reaction medication, a careless surgical intervention etc. The social response was medical, philanthropic and institutional segregation – a response which denied agency to persons with disability.
As a signatory to the United Nation’s Convention on the Rights of Persons Disabilities, Australia has recognised disability is the social failure to build a holistic network of political, architectural, transport, educational, commercial, communications and cultural institutions that sufficiently accommodates the full range of physical and intellectual differences in the population. The human right to agency thereby shifts the appropriate response to one of social design.
The Disability Discrimination Act (1992) and National Disability Insurance Scheme Act (2013) recognise the new “social model” approach in providing a basic framework at the Commonwealth level. And as the hearings at the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability show, the framework is necessary, but is insufficient. To close the gap between people with disabilities and the rest of the population, the structure needs to be complemented by strategy and funding as well as enabling co-design and giving voice to people with disability.
For the last decade, a National Disability Strategy has provided a policy framework for disability reform and inclusive policy and program design across Australia. This is currently under review.
The New Liberals will support the policies recommended in the submission by the Independent Advisory Council to the NDIS (IAC) to the Department of Social Security. https://engage.dss.gov.au/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/Final-Submission-National-Disability-Strategy-Position-Paper-Independent-Advisory-Council-October-2020.pdf
Priority areas for support of people with disability:
- Building Codes: We will convene a conference to work with the states to agree a national building code for all new developments and retrofitting existing buildings to ensure disability access.
- Employment: All persons unable to work will be paid support (see the Social Security Policy).
- Advisors: NDIS assessment advisors should be delivered by a public agency. Payments should be increased in line with the CPI. For those with life-long disability NDIS funding should be ongoing.
- Funding: Funding from NDIS should seek to provide services, aids and equipment to support those with a disability to full participate in society and maintain independence. The services required need to be tailored to life and employment goals in collaboration.
- Case Manager: Each person with a disability should have a consistent case contact at NDIA so that their concerns can be heard and resolved. NDIA personnel need to be increased in line with the recommendation by the Productivity Commission.
- Timeliness: Maximum time frames will be implemented to ensure services and adaptive technology are approved and delivered within 90 days. Sufficient staffing levels need to be maintained at the NDIA to handle all reviews promptly.
- Inclusion: We will ensure all NDIS and service providers are trained in how to deal with disabled people in a positive and respectful manner.
- Disability workers: Our voluntary Job Guarantee Scheme will support people ongoing who want to work in disability to access courses and training, including in-service training.
- Violence: People with disabilities experience a far higher rate of violence than the rest of the community. Children with disability are more likely to be abused. The Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with A Disability is currently sitting. We will work closely with the states to fully implement the decisions of this commission.
- Accountability: With the additional university research described in our education policy research will be funded into best practices to support those people with disabilities.
- Home carers: Those that care for the ill, disabled and elderly will be supported as a full-time carer with a good living wage through our voluntary Job Guarantee Scheme.
- Web Access: Governments of all levels need to build readily accessible websites. Many websites currently do not offer accessibility despite being a breach of the Disability Discrimination Act 1992.
Diana Ryall AM
Whilst The New Liberals is only a federal party, and laws to combat domestic violence are a matter for the States, we are very concerned to do what we can to limit, and hopefully one day eliminate, this scourge on our society. We will therefore set up a national taskforce to co-ordinate with the States and work towards a strong and effective national scheme, which will involve more stringent Federal AVO orders, increased spend on women’s shelters, and ensuring that the perpetrator cannot remain in the family home.
We believe that the neo-classical economic policy, embraced by the Liberal Party of Australia, the Australian Labor Party and the Greens, is a deception designed to move income up to the 1% most wealthy, to create unemployment, under employment and the working poor, and to destroy the power of the unions. It is a policy based on the ‘lie’ that a budget surplus should be the aim of all governments at all times. We believe, however, that budget surpluses simply take money out of the private sector, push down wages, deplete investment opportunities and generally depress the economy. We note that in the 1950s and 1960s, which were Australia’s most prosperous times, Robert Menzies ran a deficit 8 to 9 times higher than any modern deficit, and maintained full employment in the process. As a true ‘liberal’ party we will adopt this approach. We will use controlled and well managed deficit spending to invest in Australia, especially in renewable energies and other carbon reduction processes, and return the nation to full employment.
We believe in Modern Monetary Theory, which is really an updated form of that Keynesianism which got the world out of the Great Depression and which created prosperity, full employment (and more than enough wealth for the wealthy), around the western world in the post war period. Our policy is heavily influenced by a number of modern monetary theorists, and in particular by the work of William Mitchell and Thomas Fazi: Reclaiming the State (Pluto Press, London, 2017). We are also greatly assisted by the works of our Senior Policy Advisor Professor Steven Keen, and in particular The New Economics: A Manifesto (Polity Press, Cambridge, 2022) and Debunking Economics: The Naked Emperor Dethroned (Zed Books, London, 2011)
We also believe strongly that prosperity should not be measured exclusively by growth in GDP. We believe that measure ignores the well being of most of the citizens and pays little or no regard to the fragility of the planet. Rather we believe in steady state economics, which provides a basis for prosperity whilst eschewing the ‘throw away’ society, and which seeks to care for the planet and its people. Our policy is based heavily on the work of economist Kate Raworth and in particular her work Doughnut Economics: Seven Ways to Think Like a 21st-Century Economist (Random House, London, 2017). We note also that several members of this Party’s National Executive are signatories to the petition issued by The Center for the Advancement of the Steady State Economy. See our detailed Steady State Policy here.
Our Economic Policy goes hand in glove with our Climate Policy. We see a strong place for government in solving our climate crisis, and a strong place for government to do that via a progressive economic policy as outlined above.
- We will create the very best primary and secondary public school system in the world – Detailed Policy to follow.
- The consequent investment in buildings, teachers, training and ancillary staff will be a massive boost for the economy.
- We anticipate that as a result, over time, at least half of those attending private schools will move to the public school system, thus halving government expenditure on private schools without the need to remove current funding for any individual student.
