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POLICY COMPROMISE

"Machine politics is not only about spin, manipulation and cynical ways of winning elections, it's also addicted to policy compromise.

That is why Labor and the Liberals now look so similar – they have both surrendered to the same lobby groups.  Their insiders' club is overflowing with opportunism, rorting and policy accommodation."

Mark Latham, page 49, Outsiders, published October 2017

Our Policies...

Policies are the members' way of determining the direction of a political Party.  For many, it is their strongest reason for being a member.  They want to have an influence on where their Party is going and what it stands for, but it is an opportunity that rarely exists in a "celebrity Party" where the "leader" feels it is his or her role to come up with the ideas and to write the policies for the Party.

Perhaps we are "old-fashioned", but we believe that policy-making belongs to the members, not to the "leaders" of a political Party, or to hired employees of Head Office.  This is grassroots participation – not the meaningless "policy surveys" sent out by some Parties to their members to give the appearance that the members are being consulted.

Australian Voice is constantly adding new policies as we grow our membership base, but our "Core Values" have been included as a part of our published policies and are marked accordingly.  Our Core Values are also enshrined in our Constitution and can only be changed if more than 75% of members vote to change them as a Constitutional amendment.

UPDATED 6 MAY 2018:  Our present policies are published below, but can be printed as one document by clicking the Printable PDF button below.  More detailed versions of each will be developed as the Party grows in 2018.


Published Policies in Alphabetical Order

As at 31 December 2017


Agriculture...

Australian Voice supports sustainable farming practices and the protection of all current agricultural lands for future generations.

Australian Voice believes that the interests of sustainable agriculture should at all times take precedence over those of extractive industries such as mining.

Australian Voice supports the harnessing of surplus waters from other parts of the continent to open up further areas of inland Australia to agricultural production.

Australian Voice is opposed to the import of any fruit or vegetable products which can be grown or produced commercially in Australia.

Australian Voice believes that Australia needs to maintain and improve its border quarantine measures to protect Australian industries and to prevent the introduction of diseases and pests.


Bank Reform...

Australian Voice acknowledges that our Governments and regulatory bodies have failed to address the injustice suffered by many thousands of Australians at the hands of Banks and other financial institutions over a very long period of time.

Australian Voice supports an urgent public enquiry (or Royal Commission) into bank lending procedures and processes in Australia, such enquiry to include all financial products and services as well as complaint handling arrangements, and to be overseen by a person or persons completely independent from the Banking and Financial Services sector.

Australian Voice supports an urgent and independent investigation into the role that the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), the Credit Ombudsman Service (COSL), the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS), and other similar bodies, have played in failing to properly protect the interests of Australian consumers from unfair or predatory lending practices of Banks and others involved in the Financial Services sector.

Australian Voice believes that, given the widespread and systemic corruption that has been demonstrated to exist within the Australian Financial Services sector,

  • No time limits should be imposed on any independent fraud investigations,
  • All FOS and COSL cases should be re-opened and re-examined by independent investigators, and
  • All compensation limits at FOS and COSL should be removed completely.

Australian Voice believes that mandatory copies of all loan documentation, including the signed Loan Application Forms, should be given to each borrower at the point of signing to prevent information being added or changed after signing without the borrower’s knowledge and/or consent.

Australian Voice supports the immediate extinguishment of all loans where it is found that associated documents have been tampered with by Banks or other Lenders, or their agents.

Australian Voice strongly opposes the proposed introduction in Australia of legislation implementing “bail-in” which would allow Banks to confiscate customer deposits to prop up failing banks.

Australian Voice calls instead for urgent action on the part of the Federal Government to ensure the total separation in Australia of everyday retail banking from riskier investment banking, with no cross ownership, shared directors or joint ventures allowed, in order to protect both the Australian economy and individual consumers.


Banking...

