Posts Tagged ‘Bill of rights’

Does the Constitution in its reference to representative and responsible government protect free speech?

July 16, 2018

Does the Constitution in its reference to representative and responsible government protect free speech?

 

Sections 7 and 24 of the Constitution, read in context, require the members of the Senate and the House of Representatives to be directly chosen at periodic elections by the people of the States and of the Commonwealth respectively. This requirement embraces all that is necessary to effectuate the free election of representatives at periodic elections. What is involved in the people directly choosing their representatives at periodic elections, however, can be understood only by reference to the system of representative and responsible government to which ss 7 and 24 and other sections of the Constitution give effect.

 

That the Constitution intended to provide for the institutions of representative and responsible government is made clear both by the Convention Debates and by the terms of the Constitution itself. Thus, at the Second Australasian Convention held in Adelaide in 1897, the Convention, on the motion of Mr Edmund Barton, resolved that the purpose of the Constitution was “to enlarge the powers of self-government of the people of Australia”.

 

Sections 1, 7, 8, 13, 24, 25, 28 and 30 of the Constitution give effect to the purpose of self-government by providing for the fundamental features of representative government. As Isaacs J put it:

 

 

“The Constitution is for the advancement of representative government”.

 

 

Section 1 of the Constitution vests the legislative power of the Commonwealth in a Parliament “which shall consist of the Queen, a Senate, and a House of Representatives”. Sections 7 and 24 relevantly provide:

 

 

 

“The Senate shall be composed of senators for each State, directly chosen by the people of the State, voting, until the Parliament otherwise provides, as one electorate.

 

 

 

The House of Representatives shall be composed of members directly chosen by the people of the Commonwealth, and the number of such members shall be, as nearly as practicable, twice the number of the senators.”

 

 

Section 24 does not expressly refer to elections, but s 25 makes it plain that the House of Representatives is to be directly chosen by the people of the Commonwealth voting at elections. Other provisions of the Constitution ensure that there shall be periodic elections. Thus, under s 13, six years is the longest term that a senator can serve before his or her place becomes vacant. Similarly, by s 28, every House of Representatives is to continue for three years from the first meeting of the House and no longer. Sections 8 and 30 ensure that, in choosing senators and members of the House of Representatives, each elector shall vote only once. The effect of ss 1, 7, 8, 13, 24, 25, 28 and 30 therefore is to ensure that the Parliament of the Commonwealth will be representative of the people of the Commonwealth.

 

 

 

Other sections of the Constitution establish a formal relationship between the Executive Government and the Parliament and provide for a system of responsible ministerial government, a system of government which, “prior to the establishment of the Commonwealth of Australia in 1901 … had become one of the central characteristics of our polity”[33]. Thus, s 6 of the Constitution requires that there be a session of the Parliament at least once in every year, so that 12 months shall not intervene between the last sitting in one session and the first sitting in the next. Section 83 ensures that the legislature controls supply. It does so by requiring parliamentary authority for the expenditure by the Executive Government of any fund or sum of money standing to the credit of the Crown in right of the Commonwealth, irrespective of source. Sections 62 and 64 of the Constitution combine to provide for the executive power of the Commonwealth, which is vested in the Queen and exercisable by the Governor‑General, to be exercised “on the initiative and advice”[35] of Ministers and limit to three months the period in which a Minister of State may hold office without being or becoming a senator or member of the House of Representatives. Section 49 of the Constitution, in dealing with the powers, privileges and immunities of the Senate and of the House of Representatives, secures the freedom of speech in debate which, in England, historically was a potent instrument by which the House of Commons defended its right to consider and express opinions on the conduct of affairs of State by the Sovereign and the Ministers, advisers and servants of the Crown. Section 49 also provides the source of coercive authority for each chamber of the Parliament to summon witnesses, or to require the production of documents, under pain of punishment for contempt.