- In the meantime, funding to private schools will be dependent on their providing one in ten of their places to disadvantaged children without charge, and to their making their grounds and playing fields open for public recreation and sporting activities, also without charge, when not in use.
- Government funding must not be used for any purpose other than for direct education activities or essential infrastructure repair, and must be spent in the year received. The funding must not be used to build new infrastructure, for extracurricular activities, or to make investments.
- We believe teachers are the engine room of our nation and are woefully underpaid. There will be significant increase in their salaries, not only to properly reward them, but to attract the large number of extra teachers we will need to staff our world class public education system.
- We will significantly expand pre-school placements and fund to a level which will allow both parents to work if they wish, and subsidise to a level where the costs will not eat up one wage, but rather will be a modest sum.
- Tertiary education, at least for undergraduate courses and first professional courses such as the MD or JG will be free for Australian citizens and permanent residents.
- However, that funding will be dependent on the Universities enforcing strict standards of academic achievement as a qualification for entrance.
- We will significantly increase funding to university research programs to the benefit of the nation, and so that universities do not need to be dependent on foreign students.
Voters of course may preference in the way they choose. Our recommended How to Vote cards, will show a first preference which will vary from seat to seat. What will remain constant, however, is that the LNP will always be preferenced last, as we did in our first outing at the Eden Monaro by election.
Electric Vehicle/Hydrogen Vehicle Policy
The world must move quickly to achieve a clean energy future and net zero emissions. Australia has a stated net zero emissions target by 2050 which is woefully behind targets being set elsewhere in the world. The New Liberals have set an ambitious net zero emissions target by 2030 in their Climate Change policy, of which transportation and Electric Vehicles play a crucial part. EVs produce no tailpipe emissions, have lower running costs than petrol and diesel vehicles, provide health and community benefits through lower air and noise pollution and have the potential to provide new economic opportunities. Our general transportation model is to reduce Australia’s car dependence, improve transportation hubs and travel friendly urban environments that enable mobility to reduce the impact on our environment.
Backing Australia’s switch to low emissions green vehicles, including incentives to drive uptake, develop local jobs and grow advanced manufacturing.
TNL’s policy is that by 2030 all new road vehicles registered in Australia will be EV.
- Establish CO2 emission performance standards and regulations for new passenger cars and for new light commercial vehicles that sets fleet/manufacturer-wide CO2 emission targets applying from 2022 with bench marks at 2025 and 2030 and includes a mechanism to incentivise the uptake of zero-emissions vehicles and penalize for failing to meet/exceeding emissions targets.
- The Federal government will convert its national motor vehicle fleet to EV vehicles leading other levels of government, providing an exemplar for the community, supporting the EV industry directly and indirectly (manufacturers, importers, charging infrastructure, power generation etc), driving down the price and as first adopters supply a pool of vehicles second hand EVs into the consumer market.
- Work with all levels of government to negotiate the use of EV buses in metropolitan areas. Currently Australia already has EV bus manufacturers, so this policy would expand this manufacturing and secondary manufacturing sectors, develop new technologies and stimulate R&D.
- Taking the lead on developing a national network of charging stations, ensuring equitable and economically viable placement to ensure transport networks are maintained.
- Working with industry to ensure that the rate of EV take up can be supported by and run in parallel with the roll out of renewable electricity network infrastructure that can support the additional energy requirements associated with EV charging.
- The Federal government to adopt a policy of buying ‘locally produced’ fleet vehicles or vehicles that includes local assembly and some componentry made in Australia.
- That purpose-built recycling facilities are established to recycle the 20.1 million registered motor vehicles (ABS 2021) as they are removed from circulation and replaced by EV. Government to support the development of recycling, manufacturing, circular EV manufacturing, metals trading, new manufacturing industries and associated business and employment opportunities.
- Work with State and Territory governments, appropriate training organisations and industry stakeholders to develop existing and new specific training qualifications for EV service technicians, as well as funding for apprenticeships and traineeships, to provide a workforce of technicians for EVs.
- Establish a national communications strategy to educate the population about the benefits of EV and inform them of any financial incentives.
- Be receptive to alternate renewable based vehicles including hydrogen, including providing incentives and grants to develop new technologies in this space.
- Establish an EV Manufacturing Task force whose mandate is to:
- review appropriate business models for the manufacturing hub – private, private/public partnerships
- evaluate suitable locations
- work with state and local authorities
- attract partners
- design, promote and oversee R&D and start-up grants.
- Work with industry to establish an EV manufacturing hub, in the northern suburbs of Adelaide to tap into the existing infrastructure and knowledge base. TNL would develop and implement a roadmap to establish a state-of-the-art manufacturing hub which would include research and development, vehicle manufacturing, spare parts and component manufacturing, design, advanced technological design and manufacturing, battery manufacturing, telematics, geospatial and AI technologies, supply chain and logistics.
- Develop a car sharing framework which incentivizes and facilitates co-ownership of vehicles.
- Develop a battery sharing framework for long-range commercial transportation.
- Develop the domestic EV battery supply chain: mining of lithium/nickel/cobalt, refining of metals, research and development of new technologies for the battery technologies (long range batteries and storage capacity a priority), manufacture, partnering with local and regional EV manufacturers. Supply chain opportunities to include the recycling of EV batteries.
- Work with the states and territories to introduce a uniformed series of stamp duty exemptions and ICE buy back schemes.
Primary Authors: K. Prior, C. Schmidt.
Input/Edits: S. Keen, M. Martucci, P. Schmidt, B. Steele.
Employment and Work Relations
- No driving down of worker entitlements
- Worker bonus scheme
- Aiming to increase productivity
- Incentives for corporations to join scheme
Being a true liberal party, we would never subscribe to the idea that industry can only prosper if workers are driven down in their entitlements. That is not only inhumane, it is bad economics, and just plain wrong – as wrong today as when the slave owners said cotton farming would die without slaves, and 19th century industrialists said industry would die if workers had to be paid minimum wage.