Australian Voice supports the establishment of an Independent Federal Development Bank, separate from the Reserve Bank of Australia and Government Treasury, to:

  1. Buy back Australian land from foreign ownership
  2. Buy back Australian food-processing enterprises which have been sold out to foreign interests
  3. Re-invigorate Australian manufacturing industries
  4. Establish opportunities for “value-adding” to Australian mining production
  5. Establish an Australian defence vehicle manufacturing industry
  6. Fund major regional infrastructure projects
  7. Further support the decentralisation of population and industry in Australia
  8. Fund research into arid landscape agriculture to encourage better utilisation of our under-developed land mass
  9. Provide restructuring resources for farmers and other producers adversely affected by droughts and other natural disasters
  10. Provide alternative finance to both Commonwealth and State Governments, reducing foreign debt and interest payments
  11. Strategically buy into selected industries to protect the nation's economic sovereignty.

Australian Voice proposes that the Independent Federal Development Bank (IFDB) would be 100% Australian-owned and operated, and protected by legislation against future privatisation or subversion of its intended purposes.


Constitution, Democratic Rights and National Identity...

Australian Voice believes that Australia is an independent, sovereign nation accountable to its own people but with an obligation to play a positive and peaceful role in the global environment.  [CORE VALUE 1]

Until a better model can be demonstrated, we support the continuation of the present Constitutional Monarchy as Australia’s system of government.

Australian Voice supports the present National Flag and National Anthem and sees no need to change either.

Australian Voice remains unconvinced of the need for a formal 'Bill of Rights' and firmly opposes the introduction of any such Bill which would allow un-elected commissioners or judges the power to make decisions on public and social policy.


Culture...

As Australia embraces an ethnically-diverse culture and a tolerant and peace-loving society, Australian Voice believes that no Government funding should be provided to any ethnic, cultural or other group which engages in, supports or otherwise encourages any anti-Australian or anti-Christian activity.


Decentralisation...

Australian Voice advocates the decentralisation of population, infrastructure, industry and services across the habitable parts of our nation.

Australian Voice is developing an extensive plan for “regional community hubs” to promote decentralisation at every level across the nation.


Defence...

Australian Voice believes that, as a unique continent nation, Australia needs an enhanced military/defence presence around its coastline and that appropriate facilities should be established across the top of the continent to provide greater support for coastal surveillance activities and the increased security of our nation.

  1. This would help to decentralise Australia’s Defence Forces, spreading the benefits of employment across the nation.
  2. It would provide an opportunity to provide hands-on training for local naval cadet groups and similar with long-term benefits to the security of our nation.
  3. It would channel resources into remote port facilities across the top of the nation in conjunction with Local Authorities and State governments.

Australian Voice believes that Australia’s military presence and capability should be focussed on the areas immediately surrounding Australia rather than in Europe or other parts of the world remote from our nation.

Australian Voice believes that wherever possible all supplies for the Australian Defence Forces should be locally produced in Australia, supporting Australian jobs and enhancing our national independence and self-reliance.


Education...

Australian Voice advocates greater support for rural and regional schools and tertiary institutions to make quality education more accessible for all Australian families.

Australian Voice opposes the sale of any publicly-owned school property without the overwhelming support of local communities.

In line with the Australian National Constitution, Australian Voice supports the abolition of the Federal Education Department.  We believe in a competitive environment in which individual States compete with each other to improve education opportunities for all Australians.


Employment...

Australian Voice believes it is our responsibility as a nation to adopt policies which ensure all Australians who want to work can find satisfying and rewarding work to provide for their daily needs and to put aside for their future retirement.

Australian Voice remains opposed to the concept of “Fly In Fly Out” workers from overseas except where it can clearly be demonstrated that there are no Australians able or willing to fill positions being offered.

Australian Voice believes that there is no economic, financial, or other justification for Australian banks, telecommunications companies and other utilities replacing competent local staff with staff or contractors in third-world countries, many of whom cannot speak good English and have little understanding of things Australian.

Australian Voice believes that for the huge profits they extract from Australians each year, Australia's banks, telecommunications companies and other utility providers have a moral obligation to provide well-paid and satisfying jobs to Australians.

