The Programme Of The Australia First Party
The programme of the Australia First Party is set out in the brochure, Eight Core Policies. The programme has also been published as the Little Blue Better Book (1997). The programme is a 'general' document as befits an organization engaged in political contest. The general concept of a movement of nationalism, encapsulated in the slogan 'Australia First', implies policy is an evolving thing based upon simple principles. The broad Australian nationalist and patriotic movement requires a programme which unites rather than divides. The AFP programme achieves this objective.
AUSTRALIA FIRST Australia First Party
The programme, as signed by the party's first national president, is set out below.
Australia First Partyhas emerged in response to community demands to rebuild and support local industry, and provide satisfying, secure and productive employment for all Australians.
There is no reason for Australian industries to wane, whilst our overseas competitors expand by exporting their goods into Australia. There is no reason to have thousands of potentially productive people unemployed (or under employed) and needing to rely on the tax contributions of other citizens just to feed their families. Australia has a wealth of resources, and therefore there should be no need for future generations to be saddled with paying off the debt created during our generation simply because we were too apathetic to change the direction that our political "masters" imposed upon us.
The aim of Australia First Party is to give voters the opportunity to change the disastrous course on which our nation has been steered by inept Governments over many years.
Graeme Campbell, President of the Australia First Party.
Former Independent Member for Kalgoorlie.
1. INDUSTRY POLICY
Without a manufacturing industry there are no jobs for our children, and no end to foreign debt, which unless checked will overwhelm us. Without a manufacturing capacity - self sufficiency and real self reliance are not possible. Australia First Party will take the necessary steps to re-establish a viable manufacturing industry.
Industry Policy is the arrangement of circumstances to provide the best opportunities for industries to develop, thrive and to continue. It is not just a direction for manufacturing in isolation that is needed, it has to be integrated with a diverse range of policies such as industrial relations, immigration, social welfare, taxation, environmental policy, research and development policy, foreign aid, government purchasing and above all, government attitude to its own people and country.
Industry Policy has to be sensibly integrated with the issues mentioned above because, taken together, they have a direct bearing on employment opportunities and the future prosperity of Australia. A coherent Industry Policy recognises that whilst tariffs are a legitimate tool, they are only part of the solution. We, as a Nation, should not attempt to manufacture absolutely everything, but concentrate on those areas where we have a natural advantage and strategic need. We should place greater emphasis on value adding to our existing primary industry products.
Australia First Party recognises that small and medium business, including primary producers is vital to Industry Policy. Access to low interest, long term finance is essential for this sector to develop and prosper. Australia First Party will re-establish a genuine Development Bank and make sure that it honours the original charter of the now defunct Commonwealth Development Bank.
Taxation - Tax is an important aspect of small business. Australia First Party recognises that the present tax system is inequitable and that our tax base must be widened. Increasing the work force and making multi-nationals pay tax will do this. We recognise that a GST will place a very high compliance cost on small business and it will provide the Federal Government with a new and easily increased tax base.
Australia First Party is committed to the investigation of a Debits Tax as a replacement for existing taxes. The Debit Tax System, compared to GST, is simple to understand, easy to administer and collect, and highly efficient at eliminating tax avoidance by foreign companies and large companies. We have asked the Federal Treasurer to make all the comparisons with the GST available to allow a further investigation to proceed.
Note: It is suggested that if all bank or financial institutions withdrawals were debited at about one third of one cent in the dollar, it would raise enough money to replace income tax in the interim. We have asked the Treasurer to make all the comparisons with the GST available.
3. NATIONAL SOVEREIGNTY
Australia First Partywill protect our sovereignty at all levels, both on the international scene and by the guarantee of civil liberties for our citizens, for there is no National Sovereignty unless it is in the sovereignty of a free and united people.
Australia First Party recognises the right for all Australians, of sound character, to own and possess firearms for self defence in their own home, and for occupational and recreational pursuits.
Australia First Party would maintain a very strong defence capability, but realise that this is not possible without a manufacturing industry essential for self sufficiency and the capacity for re-supply.
Sovereignty also has to include great care in the signing of international agreements, particularly those that involve the United Nations. We recognise that our national debt will erode sovereignty unless it is brought under control. Manufactured imports now account for 87% of our deficit.
Australia First Party's policy is fair trade with the world, we reject the over emphasis on Asia and we totally reject the silly notion that we are part of Asia.
4. FOREIGN OWNERSHIP
Australia First Partywill bring foreign ownership back under control. The only reason for foreign investment is if it benefits Australia. There is no benefit to Australia when existing Australian owned companies are simply taken over by foreign interests. Australia First Party would overhaul the Foreign Investment Review Board and instruct it to make the national interest paramount in all its deliberations.