Our policy, as per the first point in our charter of Core Values, is that we base economic growth on incentives, and, as per the second point of our Charter of Core Values, we incentivise through adequate investment in research and development, technological advance and entrepreneurial endeavour.
Accordingly, we will introduce a worker bonus scheme, which we will encourage through tax benefits to those corporations who agree to take it up. So, for example, if a corporation makes $100 million pre-tax profit, at the moment it pays say, 30% tax and walks away with $70 million post tax profits for distribution to shareholders. We will offer double deductibility to corporations on any part of the pre-tax profit paid to non-executive employees by way of bonus (paid pro rata against their salaries). So, say the same corporation with the same pre-tax profit now pays $20 million bonus to employees (leaving it with $80 million pre-tax profits). They get double deductibility for that bonus payment or deductibility of $40 million for it. They are then taxed on only pre-tax profits of $60 Million, and so pay tax of $18 million. So, their post-tax profit for distribution to shareholders is $80 million – $18 million = $62 Million.
Now this means the shareholders get $8 million less this first financial year, but the incentive for the workers to increase the profits of the company would be huge and should more than compensate for the initial shortfall in years to come via much greater productivity and consequent profit.
Corporations would be free to take up the tax advantage or not, but we believe those that did would attract the best employees, with the result that others would follow.
Equality and Inclusion
We believe that every Australian, regardless of how they present, deserves access to quality full-life healthcare, educational opportunities, safe housing and care. The diversity of our Australian population is something we should cherish and build upon.
Diversity and equality of opportunity bring better outcomes in any society, a better sense of community and lower levels of violence. Our GINI index has moved towards a more unequal society with those who have wealth gaining more. In 2018 in Australia, the highest 10 per cent of households by wealth owned almost half (46 per cent) of all household wealth. This inequity continues to grow under the current government.
As we look at equality of opportunity we will have individual policies for each of the following:
Gender – building safety for women and a non-violent society for men
LGTBIQ – ensuring sexual orientation does not lead to discrimination
First Nations – ensuring the constitution recognises first nation and support ‘Closing the Gap’
Racial Heritage – building appreciation of the diversity of our multicultural Australians
Disability – providing the support required to those with disability to allow them to thrive
Our First Nations people have experienced many hardships since the arrival of Europeans. There were many executions, rapes of women and stolen children when their land was taken by force. Even as they fought in the First and Second World Wars for Australia they were not recognised on their return. First Nations people were not counted as part of the population until May 27th, 1967. In recognition of the genocide perpetrated against our First Nations people and righting these wrongs we propose the following:
- Uluru Statement: We will adopt the Uluru Statement from the Heart and initiate a voice to parliament. We are in discussion with various First Nations Groups as to how that should be best implemented in a practical sense for them.
- Treaties: We are currently in negotiations with the Tiwi People to agree on a treaty. This will be a precedent for other nations. We are aware that there are over 500 nations, each very different, both culturally and linguistically, and therefore justice demands that there be a separate treaty with each.
- Income management: The INDUE card which costs approximately $10,000 per person to manage does not support self-responsibility. Over 70% of the recipients of the INDUE card are First Nations people because it was rolled out in a way that targeted marginalised communities in which First Nations people often live. It is demeaning to those who receive it as it limits autonomy and free will and reduces the opportunity to purchase locally and requires additional approval to pay rent from the card. We will remove this system which has a major impact on self-esteem.
- Incarceration: First Nations people who represent 3% of Australians account for 29% of the prison population in 2020. There is significant indication that racism is one factor in this appalling statistic. We will work with First Nations Groups to find new interventions to ensure these statistics are reduced.
- Raise the Age: Putting children as young as 10 into incarceration rarely leads to positive outcomes. 65% of 10 to 14-year-olds in incarceration are First Nations children. They are often also children with disabilities who have not had adequate access to the NDIS and/or are living in out of home care. The average global age for incarceration is 14 years old. We will raise the age of criminal responsibility from 10 to 15 and build in conjunction with First Nations people specific programs to foster skills and resilience in young people.
- Deaths in Custody – Too many First Nations people die in custody, often with little investigation. Law reform must address alternatives to incarceration, and enshrine mandatory rigorous investigations into deaths, with Parliament oversight. The recommendations from the Deaths in Custody Royal Commission will be reviewed to determine why the recommendations have not led to a reduction in deaths.
- Mining: We will ensure that the Traditional Owners are not overruled on gas fracking and other mining activities, by reviewing and strengthening the operation of the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth).
- Employment: Our job guarantee will provide opportunities for local groups to be employed to support their community, care for each other, improve the environment and monitor and explain the local fauna and flora. This would include a range of training options and start up supports for First Nations entrepreneurs through the People’s Bank.
Raise the Age: https://www.raisetheage.org.au/about
Deaths in Custody: https://humanrights.gov.au/our-work/indigenous-deaths-custody-chapter-3-comparison-indigenous-and-non-indigenous-deaths
Deaths in Custody: https://antar.org.au/news/nsw-deaths-custody-report
Foreign Affairs and Security
The rise of China has unsettled many Western powerbrokers, particularly in the United States, and is leading to a Cold War that is already dictating relationships between Washington and Beijing. China’s economy is now on par with that of the US. By 2050 it will be double that of the US. US resources are overstretched militarily, economically, and culturally. Meanwhile China is more concerned with domestic reform and building its economic influence globally.
Australia’s decision to choose the United States in this situation is misguided and lacks foresight. It is also futile as nothing can contain China’s economic and military growth. It will, however downgrade our ability to negotiate with an important trading partner, isolating the Australian economy from the trade opportunities it might otherwise have in Asia.
We acknowledge that the Sino-American relationship is likely to shape the future of the world for the next decade. But after that the emerging economies of the Global South, including Indonesia, India, South Africa and Brazil, are likely to test the political flexibility of both China and the US. China’s Belt & Road initiative virtually guarantees that China will emerge the victor in any battle for dependability.