 

 

 

The requirement that the Parliament meet at least annually, the provision for control of supply by the legislature, the requirement that Ministers be members of the legislature, the privilege of freedom of speech in debate, and the power to coerce the provision of information provide the means for enforcing the responsibility of the Executive to the organs of representative government.  In his Notes on Australian Federation:  Its Nature and Probable Effects, Sir Samuel Griffith pointed out that the effect of responsible government “is that the actual government of the State is conducted by officers who enjoy the confidence of the people”.  That confidence is ultimately expressed or denied by the operation of the electoral process, and the attitudes of electors to the conduct of the Executive may be a significant determinant of the contemporary practice of responsible government.

 

 

 

Reference should also be made to s 128 which ensures that the Constitution shall not be altered except by a referendum passed by a majority of electors in the States and in those Territories with representation in the House of Representatives, taken together, and by the electors in a majority of States.

 

 

Freedom of communication on matters of government and politics is an indispensable incident of that system of representative government which the Constitution creates by directing that the members of the House of Representatives and the Senate shall be “directly chosen by the people” of the Commonwealth and the States, respectively. At federation, representative government was understood to mean a system of government where the people in free elections elected their representatives to the legislative chamber which occupies the most powerful position in the political system.  As Birch points out, “it is the manner of choice of members of the legislative assembly, rather than their characteristics or their behaviour, which is generally taken to be the criterion of a representative form of government.”  However, to have a full understanding of the concept of representative government, Birch also states

 

 

 

“we need to add that the chamber must occupy a powerful position in the political system and that the elections to it must be free, with all that this implies in the way of freedom of speech and political organization.”

 

 

 

Communications concerning political or government matters between the electors and the elected representatives, between the electors and the candidates for election and between the electors themselves were central to the system of representative government, as it was understood at federation. While the system of representative government for which the Constitution provides does not expressly mention freedom of communication, it can hardly be doubted, given the history of representative government and the holding of elections under that system in Australia prior to federation, that the elections for which the Constitution provides were intended to be free elections in the sense explained by Birch. Furthermore, because the choice given by ss 7 and 24 must be a true choice with “an opportunity to gain an appreciation of the available alternatives”, as Dawson J pointed out in Australian Capital Television Pty Ltd v The Commonwealth, legislative power cannot support an absolute denial of access by the people to relevant information about the functioning of government in Australia and about the policies of political parties and candidates for election.

 

 

 

That being so, ss 7 and 24 and the related sections of the Constitution necessarily protect that freedom of communication between the people concerning political or government matters which enables the people to exercise a free and informed choice as electors. Those sections do not confer personal rights on individuals. Rather they preclude the curtailment of the protected freedom by the exercise of legislative or executive power. As Deane J said in Theophanous, they are “a limitation or confinement of laws and powers [which] gives rise to a pro tanto immunity on the part of the citizen from being adversely affected by those laws or by the exercise of those powers rather than to a ‘right’ in the strict sense”.  In Cunliffe v The Commonwealth, Brennan J pointed out that the freedom confers no rights on individuals and, to the extent that the freedom rests upon implication, that implication defines the nature and extent of the freedom.  His Honour said

 

 

 

“The implication is negative in nature:  it invalidates laws and consequently creates an area of immunity from legal control, particularly from legislative control.”

 

 

 

If the freedom is to effectively serve the purpose of ss 7 and 24 and related sections, it cannot be confined to the election period. Most of the matters necessary to enable “the people” to make an informed choice will occur during the period between the holding of one, and the calling of the next, election. If the freedom to receive and disseminate information were confined to election periods, the electors would be deprived of the greater part of the information necessary to make an effective choice at the election.