Australian Voice believes that off-shoring Australian jobs is unpatriotic and not in the interests of Australian society.

Australian Voice therefore proposes that a two-for-one penalty be imposed for every Australian position that is replaced off-shore.  In other words, that these companies should be penalised two full-time Australian salaries for every full-time or part-time employee displaced by overseas workers.


Environment...

Australian Voice believes that today’s generation is the custodian of our natural environment not only for ourselves but for future generations.

Australian Voice believes that water security and sustainable food production should be amongst the primary considerations in developing any Environment policy for the nation.

Australian Voice believes that there should be a total ban placed on underground coal gasification (UCG) in Australia and an immediate moratorium on the further development of the coal seam gas (CSG) industry in Australia until all environmental concerns have been satisfactorily answered.

Australian Voice is totally opposed to the continued use of dangerous chemicals in "fracking" by the present CSG industry in Australia and calls for an immediate investigation into the long-term effects of these chemicals on the environment and on underground water supplies in particular.  [ARTICLE: HOPELAND]

Australian Voice remains opposed to the introduction of any Carbon Tax or similar scheme which makes Australia uncompetitive in world markets or which places an unfair burden upon Australian taxpayers.


Foreign Affairs...

Australian Voice believes that Australia should focus on building mutually supportive regional relationships with our neighbours rather than meddling in wars in more remote parts of the globe.

Australian Voice believes that, as much as is possible, all Australian foreign aid should be in the form of agricultural and other products produced in Australia, generating income for Australian farmers and manufacturers, or in the provision of technical advice to communities in need.

Australian Voice is totally opposed to the sending of funds to overseas regimes without proper safeguards to ensure such funds are channelled directly to those most in need and cannot be used against Australia's long-term interests.

Australian Voice believes Australia is a sovereign nation in its own right and should urgently review and reconsider all foreign treaties and agreements binding on the country from external organisations such as the United Nations.

Australian Voice believes that any international agreement, convention, pact, treaty, or similar, which overrides the will of the Australian people, which undermines established Australian law, which overrides or undermines the Australian Constitution, or which compromises the sovereignty of Australia or any of its States or Territories, must be revoked at first opportunity.

Australian Voice believes that all future international agreements, conventions, pacts, treaties, or similar, must be debated and approved by both Houses of Parliament before they are signed, ratified or adopted into law.


Foreign Ownership of Australian Land...

Australian Voice believes that no Australian land should be owned or controlled by foreign citizens, corporations or other interests.  [CORE VALUE 2 - Revised 6 May 2018]


Government...

Australian Voice is committed to seeking honest and accountable Government at all levels for the benefit and long-term future of all Australians.  [CORE VALUE 4]

Australian Voice believes that people should come first, rather than political Parties or the pecuniary interests of candidates or Members of Parliament.  [CORE VALUE 5]

Australian Voice believes in grassroots democracy and in the principles of Citizens' Initiated Referenda.  It aims to implement these concepts both within its own organisation and within the broader Australian community.  [CORE VALUE 6]

Australian Voice supports the re-introduction of an Upper House of Parliament in Queensland, the only State lacking a House of Review, and believes that this should be funded through reducing the number of seats in the present Parliament or Lower House.

Australian Voice is committed to restricting the size of Government and levels of taxation to the minimum required to achieve efficient administration with the least possible intrusion into the lives of individuals, industry and commerce, and with the fairest measure of equity.

Australian Voice supports the progressive elimination of duplicated Commonwealth and State departments in line with the designated responsibilities of each level of Government under the Commonwealth Constitution.

Australian Voice firmly believes that no person should be a candidate for election to our national Parliament or the Senate unless their sole allegiance is to the Commonwealth of Australia.  In the event of an elected Member or Senator being subsequently found to have been elected unconstitutionally, that person should be required to immediately resign and should be ineligible to contest both the resultant by-election or Senate vacancy and the subsequent general election for the same seat or Senate position.  Any Party whose candidate is forced to resign because he or she was not eligible to stand as a candidate, should also be ineligible to receive public electoral funding for both the resultant by-election and the subsequent general election, whether for a House of Representatives seat or for a Senate position.