Meanwhile the dynamic between Beijing and Washington is likely to be a test of which political and economic systems are best capable of navigating the challenges facing humanity. China has many problems it needs to confront including social and economic reform. The US political system is sick and there are serious concerns regarding the ability of that system to remain fair and democratic.
Over the next two to three decades China’s rise in relation to America’s decline will test regional and global loyalties, generating a range of unpredictable consequences. Military conflict is actually likely to be avoided by the very expansionism the US criticises. Already China is viewed by Washington as too powerful to guarantee a US victory in the littoral waters of China.
What seems abundantly clear is that Australia must rethink its current foreign and defence policy and posture. This is the Asian century. Asia is fast becoming the centre of the global economy while social and political power will assume that role by mid-century. For the past 75 years there has also been a moral shift from the West to the East which will work to the advantage of Asian and Global South economies.
Australia is part of Asia – a fact reinforced by its geography and changing demographics. The New Liberals will adopt foreign and defence policies that reflect this identity, restoring Australia’s potentially significant dual leadership and ‘trusted adviser’ roles within our region.
The New Liberals believe in establishing policies of cooperation, reciprocity, and virtuous investment, that benefit Australia and its regional partners, impact positively on the environment, and benefit all Australian citizens in terms of their security and well-being.
The rise of China and the steps all nations will need to take to mitigate global warming are two strategic opportunities that can advantage Australia’s future. The New Liberals will seek ways to optimise these opportunities for trade, security and innovation, as well as to ensure the eradication of injustices across our region.
The New Liberals will access ecosystem-wide ambient intelligence in real-time to ensure that policies are drafted on the basis of facts rather than anti-Chinese spin or US propaganda. In this regard we will enact policies that pivot the role of the Australian military to actively engage in enabling peace across our region.
Australia will not be forced to choose between old rival empires if, in so doing, it constrains our ability as a free nation to prosper and grow mutually-beneficial relationships – across our region and around the world.
Australia will revisit all current defence strategies and renegotiate conditions relevant to maintaining our nation’s identity, autonomy and freedom, in all aspects of trade, security, energy, and communications.
Dr Richard David Hames
- Use part of tax recovered from multinationals
- Integrated approach
- Preference for near neighbours
Australia is currently towards the bottom of the OECD list of foreign aid donor countries. We aim to be in the top two or three donor countries.
We will pursue an integrated approach. For example, 250,000 South Sudanese refugees live in a camp just the other side of the border in Uganda. The Ugandans do not see these people as a threat. They are happy to incorporate them into their country and into their economic system, provided they are able to do so.
At the moment they are not able to do so, because they don’t have the resources, particularly when they are bearing the entire burden of supporting the people in the camp. This creates a situation where the refugees are looking at long term residence in the camp, and the Ugandan government is looking at long term funding of the camp, which they can ill afford.
In a situation like this, we would approach the Ugandan government to see what sort of industries we could help to advance, which would be best suited to incorporate the refugees as employees. We would fund their growth. The result would be employment for the refugees, and their integration into Ugandan society, and growth in the Ugandan economy.
There are many other examples like this around the world. However, we would tend to devote the majority of aid money to countries in our region, to help establish regional goodwill, and to cement trade and defence agreements.
Our history is based on a patriarchy society and thus we need a special focus to support women to achieve equity. It is not about devaluing men it is about ensuring women achieve equity in line with the OECD goals.
- Gender Lens – New laws and budgets need to be assessed with a gender lens to ensure that women and men have similar outcomes. The previous reporting showing the impact of the budget on women will be reinstated.
- Power – Both women and men should hold positions of power especially in government. All organisations will be required to publicly present gender metrics annually and their plans to achieve equality.
- Pay – The law to ensure equal pay for equal work was introduced in 1969. Companies will be required to report on their pay differentials and how they will remove them within 24 months.
- Harassment – Over 50% of women experience harassment at work, in the community or at home. Our laws will be strengthened to support the safety of women with appropriate penalties to perpetrators. We will support respect@work recommendations.
- Women’s health – There are a number of women’s health challenges that are not experienced by men such as ovarian cancer, breast cancer (although about 5% of cases are in men) and other diseases affecting the female reproductive organs. There are nationally funded screening programs for breast and cervical cancer but no test is available for ovarian cancer. TNL will ensure adequate investment in health issues that affect only women or affect women differently.
- Men’s Health – There are a number of men’s health challenges that are not experienced by women such as prostate and testicular cancer. Prostate cancer is more likely to affect older men and testicular cancer is more likely to affect adolescents and young men. Programs need to include better early detection and effective treatments. If testicular cancer is caught early there is a 95% to 99% survival rate. Research in male specific cancers has historically received less investment perhaps in part to men’s hesitation in discussing these diseases. TNL will ensure adequate investment in early detection, screening and treatment is adequately funded.
- Parental Leave – An enhanced parental leave scheme will be introduced to ensure we support both women and men at the level of similar OECD countries. This will require a significant increase in the total leave and a minimum leave requirement for the second parent.
- Domestic Violence – Domestic violence is a scourge on our society affecting women, children and men. Deaths are commonplace and many are physically and/or mentally harmed. New approaches to this problem will involve more stringent Federal AVO orders, increased spend on women’s shelters and ensuring that the perpetrator cannot remain in the family home.
- Ageism – Women are disproportionally affected by ageism. TNL will provide federal programs to ensure elder women do not live in poverty or homelessness. (See also the policy Anti-Ageism and Wisdom Retention)
- Mental Health – Mental health problems often affect women and men differently. For women this is often displayed as bulimia, anorexia or attempted suicide. Men on the other hand are more likely to suicide or display violent behaviour to other men or women often those that are close to them. TNL will ensure interventions are targeted towards both women and men in a way to achieve positive outcomes (See also the Health Policy).