Australia First Party welcomes overseas investment, provided that it is in the best interests of Australia. With the substantial re-orientation of industry policy and re-establishment of the Development Bank that Australia First policy promotes - it will be Australian capital/credit that will be made available to enable the establishment investment for whatever industries we wish to rebuild.
Australia First Party will not only do what is necessary to establish appropriate industries, it will also instigate a follow up program to ensure the necessary training and R&D support is available to make the ongoing viability of the industry secure.
Australia First Party will ensure the multi-national companies pay their fair share of the tax burden.
Australia First Partyagrees with the notion that our primary reason for immigration should be based on Australia's need, i.e., the only justification for immigration is net value to Australia. We will make sure that immigration takes into account social cohesion, employment opportunities, urbanisation and environmental issues.
Our policy on immigration is "zero net" which means the number of immigrants we will allow in each year will equal the number of people permanently leaving Australia per year. This policy has now been copied by the Greens, the Democrats and Pauline Hanson's One Nation Party.
We will reduce immigrant numbers in the family concessional area in favour of skills based and independents.
Australia First Party recognises that immigration mistakes are big mistakes and they are long term mistakes.
We endorse the view of John Stuart Mill:
" If a nation does not have the right to say with whom it shares its land - it has no rights at all"
6. ABOLISH MULTI-CULTURALISM
Australia First PartyBelieve that a country's culture is something that should slowly evolve over time. It is far too important to allow Politicians pressured by minority groups to engineer our future by changing our traditional cultural base.
Australia First Party will end the enormously expensive and divisive policy of Government funded and institutionalised multi-culturalism. Our first step will be to cut entirely the funding for the Office of Multi-Cultural Affairs.
The present Government's policy on multi-culturalism is turning Australia into a nation of tribes and, if not stopped, will continue to erode social cohesion and fuel social tension.
Australia First Party supports the concept of assimilation. We recognise that most migrants who come to Australia, come here wanting to be Australian.
7. INTRODUCE CITIZENS INITIATED REFERENDA
Australia First Partywill seek to amend the Constitution to allow the people to initiate referenda and make the results binding on Government. This simple change will restore political authority to voters and remind politicians that they are the servants of the Australian people, not their masters.
Australia First Party has a Bill ready to go before Parliament. Our Bill is more conservative than the Swiss, USA or Danish laws in that we require a petition signed by 2% of eligible voters from across Australia to trigger a referendum. This is a difficult, but not an impossible task. Once achieved it would give the Sponsors of the Referendum the right to compile the questions that would have to be put in conjunction with the next Federal election. For a referendum to become law, it must be carried by a Constitutional majority, i.e. the majority of people in a majority of the States.
The same method can be used for repealing laws if necessary. The referenda would be held in conjunction with a Federal election. The cost is minimal, but the effect dramatic as nothing returns power to the people so quickly or cost effectively.
8. FAMILY POLICY
Australia First Partyrecognises that the traditional family is the basic unit of Australian society, and will promote policies that strengthen and reinforce this concept.
We believe the promotion of the traditional family is best achieved by stable and regular employment. Economic pressures brought about primarily by unemployment are the greatest cause of family break-up and suicide, particularly in country areas. Australia First Party recognises that the best welfare is a job, and our industry policy reflects this.
Australia First Party will completely overhaul the Family Court, which is the fastest growing and most expensive area of law in Australia.
We recognise that the present formulas used by the Child Support Agency can sometimes make second class citizens out of non-custodial parents, and it can make it economically unviable for them to ever re-marry.
9. REBUILD A UNITED AUSTRALIA
The Hilmer Report and the policy of Economic Rationalism enthusiastically supported by the major parties is the philosophical underpinning of the user pays principle which has had disastrous results, especially in rural Australia.
If the growing gap between city and country widens further, the mainstream culture of this country will begin to disintegrate.
No Australian city can exist on its intrinsic worth. Every one of them exists on the wealth of the hinterland. Australia First Party recognises the interdependence of urban and regional and rural Australia and will do whatever is necessary to stop the growing disparity between city and country.
10. OTHER POLICY ISSUES
The core policies mentioned in this booklet form the basis of association for the Australia First Party. All other policies (non-core issues) are matters of free conscience and are not binding upon Australia First Party Parliamentarians, who are to consult and represent their electorate on these issues.
Issues of public interest on which Australia First Party needs to formulate policies will be canvassed with the Party membership and plebiscites conducted where deemed appropriate by the National Council.
We believe that this Policy, which prevents members hiding behind the Party, coupled with our support for Citizens Initiated Referenda will restore integrity and effectiveness to our parliamentary system.
WHO SAID THAT?
Answers see page 12
THEY SAID IT!