Australian Voice supports candidates who undertake to represent the interests of their respective electorates without fear or favour, subject to their personal consciences on moral or ethical issues, and subject to the published Platform of the Party.  [CORE VALUE 7]

Australian Voice believes the backbench salaries of Federal Members of Parliament and Senators should be set at no more than six times the National Minimum Wage, with the salary of the Prime Minister set at no more than 12 times and Ministers set as a percentage of the Prime Minister’s salary.  We believe that tying politicians’ salaries to the National Minimum Wage will maintain relativity with the lowest paid workers in our community and serve as an incentive for governments to look after those most in need in the community.

In the interests of reining in the cost of government and establishing equity, Australian Voice believes that no public servant should earn more than his or her relevant Minister, with Heads of Department limited to 90% of the respective Minister.  On expiry of present contracts all salaries should be re-calibrated accordingly.


Health...

Australian Voice supports the continuation of a world-class public hospital system throughout the country, administered by respective State Governments and complemented by privately run hospitals and medical clinics.

Australian Voice supports the inclusion of dental care as a fully recognised medical service under Medicare.


Housing...

TBA


Immigration...

Australian Voice supports a balanced immigration programme with preference to people from Western cultures with similar customs and traditions to our own.

Australian Voice believes that all migrants coming to this country must be willing to fully integrate into our communities and be willing to adopt our cultural values and traditions.

Australian Voice believes that all people expecting to make Australia home should put Australia and Australians first.

Australian Voice welcomes cultural diversity but not at the expense of long-standing Australian traditions or our way of life.

Australian Voice does not support the development of ethnic enclaves which separate people based on ethnicity or religious persuasion.


Justice...

Australian Voice believes that the present Federal Family Law Court system urgently needs reviewing to ensure it is working efficiently and in the best interests of those requiring its services.

Australian Voice is opposed to the privatisation of State or Federal Government responsibilities in the area of Justice administration.  For example, we believe that accurate court reporting is an essential part of a fair and transparent Justice system and we oppose the outsourcing of these services to the private sector.


Local Authorities...

Australian Voice remains totally opposed to the forced amalgamation of Local authorities against the wishes of local citizens and fully supports the right of individual communities to seek de-amalgamation when it can be demonstrated that de-amalgamation is economically viable and is the wish of the majority of ratepayers in a particular area.

Australian Voice believes that in most cases local communities are better able to provide local services than State or Federal Governments or authorities which are more remote from the people.

QUEENSLAND:

Australian Voice calls for the return of local Councils to the communities they are elected to serve.

Australian Voice believes  that the present salary structure for elected Mayors and Councillors in Queensland does little to foster good representation but rather, that it attracts individuals more interested in personal gain and political advancement rather than ones genuinely interested in serving their local communities.

As the Australian Constitution has no provision for a “third level of government”, and all local Councils operate under State legislation and regulations, we believe local Councils should be administered on behalf of their respective communities by professionally qualified staff operating under the supervision of elected community councillors who, in turn, elect their own leader or spokesperson as Mayor.

Australian Voice acknowledges that many people feel that the present system of separate local elections for Mayors invites corruption and also eliminates many good people from serving as Councillors when they are unsuccessful in challenging for the role of Mayor.

Australian Voice seeks the abolition of the present overly-generous salaries and perks of office and thus the dismantling of what appears to many to be just a career path for political aspirants unwilling to genuinely listen to the needs of their communities.

All elected Councillors would be remunerated via modest meeting fees only, with Mayors receiving a modest additional allowance for higher duties.


Manufacturing Industries...

Australian Voice deplores the decimation of Australia’s manufacturing capacity over the last two or three decades by successive Labor and Liberal Governments.

Australian Voice does not accept that a country the size of Australia cannot have a viable and thriving manufacturing sector, and assert that it is in our national interest to be as self-sufficient and as self-reliant as possible.