 

 

 

In addition, the presence of s 128, and of ss 6, 49, 62, 64 and 83, of the Constitution makes it impossible to confine the receipt and dissemination of information concerning government and political matters to an election period. Those sections give rise to implications of their own. Section 128, by directly involving electors in the States and in certain Territories in the process for amendment of the Constitution, necessarily implies a limitation on legislative and executive power to deny the electors access to information that might be relevant to the vote they cast in a referendum to amend the Constitution. Similarly, those provisions which prescribe the system of responsible government necessarily imply a limitation on legislative and executive power to deny the electors and their representatives information concerning the conduct of the executive branch of government throughout the life of a federal Parliament. Moreover, the conduct of the executive branch is not confined to Ministers and the public service. It includes the affairs of statutory authorities and public utilities which are obliged to report to the legislature or to a Minister who is responsible to the legislature. In British Steel v Granada Television, Lord Wilberforce said that it was by these reports that effect was given to “The legitimate interest of the public” in knowing about the affairs of such bodies. Whatever the scope of the implications arising from responsible government and the amendment of the Constitution may be, those implications cannot be confined to election periods relating to the federal Parliament.

 

 

 

However, the freedom of communication which the Constitution protects is not absolute. It is limited to what is necessary for the effective operation of that system of representative and responsible government provided for by the Constitution. The freedom of communication required by ss 7 and 24 and reinforced by the sections concerning responsible government and the amendment of the Constitution operates as a restriction on legislative power. However, the freedom will not invalidate a law enacted to satisfy some other legitimate end if the law satisfies two conditions. The first condition is that the object of the law is compatible with the maintenance of the constitutionally prescribed system of representative and responsible government or the procedure for submitting a proposed amendment to the Constitution to the informed decision of the people which the Constitution prescribes. The second is that the law is reasonably appropriate and adapted to achieving that legitimate object or end. Different formulae have been used by members of this Court in other cases to express the test whether the freedom provided by the Constitution has been infringed. Some judges have expressed the test as whether the law is reasonably appropriate and adapted to the fulfilment of a legitimate purpose. Others have favoured different expressions, including proportionality. In the context of the questions raised by the case stated, there is no need to distinguish these concepts. For ease of expression, throughout these reasons we have used the formulation of reasonably appropriate and adapted.

 

 

It would seem the answer to the proposed question is answered with a yes, even if it is less a protection and more a correction to any law of our nation that would seek to undermine free speech.

 

What has yet to be argued is the application of S34, which in the most empowers most adult Australians the right to nominate for the various houses of parliament. This ought to ensure the protections initially defending the free speech of elected members and candidates should flow to all Australian citizens, albeit of voting age.

 

 

We may have a legislative agenda in this country, that seeks to undermine our right to free speech, but we still retain a constitution that can invalidate that agenda, in much as it is in conflict with that speech, where it is required to protect our represented democracy.

 

 

Mark Aldridge, “work in progress”

Much of the wording has been stolen from high court judgements

Advertisements

Australia day 26/1, what are we celebrating?

August 28, 2017

Australia day, what does it celebrate.

Before 1770 – Aboriginal peoples had been living for more than 40 000 years on the continent we now know as Australia. At least 1600 generations of these peoples had lived and died here.

Europeans from the thirteenth century became interested in details from Asia about this land to the south. From the sixteenth century, European cartographers and navigators gave the continent various names, including Terra Australis (Southern Land) and New Holland.

1770 – Captain James Cook raised the Union Jack on what is now called Possession Island on 22 August to claim the eastern half of the continent as New South Wales for Great Britain.

1788 – Captain Arthur Phillip, commander of the First Fleet of eleven convict ships from Great Britain, and the first Governor of New South Wales, arrived at Sydney Cove on 26 January and raised the Union Jack to signal the beginning of the colony.

Captain Arthur Phillip, was instructed to “live in amity and kindness” with Indigenous Australians

Note; Phillip went on to ignore the Kings mandate that he negotiate for use of the Land, as did Cook under the letters patient., and so the slaughter began.

1788 – The Australian frontier wars began, they were a series of conflicts that were fought between Indigenous Australians and British settlers, with an estimated 30 to 30,000 aboriginal people being killed, these battles continued until around 1934.

1804 – Early almanacs and calendars and the Sydney Gazette began referring to 26 January as First Landing Day or Foundation Day. In Sydney, celebratory drinking, and later anniversary dinners became customary, especially among emancipists.