- Increase Medicare GP rebate
- Save on downstream Medicare costs
- Tax sugar and fast food products
- Pay for treatment of obesity related diseases
- Proper Funding of Mental Health Services
We are about saving lives and saving money through the application of preventative techniques.
First of all, we will increase the Medicare rebate on GP visits to a realistic level which will encourage most doctors to bulk bill. This in turn will encourage more people to visit their GP and visit earlier when symptoms are present. As a result, early diagnosis will lead to the saving of thousands of lives and the saving of billions of dollars to Medicare at the hospital, surgical, physician and palliative levels.
We simultaneously acknowledge that the greatest costs to the Medicare budget, and the greatest cost in human suffering stems from obesity and the plethora of diseases it engenders. We will tax sugar and fast food products to help reduce obesity.
The overall result will be that lives will be saved and Medicare will cost the Australian community less.
Mental health services in this country are a shame to the nation. Nearly all of us have known or know of, a young person, if not several young people, who have taken their lives as a result of being turned away from inadequate and underfunded health care facilities. We will stop this national tragedy by ensuring proper facilities and proper staffing in the mental health sector. In the process, if it needs to be said, we will stimulate the economy through injections in capital works and new employment opportunities, whilst saving the lives of young people to themselves go on to become productive members of society.
For our organ donation policy click here.
For our breast screening policy click here.
- Address the root causes of homelessness, namely poverty and lack of investment in social housing.
- Ensure adequate connection to support and permanent housing for people with other risk factors that, in conjunction with poverty, can be risk factors for homelessness. These include trauma and family violence, mental illness, addictions and other chronic health conditions.
- Use ‘Housing First’ and “Rapid Re-housing’ approaches. A small percentage of people who experience homelessness may also require Permanent Supportive Housing. An example of one type of permanent supportive housing model is ‘Common Ground’.
- Community connections and helping to ensure people who have experienced homelessness are able to re-integrate back into the community, seek or continue employment or have other meaningful activity in their lives.
- Ensure adequate health and rehabilitation options are available to assist people to recover from trauma and addictions.
- Help re-build a civil society that recognises the dignity that adequate access to permanent housing and a living wage affords us all.
Innovation and Entrepreneurship
- Establish Department of ‘Good Ideas’
- Simple non-bureaucratic process for innovators and entrepreneurs to get help
- Grow Australia’s exports
- Reverse the brain drain
We will establish a new government department. A Department of Innovation and Entrepreneurship. This Department of ‘Good Ideas’, will be devoted to identifying cutting edge industries to fund and develop, aiming to make Australia their world leaders. It will also encourage and fund those entrepreneurs who have discovered new and better ways of running current businesses.
A simple and non-bureaucratic process will be in place to encourage people and companies to bring their ideas to us, so we can make their dreams a reality. We want all the dorky scientists and crazy inventors to bring us their wares. The dorkier and the crazier the better. We remember that Thomas Edison, Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos were all dorks, were all called crazy in their day.
In the process we will grow Australia’s exports, raise Australia’s profile on the world stage, keep Australia’s best brains in Australia and attract the best brains from around the world to come and work for Australia’s development.
Koala Connectivity Strategy
Potential for extinction of Koala and other threatened species, due to fragmenting habitat.
The public are becoming increasingly concerned with koala welfare since the species was listed as ‘threatened’ in 2012. Since then, koalas have been increasingly reported in state wildlife sighting databases such as NSW Bionet and QLD Wildnet. It has been estimated that over 60 000 koalas were killed in the 2019-20 bushfires. This policy aims to connect existing habitat together, to improve genetic diversity amongst fragmented sub-populations (the result of the bushfires or otherwise).
The vast majority of area defined as koala habitat already has some level of connectivity, and these areas are already protected as nature reserves or national parks. By focusing on connecting existing habitat away from populated areas, we can increase the value of that habitat without excessive land acquisition. Landscape analysis followed by survey and recommendations for small scale land purchases, biodiversity conservation agreements and/or road connectivity projects (eg underpasses) can improve biodiversity and road safety outcomes (from reduced fauna road strike) for many terrestrial fauna species at the same time as providing jobs in the road construction and environment fields.
Koala connectivity is an important aspect of long-term koala survival that is being considered in by ecological consultants in development proposals, but rarely across state lines. A desktop assessment alone cannot hope to accurately assess the complexity of habitat nor the socio-political implications alone. Rather, this document serves as a starting point for further discussion and additional analysis.
There has been significant efforts by state government agencies in mapping koala habitat and conservation priorities, but these efforts take different forms and have necessarily stopped at state borders. A coordinated, unified federal funding initiative can solve state jurisdiction issues and provide a single-stop habitat mapping solution.
A federal party like TNL has the opportunity to push for a unified response that makes efficient use of public resources to provide a better future for Australian fauna.
Note that one of the images attached to this memo shows the Great Koala National Park (proposed by the National Parks Association of NSW). This policy does not specifically endorse that proposal without further analysis.
Develop a detailed proposal with input from dedicated koala experts paired with a feasibility study.
This could broadly be done in two or more phases:
- Investigate to what extent fragmented koala connectivity in SE QLD can be restored based on the suggested connectivity routes below (figure 1).
- Investigate how to connect phase 1 with high quality habitat in Northern NSW, and attempt to connect this habitat with the proposed great koala park (figure 2).
- Develop proposals to provide connectivity to the priority areas in phases 1 and 2.
- Investigate how to expand connectivity north and south of existing ranges.
Note, these recommendations alone may not be sufficient to ensure the safety of koalas in the future, but is likely to enhance the viability of existing remnant habitat fragments.
Dr Kris Le Mottee
Figure 1: Estimated Koala Corridor in SE Queensland and NE NSW with potential wildlife corridors
Figure 2: Route to investigate and refine for NSW koala habitat
Law and Justice
- Reform of immigration system and litigation
- Reform of family law system and litigation
- Consequent clearing of court backlogs
- Consequent savings of billions of dollars
- Savings used to fund comprehensive federal legal aid system
At the moment the system of visa application, refusal and challenge, can involve a dozen or more administrative and judicial procedures, lasting for indefinite periods of time, not infrequently beyond five years to as long as 10 years and beyond, during all of which time a visa applicant, guilty of nothing more than having fled persecution in their own country, can remain in Executive detention, whilst a decade of their lives can be lost.