Australian Voice believes that wherever possible all supplies for the Australian Defence Forces should be locally produced in Australia, supporting Australian jobs and enhancing our national independence and self-reliance.

Australian Voice does not support the continued subsidisation of foreign-owned companies and believes that all grants, subsidies and other assistance packages  to such companies should be phased out and support transferred to assisting enterprises which are wholly Australian-owned.


Mineral Resources...  

Australian Voice recognises that Australia’s mineral wealth is a finite resource which belongs to the nation and to its people.  As such, it needs to be managed for the benefit of all Australians and not exploited by a minority or for the benefit of foreign interests.  [CORE VALUE 3]

Australian Voice believes that a substantial proportion of all income derived from State Government royalties on extracted minerals should be re-invested equitably across the respective State directly into regional infrastructure of lasting value, such as roads, bridges, water storage facilities, schools, hospitals, rail and port facilities, regional airports, etc.

Australian Voice believes that all mining projects should be managed in the interests of the Australian people and in such a way as to create long-term, sustainable jobs for Australians and in such manner as to provide for the sustenance of long-term, family-based communities throughout regional Australia.

Australian Voice believes that all associated road, rail and port infrastructure should be co-ordinated to ensure orderly development and so as not to impede or unnecessarily encroach upon the rights of other property holders or existing communities.


Older Australians...

Australian Voice acknowledges that Australia has an ageing population and that this is a serious issue facing Governments into the future.

Australian Voice believes that there needs to be open discussion on how to ensure that retiring Australians do not face economic hardship as the result of factors outside their personal control.

We advocate the changing of present Superannuation rules to protect the savings of all superannuation account holders, especially over the last decade of their anticipated working life.

We advocate the changing of present Superannuation rules to allow account holders over the age of 50 to transfer funds from their Superannuation account/s to eliminate or reduce debt still outstanding on the account holder’s owner-occupied home.  We believe that home ownership is still one of the most secure investments for retirement.

Australian Voice supports the broadening of Medicare to include dental services for all Australians.  We believe this would be of great assistance to the elderly and others on pensions.

Australian Voice supports increasing the income threshold for the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card.


Politicians Perks...

Australian Voice fully supports Australia’s system of parliamentary democracy but does not believe that parliamentary service should be seen as a retirement gravy train for those elected to serve their State, Territory, or nation.

Australian Voice believes that Members of Parliament are elected to represent the views of their respective electorates and to act in the best interests of their nation and/or respective State or Territory, and that all Parliamentary severance, retirement and superannuation entitlements should be immediately adjusted to reflect reasonable community expectations.

Australian Voice therefore proposes...

(a) That all pensions, perks and/or privileges presently extended to retiring or defeated Parliamentarians, including Gold Cards, be discontinued completely.

(b)  That all overly generous conditions applying to the present Parliamentary Superannuation Scheme, and to public servants generally, be removed or rescinded immediately, so that these schemes fall into line with those available to other Australian employees.


Public Ownership of Infrastructure...

Australian Voice believes that all public hospitals, schools, roads, railways, port facilities, airports, electricity generation and distribution networks, gas distribution networks, water conservation projects, and community water supplies belong to the people and should be efficiently managed by entities controlled by and accountable to the people.  [CORE VALUE 8 - Revised January 2017]


Public Transport...

Australian Voice believes that affordable public transport is an essential community service and should continue to be supported and funded by Government and managed on behalf of the community and for the benefit of the community.

Australian Voice believes that efficient public transport also contributes significantly to improved traffic flows and less pollution in our urban areas and reduces pressure on Governments to upgrade existing road systems.

SOUTH EAST QUEENSLAND

Australian Voice recognises the leading role that Brisbane Transport has played for decades in the provision of public bus services within the city of Brisbane and as one of the largest employers of permanent and casual bus drivers in Queensland.

Australian Voice is opposed to the privatisation of bus services presently operated by Brisbane Transport and believes that ownership of public transport bus services in South East Queensland should remain diversified and not be concentrated into the hands of private individuals or corporations.