1818 – Governor Macquarie acknowledged the day officially as a public holiday in NSW on the thirtieth anniversary. The previous year he accepted the recommendation of Captain Matthew Flinders, circumnavigator of the continent, that it be called Australia.

*1837;  Sir Henry Parkes, Premier of New South Wales, planned something for everyone, or almost everyone. When questioned about what was being planned for the Aborigines, Parkes retorted, ‘And remind them that we have robbed them?

1838 – Proclamation of an annual public holiday for 26 January marked the Jubilee of the British occupation in New South Wales. This was the second year of the anniversary’s celebratory Sydney Regatta.

By now, the other state had their own day for their foundation.

1838 – Aboriginal people started to morn the 26th of January

1871 – The Australian Natives’ Association, formed as a friendly society to provide medical, sickness and funeral benefits to the native-born of European descent, became a keen advocate from the 1880s of federation of the Australian colonies within the British Empire, and of a national holiday on 26 January.

1888 – Representatives from Tasmania, Victoria, Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia and New Zealand joined NSW leaders in Sydney to celebrate the Centenary. What had begun as a NSW anniversary was becoming an Australian one. The day was known as Anniversary or Foundation Day.

1901 – The Australian colonies federated to form the Commonwealth of Australia. The Union Jack continued as the national flag, taking precedence over the Australian red and blue shipping ensigns gazetted in 1903.

Federation became entrenched on the 9th of May 1901 was the first day Parliament of the commonwealth sat. Schools were still celebrated federation day under the British flag.

Melbourne was the interim federal capital. The Australian Capital Territory was created out of New South Wales in 1908, the federal capital named Canberra in 1913, and the Parliament House opened there in 1927.

1911 – Empire day was earmarked as the first “Australia day”, May 24 was the date.

1915 – July 30th was called “Australia Day” to help raise money for Aussie troops.

1930 – The Australian Natives’ Association in Victoria began a campaign to have 26 January celebrated throughout Australia as Australia Day on a Monday, making a long weekend. The Victorian government agreed with the proposal in 1931, the other states and territories following by 1935.

So the first national day was a public holiday Monday, not a set date!

1936 – Aboriginal people labelled 26th of January “Day of mourning”

1938 – While state premiers celebrated the Sesquicentenary together in Sydney, Aboriginal leaders met there for a Day of Mourning to protest at their mistreatment by white Australians and to seek full citizen rights.

1946 – The Australian Natives’ Association prompted the formation in Melbourne of an Australia Day Celebrations Committee (later known as the Australia Day Council) to educate the public about the significance of Australia Day. Similar bodies emerged in the other states, which in rotation, acted as the Federal Australia Day Council.

1948 – The Nationality and Citizenship Act created a symbolic Australian citizenship. Australians remained British subjects.

1954 – The Australian blue ensign was designated the Australian national flag and given precedence over the Union Jack. The Australian red ensign was retained as the commercial shipping ensign.

1960 – The first Australian of the Year was appointed: Sir Macfarlane Burnet, a medical scientist. Other annual awards followed: Young Australian of the Year, 1979; Senior Australian of the Year, 1999, and Australia’s Local Hero, 2003.

1972 – Tent embassy was established by Aborigine elders, opposing the date chosen for Australia day.

1979 – The Commonwealth government established a National Australia Day Committee in Canberra to make future celebrations ‘truly national and Australia-wide’. It took over the coordinating role of the Federal Australia Day Council. In 1984 it became the National Australia Day Council, based in Sydney, with a stronger emphasis on sponsorship. Incorporation as a public company followed in 1990.

1984 – Australians ceased to be British subjects. Advance Australia Fair replaced God Save the Queen as the national anthem, we were now all Australians.

*1988 – Sydney continued to be the centre of Australia Day spectacle and ceremony. The states and territories agreed to celebrate Australia Day in 1988 on 26 January, rather than with a long weekend.