Apart from its inhumanity, this system is perhaps the most unnecessary waste of taxpayer money there is. We will replace it with a quick and cheap two-tier judicial process, where the applicant for a visa, unless the Minister can show beyond a reasonable doubt that they are a threat to Australia or its security, will not be detained. The savings to the revenue will be many billions of dollars. To see how the current system works in practice, see The Road Back from Kafka’s Castle.
There is an enormous backlog in the hearing of family law cases, which the merging of the Federal Circuit Court and the Family Court will not solve, for the simple reason that there will still be the same number of litigants and the same number of judges to hear their claims. Putting the two courts in the same building to share a common registry will not change that.
Given that half of the family law cases involve disputes over property, and those cases are typically complex and involve many hearing days, we will legislate to introduce a community property system, where all property of the divorcing or separating couple will be divided equally between them, with one party doing the dividing of the property into two tranches and the other party choosing the tranche they want. This will reduce family law property litigation by 90%.
Most of the rest of family law litigation involves disputes over contact between parents who have shared parenting obligations. We will legislate for all such disputes, if they fail at the mediation stage, to be referred to compulsory arbitration, with the courts only being involved to decide questions of law referred to them, or to hear appeals on questions of law. This will reduce family law parenting litigation by 90% as well.
The result will be a clearing of the backlog and a cheaper and easier process for litigants.
We will introduce a comprehensive federal legal aid system, which will enable all previously unrepresented litigants in all federal matters to have fully funded and high-quality legal representation.
As part of that Legal Aid system, we will ensure that victims of violent crime are separately legally represented.
In advance of entrenching a Bill of Rights in the Constitution, we will legislate to ensure that when deciding Constitutional questions affecting human rights, the High Court of Australia will take into account international conventions and other human rights norms, thus bringing that court in line with superior courts throughout the common law world and elsewhere.
The New Liberals acknowledge that lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and gender diverse people have existed throughout human history. For much of that history this diverse group has been rendered invisible or marginalised, persecuted and denied the same opportunities, value and status which has been the norm for the vast majority of human society. As part of our broad vision to build an equitable, fairer and inclusive Australia, our LGBTQ+ equity policy will show how we will address the wrongs of the past. Through education, legislation and leadership, we will contribute to building a nation where LGBTQ+ people are welcome and participate as equals in all aspects of our nation’s cultural and political life. Our detailed policy will be available shortly.
Limited Parliamentary Terms
- Discouragement of ‘professionalism’ in politics
- Encouragement of turnover in politicians
- Allowing sufficient time for competent politicians to assist the nation
We believe one of the biggest problems with our current democracy is that over 80% of parliamentarians have now never had a job outside politics. This makes them unaware of what people need, and in many cases causes them to not even care what people need. This is why we have a policy of endorsing ‘non-politicians’, meaning real people who have lived and worked in the real world.
As part of the push towards reforming the ‘professionalism’ of Parliament, we will introduce limited parliamentary service, namely that no politician may sit for more than four terms of the House of Representatives or two terms of the Senate. In other words, no-one may remain in parliament beyond 12 years. This is a generous term, which gives people the time to achieve great things for the nation, but will deter those who are looking for a cushy long-term career in a safe seat.
Media and Communications Policy
- The New Liberals believe that in a democratic society, the freedom of an honest press must be sacrosanct. In particular journalists must never be intimidated under the guise of national security concerns and must never be arrested for doing their job
- Opinion must never masquerade as fact. Any news or politically related programs will have to be clearly designated as fact or opinion
- The creation and publishing of fake news will be treated as fraud
- Prohibitions on monopolistic ownership and cross-media ownership will be re-introduced
- An industry body will be established with teeth, and genuine enforcement authority
- All think tanks and ‘research’ institutes will be required to give full transparency to prevent them being paid fronts for political organisations. Their tax-free status will be reviewed.
- The ABC’s independent status will be returned through full funding, so it can serve all Australians, regional and urban, and be our flagship internationally. (See also our Arts Policy)
The full policy is available here.
The National Anthem
- Retention of current tune
- New inclusive lyrics to reflect diverse and rich cultural heritage
We will continue with the current tune for the National Anthem, but introduce new lyrics which are more inclusive, and reflective of our diverse and rich cultural heritage.
The lyrics we would use would be the version written by Judith Durham (of Seekers fame) and Kutcha Edwards ©. The first two verses are as follows:
Australians let us stand as one, upon this sacred land
A new day dawns, we’re moving on to trust and understand.
Combine our ancient history and cultures everywhere,
To bond together for all time, advance Australia fair.
With joyful hearts then let us sing, advance Australia fair.
Australians let us all be one, with peace and harmony.
Our precious water, soil and sun, grant life for you and me.
Our land abounds in nature’s gifts to love, respect and share,
And honouring the Dreaming, advance Australia fair.
With joyful hearts then let us sing, advance Australia fair.
- Accept the waning value of the US alliance
- Development of our own defence capabilities based on our advantages of distance and being an island
- Consequent development of small fast submarine and air support capabilities
- Need to form mutually advantageous defence pact with Indonesia
- Establish cyber security taskforce
During the Cold War, Australia was correct to base its defence policy on its American Alliance. Under the circumstances then applying, it would have been in America’s interest to resist any aggression against its ally. However, things have changed.
America’s desire to withdraw from the Asia Pacific region, mean that its interests no longer coincide with ours. China’s annexation of the islands in the South China Sea, which affected so many of America’s allies, and which America did nothing to prevent, is a clear demonstration of this. In case of aggression against us by a major power, it is unlikely in the extreme that America would risk itself to come to our aid.