Australian Voice rejects the concept of “contestability” being promoted by the present LNP State Government as an ideological fantasy that has not been proven to work anywhere else in Australia and which is unlikely to achieve any nett or real benefits to the community.

Australian Voice believes that an open-minded and independent review of the respective operations of  Brisbane Transport and TransLink would lead to improved efficiencies and to bigger savings than any proposed sell-off of bus services to the private sector, leaving Brisbane with a far better public transport system, and with much less disruption to employees and to the public.


Refugees...

Australian Voice acknowledges that the world is facing a problem of enormous proportions with displaced persons seeking new homes around the world.

We believe that refugees and asylum-seekers are a problem for the entire world community and should be dealt with on a regional or continental basis by the United Nations or other similar international bodies.

As part of our global responsibilities we believe that Australia should set realistic humanitarian quotas for various classes of displaced persons so that preference is given to the most needy and to those genuinely seeking refuge or asylum rather than to so-called “economic refugees” seeking to relocate to a more prosperous part of the world.


Small Business...

Australian Voice recognises the key role of "Small Business" in both Australian society and in the Australian economy and is committed to supporting and protecting the interests of Small Business within Australia.  [CORE VALUE 10 - Adopted 6 May 2018]

Australian Voice is presently developing a more detailed Small Business policy, however, we support the following:

  1. Less “red-tape” for small businesses,
  2. Incentives for small businesses to employ at-risk youth, seniors and disabled persons,
  3. The granting of first option to local businesses in the awarding of Government tenders, and,
  4. Grants for viable and sustainable new small business start-ups approved through the NEIS Scheme.

Society...

Australian Voice recognises the family unit as the fundamental building block of our society and is therefore committed to restoring and upholding family values based on our Judeo-Christian heritage[CORE VALUE 9 - Revised 6 May 2018]


Superannuation...

TBA


Taxation...

Australian Voice believes that no foreign entity operating businesses within Australia or its territories should be allowed to take profits out of Australia unless those entities are taxed at a rate at least equivalent to the highest rate paid by similar Australian-owned companies operating within Australia.


Taxi Industry...

TBA


The Arts...

Australian Voice believes that Government support of The Arts is imperative to promoting a healthy, well-balanced way of life for all Australians.

Australian Voice believes that involvement in The Arts should be encouraged and supported from the earliest stages of education, but especially in both primary and secondary school programmes.

QUEENSLAND

Australian Voice supports the immediate reinstatement of State funding for the biennial “Fanfare Festival”, which is widely regarded as one of the premier music programmes in Australia for primary and secondary students, and for the biennial scholarship programme “MOST” (Musically Outstanding Students), a two‑week intensive music workshop for talented students across Queensland.


Trade...

Australian Voice believes in “fair trade”, not “free trade”.  Australia’s international trade must not compromise the long-term sustainability of Australian industries.


Unions...

Australian Voice acknowledges the role industrial and professional unions have played in securing better conditions and in protecting workers’ rights in Australia and supports member-focussed unions which are open and accountable to their members.

Australian Voice believes that no union funds should be given to any political Party without the express consent of the membership through a secret ballot.


Water Supply...

Australian Voice believes that access to high quality water is a basic human need which should not be corporatised or privatised by local authorities or Governments.

We believe that responsibility for urban water supply should rest with the respective Local Authority.

QUEENSLAND:

Australian Voice is firmly committed to the abolition of UnityWater and to returning responsibility for local water supply to the respective Local Authority.


UPDATED 6 MAY 2018

Banjo Paterson...

But times are changed, and changes rung
From old to new - the older days,
The old bush life and all its ways
Are passing from us all unsung.

The freedom, and the hopeful sense
Of toil that brought due recompense,
Of room for all, has passed away,
And lies forgotten with the dead.
Within our streets men cry for bread
In cities built but yesterday.

 About us stretches wealth of land,
A boundless wealth of virgin soil
As yet unfruitful and untilled!
Our willing workmen, strong and skilled
Within our cities idle stand,
And cry aloud for leave to toil.
 

From Song of the Future