Australia day was therefor created in 1988.

Aborigines renamed Australia Day, ‘Invasion Day’. The Bondi Pavilion protest concert foreshadowed the Survival Day Concerts from 1992.

1994 – Celebrating Australia Day on 26 January became established. The Australian of the Year Award presentations began alternating between Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne and Brisbane.

2001 – Centenary of federation. The National Australia Day Council’s national office had returned to Canberra the previous year. In 2001 the Council transferred from the Department of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts to that of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Australians’ growing familiarity with the Australia Day holiday led the Council to focus on shaping their awareness of its significance and meaning.

2004 – The presentation of Australia Day awards — the focus of Australia Day — became fixed in Canberra.

The Australian frontier wars were a series of conflicts that were fought between Indigenous Australians and mainly British settlers that spanned a total of 146 years. The first fighting took place several months after the landing of the First Fleet in January 1788 and the last clashes occurred as late as 1934

To summarise, New South Wales — Sydney especially — has long celebrated 26 January to mark the beginning of British occupation of Australia. Victoria and the other Australian states and territories, persuaded by the Australian Natives’ Association, came to accept Australia Day by 1935, celebrating it together with a long weekend. Since 1979, federal government promotion of an Australia Day that was less British and more Australian gave the day a higher profile in the hope of unifying Australia’s increasingly diverse population. The long weekend gave way to the day itself in 1994, and ten years later Canberra displaced Sydney as the day’s focal point.

Dates for Australia day have been numerous, 9th of May is the day we became federated, NSW had 26th of January as their special day, other states celebrated their dates coinciding with settlement as British colonies.

The Australian name and flag were created long after Phillip landed in NSW and proclaimed it as a British colony.

May 24th, May 9th, July 30th have all been called Australia day at different times in Australia’s history.

 

However, Aboriginal Australians have continued to feel excluded from what has long been a British pioneering settler celebration, symbolised by the raising of the Union Jack and later, on another date, the Australian flag which bears the British flag. Debate over the date and nature of Australia Day continues as the National Australia Day Council seeks to meet the challenge of making 26 January a day all Australians can accept and enjoy.

I am uncertain Phillips landing and proclamation as a British colony is the right date, considering it is such a sad one for the Aboriginal people.

You can add to this brief overview of history if you like or use it to research an ideal day to celebrate, but for me, it best be a date that genuinely celebrates Australia as a nation, so I would say May 9th, but each to their own.

The date should be able to be celebrated by all Australians, including the original people of this land.

Mark Aldridge

Same Sex Marriage, who decides?

August 13, 2017

IF YOU’RE over the idea of reading yet another blog on marriage equality, I can emphasize with you.

 

 

Let’s be honest, debates like this make me want to turn of the news, and retreat into my sanctuary where the cynicism of modern-day politics does not exist.

If it was a brief informed discussion, or a simple democratic process, I would be more than happy, as always to consider what my 2 cents would be worth.

Marriage is a simple word, for so long it described the union of a man and a woman, parliament defined it, as is their power under the constitution, and they defined it in line with the Dictionary definition.

I have yet to have any of my gay friend’s demand marriage, I do remember the fight for social inclusion, and to have the same equity at law as those who held a government certificate (Marriage).

When this debate started, when was that now, a decade ago now? I always wondered if another word could be chosen, rather than marriage, something to adorn the top of their government certificate, that shows their commitment to each other.

Seems my idea was less than favorable, but it was simply my mind trying to find a way to end this debate and move on to the more important social issues we all face, regardless of our choice of partner.

Before you accuse me of a lack of compassion, may I argue my case?

I love my partner, she loves me, well I am pretty sure she still does, a government endorsed certificate does not define our love what so ever, are we married, yes we are. Why did we get married, hmmm that would be an interesting debate, was it to prove a commitment, a legal contract, I might get back to you on that 😊

I see posters that say “love is love” or I want my right! They are both right, Love is Love, even with out a government endorsement, and rights, well we all are suffering a lack of defined protections, regardless of our choice of partner.