We must therefore move to secure our own defence. The first step in that process would be to stop slanting our defence spending towards large warships and submarines designed to support America in wars far from us and which are no risk to us, typically middle eastern conflicts. Large warships, large submarines and an emphasis on ground troops are not what we need for our own defence.
To plan for our own defence, we must first understand that we have the advantage of distance. If a major power wished to invade us, it would have to transport large numbers of troops a very long way on large troop transports protected by large warships. We would never have the warships capability to resist them. But nor would we need to.
This is because we also have the benefit of being an island, which we can protect with a fleet of far less costly small manoeuvrable submarines, which could do significant damage to an invader. And even if that invader managed to land troops on our northern shores, it is by no means an easy matter to protect and supply those troops over a desert march of several thousand kilometres, before they could get anywhere to do any significant damage, particularly whilst being attacked by our planes stationed in the north.
In simple terms therefore we need to readjust our defence acquisitions towards small submarines and aircraft support. We also need to form mutually beneficial defence pacts with countries like Indonesia, which also has the same island advantages we have, but which also has a large population and a large standing army, which would complement our naval strength if and when necessary.
We will also give priority to creating a cyber security taskforce to put ourselves on the front foot when it comes to this crucial aspect of defence.
Finally we will legislate to remove the ability of The Cabinet or even the Prime Minister alone to declare war. This will become the province of Parliament. The danger of extremists leaders taking Australia into an ill advised war is too great. No Prime Minister will ever need to fight in one of our country’s wars. That job will be left to the people of Australia. They deserve to have their voices represented in Parliament, and to not have their lives thrown away at the whim of the Executive.
This policy is based on the work of Professor Hugh White, former defence advisor to several Prime Ministers, and in particular his book How to Defend Australia.
COVID will not be our last pandemic. We need to be ready for all contingencies. See our Pandemic Policy here.
Parliamentary Code of Conduct
Parliamentary Salaries and Entitlements
If elected to government, The New Liberals will immediately reduce all Parliamentary and Ministerial salaries by 20%, and link all future rises to CPI. Parliamentary superannuation will also be brought in line with the rest of the community. We propose strong cuts to Parliamentary Entitlements across the board, including to travel and accommodation expenses.
We believe that the Liberal Party of Australia, and The Australian Labor Party are too dependent on political donations, in that they are beholden to their donors, who are therefore able to disproportionately influence their policies. The most prominent example of this is the current government’s total failure to address the dangers of climate change, and its continued support for the fossil fuel industry. We note also that the Labor Party has a group of 20 Parliamentarians including 9 Ministers of State who meet regularly to advance the interests of coal. It is impossible to deny the link between these polices/groups and the donations made to both parties by the fossil fuel industry. Another example is found in the fact that so many multinational companies pay NO tax, and that neither The Liberal Party nor the Labor Party has ever tried to do anything about this, despite having at their disposal some of the most advanced tax avoidance legislation in the world in Part IVA of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936 (Cth).
All parties spend millions of dollars on advertising before elections to convince the voters that they are the ‘least obnoxious’ option and therefore should be allowed to govern. In a recent by-election alone, the Liberal Party of Australia spent $880,000, and one assumes Labor did similar. In the last week of the campaign, local radio had an advertisement for the LPA every 5 minutes, 24 hours per day.
Often the advertising is misleading or deceptive, and shows the worst side of humanity. We therefore believe that an election campaign should be fought not between advertising agencies with swords drawn, but by parties being forced to talk directly with the people. We would like to see donations to political parties banned.
However, we realise that any attempt to ban donations would never work. The US example of the creation of the ‘super PAC’ is an example of how easy it is to avoid such a ban. Under that system groups form which have ‘no allegiance’ to a politician and raise money to advance certain policies. But then they just happen to decide that the best way to advance those policies is to donate all the money to a given politician. We have no doubt also, that given what is at stake, political parties and their donors would not hesitate to simply breach the law by making their donations ‘under the lap’.
We believe that a better and more pragmatic approach would be to ban major political advertising during the election campaign. This is not something that can be easily avoided because whilst donations can be made in a clandestine way, advertising, by its very nature and purpose, is public. There cannot be ‘secret’ advertising. This would even the playing field, and deter donors from donating at the most crucial time, when the parties are most willing to allow their policies to be influenced. Or to put it another way, if donors’ donations cannot be used to get the party into power, and therefore to have a favour to call upon, donations will soon dry up.
We would prohibit mass media advertising via radio, tv, print and online advertising, social media, postal advertising, robot or personal phone calls, paying endorsers and influencers and any form of billboard advertising (defined to include but not limited to taxis, sidewalk, shopping mall, drive around motorcycles and bus shelters).
Parties would still be able to get their message out with flyers, doorknocking, approaching people in supermarkets and railway stations etc, and through their websites. But the cost of this would be within the reach of all or most who wanted to run for office, and would not allow the well-funded parties to buy their way into office.
The problem would remain, that governments could still use taxpayer money to advertise during an election period, by disguising their advertising as ‘public service announcements. To counter this, we would introduce an oversight body which could determine whether any ‘government announcement’ in the electoral period had, as its primary purpose, public education or political advertising. This would never be fool proof, and would always fall foul of governments, which knew they were about to call an election, making ‘public announcements’ in advance. But it would severely limit the practice, and crucially in the period most influential to voter decision, being the election period itself.
Insofar as donations continue to be made, they would have to be declared in real time, ie within 24 hours of the donation being received.
The problem would also remain that media outlets could, and no doubt in many cases, would provide biased ‘reporting’ which was tantamount to advertising. But this is addressed by our media policy.
Public Bank Policy/The Australian Public Bank
Many nations choose to maintain their own publicly owned banks in order to promote efficient/ affordable finance and development for small business and stable and affordable housing mortgages for home buyer residents. Such banks vary in their roles from simple retail and commercial banks to banks that undertake central banking roles. In our region New Zealand is a country that effectively manages a number of such banks.