Sydney broadcaster Alan Jones tweeted: “Re Gay Marriage. Love is a very elusive thing. If 2 people find love we shouldn’t be making judgments about it or getting in the way.”

Who is getting in the way of love, who is judging others, are those opposed homophobic?

Let’s get this debate back on track; “The only ones to blame are our elected representatives”, they represent electorates, if they don’t know what their electorate wants, they are in the wrong job. Parliament is empowered by the Constitution to define Marriage.

Fact is parliament have been doing as they please for years, so our will means little to them, and an expansive poll will do little to push them either way.

It is not as if they are not aware of the topic, it is not as if they cant simply draw up the changes and vote on them, like any other legislative redefining, they do it every day.

The fact is the very people you chose to represent you, are not, they are representing political parties, vested interests, so this debate simply exposes the flaws in our democratic process, flaws you already knew existed.

There is no need to waste 120 to 150 million asking the people, when the outcome will be wishy washy, dodgy and non-binding.

If any representative is unsure, let them poll their electorates, and if their parties won’t let them vote on legislative change, let them declare to their electorate where they stand, we can all do the maths can’t we.

There are those in the LGBTI community that are already far more vulnerable to anxiety and depression (they’re also up to 14 times more likely to attempt suicide) as a direct result of the past decades they have fought for acceptance alone.

The last thing they need is a huge national debate that will achieve nothing, what we all need is educated discussion with our representatives, and to empower their ability to achieve our will, everything else is divisional and a detraction.

Within hours of the government’s commitment to a plebiscite, former prime minister Tony Abbott was telling the nation: “If you’re worried about religious freedom and freedom of speech, vote ‘no’, and if you don’t like political correctness, vote ‘no’ because voting ‘no’ will help to stop political correctness in its tracks.”

Imagine lobbying for the ability to marry, and hearing one of the nation’s most prominent citizens dismissing the fight to end your sense of injustice and frustration as “political correctness”.

The government’s position is demeaning and disrespectful to all of us, the decision to conduct a plebiscite is a knee jerk reaction to cover up for the real inadequacies of our democratic process.

Yes, there are many other critical issues demanding the nation’s attention, and if we polled the people, SSM would not make the top of the list, but if a section of Australian society demand equity on their terms, like all social issues, they deserve to get a fair hearing and a timely decision.

For me personally, my love does not need government endorsement, my rights do, so lets all unite and fight for defined civil and human rights through a “Bill of Rights”, and let the Gay community be included in its definition.

Mark Aldridge.

Makin candidate, Mark Aldridge, most in touch with his electorate.

June 30, 2016

Mark Aldridge Independent for Makin, is winning the grass roots support in his electorate, based on his representation on Social Media, and grass roots work in his electorate.

Mark 3

Marks recent media releases which paint a clear picture of where he stands on a variety of political topics, the very same topics. recent polls say are supported by the voters in his electorate.

“Protecting our Farmers and producers is one thing, but my position is the farms themselves are strategic assets, and ought not to be for sale to foreign interests” says Mark

Mr. Aldridge runs several farmers markets which service his electorate “Farm Direct” community markets, in Salisbury heights and Lights view, also spending years setting up and supporting other markets in the north, including his first major market in Parafield.

The markets are simply my attempt to bring change at a grass roots level, they were never set us as a political ploy, they are there to simply support my community and the local producers themselves.

“I grew up in the North, in Parafield Gardens, and now live in Penfield amongst the farmers, so uniting them both has been a tremendous success” says Mark

One of the great things about my advocacy work in the north is that I spend much of my time in the electorate chatting with the community, so I feel very connected to them. I believe this is why I have such great support and such a detailed understanding of their needs at a grass roots level.

When asked about recent media articles, Mark said “I have never been very popular with the media to be honest” they at times seem as out of touch with the people as the major party candidates. The election debate coverage so far between the supposed leaders, clearly shows they have no idea what change the public care even calling for.

Real jobs, securing our primary production sector, improved support for our pensioners and veterans are not on the agenda, in fact my opponents in Makin, are still calling for increased immigration and foreign aid, obviously little do they realise, the public do not agree.

The only issue my support is facing is a hostile media, who as usual, feel they have a right to dictate both the policy’s to be debated and restrict coverage to their favoured candidates.

“Makin voters should know me well enough by now to know what I stand for, sadly those that don’t will probably be swayed by media propaganda, rather than any open debate on the topics of concern. Even the Messenger press have refrained from letting their readers know who is running, which is very sad for local democracy”. Mark said.

Once the election is over, regardless of the outcome, I will still be here for the community and continue to work in their best interests, so losing an election only affects the resources I have to do my job. I will still be looking for ways to improve services and opportunities for the voters of Makin, long after the other candidates disappear for another few years.

 

Written by Mark Aldridge in the absence of any journos that are allowed to write about me J

How much does AUSTRALIA donate in foreign aid?

June 12, 2014

How much does Australia donate to other countries?

 

Australia donates Billions of dollars every year in foreign Aid, even if it has to borrow to meets its obligations.

Australia 1

The amount Australia presently donates is not in line with our UN masters, the following graph shows the massive increases we are being told to make.

Australia 2

The following graphs are the current “AusAid” donations, these do not include massive military costs, the huge Carbon tax payments and various other costs amounting to billions exposed in my articles from last year.

 

5.6 AUSTRALIA’S ASSISTANCE TO SOUTH AND WEST ASIA—2011–12
Country 2011–12 ODA
budget ($m)
Population (no.) HDI rank Priority areas
Afghanistan 165.1 29.1m 172 of 187 Basic service delivery (health and education), rural livelihoods, governance, support for vulnerable populations
Pakistan 92.8 184.8 million 145 of 187 Education and scholarships; health; humanitarian, emergency and refugee aid; economic growth; governance
Bangladesh 92.0 164.4 million 146 of 187 Education and scholarships, health, economic growth, climate change and environmental sustainability, governance
Sri Lanka 43.5 20.4 million 97 of 187 Humanitarian, emergency and refugee aid; education and scholarships; economic growth; climate change and environmental sustainability; governance
Nepal 26.6 29.9 million 157 of 187 Health, education and scholarships
India 25.0 1.2 billion 134 of 187 Climate change and environmental sustainability, health
Bhutan 8.0 708 484 141 of 187 Education, justice and democracy
Maldives 5.0 313 920 109 of 187 Education, justice and democracy
Regional Programs 7.1 Multiple countries varied Economic growth, climate change and environmental sustainability, health
Source: AusAID.

 

5.5 AUSTRALIA’S ASSISTANCE TO EAST ASIA—2011–12
Country 2011–12 ODA
budget ($m)
Population (no.) HDI rank Priority areas
Indonesia 558.1 240 million 124 of 187 Education and scholarships; economic growth; health; humanitarian, emergency and refugee aid; civil society, justice and democracy; economic and public sector reform; climate change and environmental sustainability
Vietnam 137.9 89 million 128 of 187 Education and scholarships, economic growth, climate change and environmental sustainability
Philippines 123.1 93.6 million 112 of 187 Education and scholarships; governance; humanitarian, emergency and refugee aid; climate change and environmental sustainability
East Timor 123.7 1.2 million 147 of 187 Education and scholarships, health, economic growth, governance
Cambodia 77.4 15.1 million 139 of 187 Education and scholarships; health; economic growth; governance; humanitarian, emergency and refugee aid
Burma 47.6 50.5 million 149 of 187 Health, education and scholarships, economic growth
Lao People’s Democratic Republic 42.1 6.4 million 138 of 187 Education and scholarships, economic growth, governance
China 35.7 1.4 billion 101 of 187 Equitable development, health, climate change and environmental sustainability
Mongolia 12.2 2.7 million 110 of 187 Education, water and sanitation
East Asia Regional Programs 108.0 Multiple countries varied Economic growth; humanitarian, emergency and refugee aid; health; climate change and environmental sustainability
Source: AusAID.