Germany, by far the largest and most effective economy in Europe has maintained a public banking system since the war which has assisted in the rebuilding of its economy and its sustained financial leadership. A significant part of this, is the range of Sparkassen or savings banks which run at the community and state level with central coordination but reliant on local management in touch with its communities’ finance needs and economic development.
There was a time in Australia where we ran a similar system through the Commonwealth Bank established in 1911 and supported as a publicly owned bank by both Labor and conservative governments alike. Indeed it was not until 1991 through to 1996 that a Labor government privatised the bank. In history the Commonwealth Bank operated as both a commercial bank and a central bank taking an active role in monetary policy and acting as a financial arm of government.
We propose a more modest retail and savings bank to assist families and first home buyers with mortgages and be an active supporter of small business in the community. Something like the German model of sparkassen banks where local managers rather than centralised computer systems and centralised financiers, are employed as the best and most efficient way to extend and oversee mortgages and small business in their community. The Commonwealth Bank savings division ran in this way up until recently. Obviously, it is too late and too expensive to buy back the Commonwealth Bank.
However, we have entered the age of the website. It would be a relatively cheap enterprise to start online and develop local and state branches over time. As a government owned enterprise, it would be non profit and therefore able to offer competitive mortgage and finance rates as well as providing a gold standard of service and community values. It would be a win/win for the public given that they would receive government backed finance for housing and business and then share in the inevitable profits of the bank which would be returned to consolidated revenue.
The Australian Public Bank, could be open for business in a virtual moment, starting slowly as an online business and developing into physical branches as and when its market and demand grew. This would allow the private banks time to accommodate a state player and lessen the concerns of private capital.
Quality management and staff would be vital to its success, but with a move away from the overpaid international CEO towards an emphasis on competent and qualified local and state management.
The Public Service
We believe that all citizens have a human right to have access to high quality services that provide the basis of a productive life.
See details here.
Small and Medium Business Policy
Good economic management does not just mean serving the interests of major corporations. The backbone of our economy is the small and medium business interest – SMEs. At the moment it is harder than ever for a small business to keep afloat and next to impossible to take the step to a medium size interest. Nor, with the massive government support for large corporations, does the medium size business have any hope of growth.
Government funding, legislative support and tax breaks disproportionately assists the large multinationals that have come to dominate so much of our economy. Funding is often channelled via administrative complexity to where it is not needed, creating an uncompetitive business environment of corporate behemoths that disincentivises innovation. Meanwhile SME’s, the engine room of employment and innovation, are too often left to fend for themselves. We will work to reverse that inequity. At a time of great change, when innovation not stagnation is needed, our preference is to support those SMEs willing to put it all on the line and have a go, to bring about the future.
The New Liberals will address the problem by removing red tape, and more importantly, by rewarding hard working and entrepreneurial SMEs with targeted investment through supporting start-ups, low interest loans, grants, expansions facilitation and employment support, to help them take the next step.
[Full Policy to follow]
- Corporations to pay their fair share
- Multi-national blackmail to be resisted
- No unincentivized tax cuts
In 2016-17, one in three large companies paid no tax. Total corporate tax avoidance as a result could be as high as $100 billion each year. There are already provisions in place to prevent this: see Part IVA of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936 (Cth). The reason this law is not enforced is because politicians do not have the political will to use it. We will use it.
No amount of tampering with retirees’ superannuation rights, or clamping down on nurses deducting the cost of that second uniform, or teachers that sunhat for playground duty, will ever compensate for the multinational gouging of the tax system. Nor should the retirees, and nurses and teachers be asked to carry the burden the corporations refuse to bear.
And if multi-nationals threaten to leave Australia should they be required to pay any tax, we will not be blackmailed into allowing an unjust and unproductive situation to continue. We will see their departure as an opportunity to fund and develop local enterprises to take their place. Indeed, we will start that development immediately, in anticipation that they will leave, so that the short-term disruption to the economy will be minimised and Australian citizens who worked for those corporations will have a willing alternative employer waiting for them.
In accordance with the first point in our Charter of Core Values, we are strongly against giving unincentivized tax cuts to large corporations. We believe unincentivized tax cuts do not increase productivity or employment, but simply result in corporations being able to make the same profit with less effort. It is not good economics. It is not even good capitalism. It is corporate welfare.
- Return water to the river systems for the benefit of country towns and the environment
- Phase in water sparing crops
- Phase out water intensive crops unless their continued use can be justified by a combination of profitability and the availability of more water through technological advances such as the pumping of desalinated water.
- Long term increase in Australia’s water availability enabling crop intensification, supporting population shifts from urban to rural areas and the increased availability of rural jobs through our Job Guarantee Scheme.
We acknowledge that Australia is a country in which water has always been a scarce resource, and that its logical use and distribution is essential not only for rural communities and for the environment but for the economic health of the nation. We also understand that certain rural industries which, with the benefit of hindsight, should perhaps never have been undertaken, will wish to continue cropping.
The balance is to ensure that water intensive crops which are inappropriate for arid and semi-arid farming are progressively phased out, and more appropriate water sparing crops are phased in. During that process we will ensure that water allocations are strictly observed. Individuals and corporations who wish to continue farming inappropriate crops, will of course be allowed to do so if that is their business choice, but they will not be able to access water in excess of their fair allocation to do so.
As a result, we will return proper flow to the Murray Darling system, so that water security is ensured for country towns and the environment. Whilst this will be, and Constitutionally must be, our first priority, compensation will be paid to any industry which suffers short term losses as a result of the changeover, and to any individuals who become temporarily unemployed.
We will employ the best advice from around the world on water conservation, and management, to increase security to country towns, farmers and the environment.
We will also move towards improved efficiency in reservoir management and ground water use, and improvements in water technology will be the first priority for our Department of Innovation and Entrepreneurship. This, together with water savings from more appropriate cropping, will enable us, in the long term to increase Australia’s overall water availability.
We oppose and will abolish the ability of people and entities, who are not landholders, to trade in water on, or flowing through that land.