 

5.4 AUSTRALIA’S ASSISTANCE TO THE PACIFIC—2011–12
Country 2011–12 ODA
budget ($m)
Population (no.) HDI rank Priority areas
Papua New Guinea 482.3 6.9 million 153 of 187 Education, health, law and justice, transport infrastructure
Solomon Islands 261.6 515 817 142 of 187 Health, education and scholarships, economic growth, equitable development and governance
Vanuatu 70.1 245 786 125 of 187 Education and scholarships, health, economic growth, governance
Samoa 43.7 178 943 99 of 187 Economic growth, health, education and scholarships, governance, climate change and environmental sustainability
Fiji 37.5 854 098 100 of 187 Education and scholarships, health, equitable development, economic growth
Tonga 32.1 104 260 90 of 187 Governance, health, education and scholarships, economic growth
Kiribati 28.2 99 547 122 of 187 Education and scholarships, economic growth
Nauru 26.2 10 254 unranked Governance, education and scholarships, health, economic growth
Tuvalu 9.9 9 970 unranked Contribution to the Tuvalu Trust Fund, with a focus on improving health and education services
Cook Islands 4.4 19 933 unranked Contributions to NZ aid program, focusing on education, infrastructure, private sector development and water and sanitation
Niue 4.6 1 438 unranked Contribution to the Niue Trust Fund, support for the delivery of essential services
North Pacific 10.7 Multiple countries varied Minor, targeted interventions such as in the environment, public sector strengthening, and water and sanitation areas
Pacific Regional Programs 149.7 Multiple countries varied Education, climate change and environmental sustainability, economic growth, governance
Source: AusAID.

 

5.7 AUSTRALIA’S ASSISTANCE TO AFRICA AND THE MIDDLE EAST—2011–12
Country 2011–12 ODA 
budget ($m)
Population (no.) HDI rank Priority areas
Africa Regional Program 291.3 Multiple countries Varied, but comprising many of the lowest-ranked countries Health; economic growth; governance; humanitarian, emergency and refugee aid
Iraq 36.6 31.5 million 132 of 187 Governance; humanitarian, emergency and refugee aid
Palestinian Territories 56.0 4.4 million 114 of 187 Governance; humanitarian, emergency and refugee aid; economic growth
Arab Spring Countries 99.5 Multiple countries varied Food security and rural development, post-conflict stabilisation and recovery, humanitarian assistance
Source: AusAID.

 

5.8 AUSTRALIA’S ASSISTANCE TO LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN—2011–12
Country 2011–12 ODA 
budget ($m)
Population (no.) HDI rank Priority areas
Latin America Regional Program 27.2 Multiple countries varied Rural development, human resource development, natural resource governance
Caribbean Regional Program 20.7 Multiple countries varied Climate change and environmental sustainability, governance
Source: AusAID.

 

Helping others is not an issue, until you are expected as a nation to go with out the very same services, or the money is borrowed on behalf of your children, but that is a decision for the reader, the latest Liberal governments federal policy, already has people up in arms, and these facts show they will have to find even more money to appease the UN directives.

So did you vote for the Liberals, maybe you voted for Labor, but none of us voted for the UN, and they it appears are dictating policy, I dont see that as democratic.

 

Mark Aldridge

South Australian state election 2014 results

April 1, 2014
STATE ELECTION RESULTS QUICK GUIDE;
 
There were 1,142,419 voters registered for the 2014 SA state election.
 
Just before the SA 2010 election there were 1,093,316 enrolled voters, yet just before the election this number was reduced to 1,015,386, confirming 77,930 regular voters names temporarily went missing from the electoral rolls?
 
It is possible after attending in 2010 to find ones name no longer on the roll, may have had an affect on voter turn out in 2014. I used regular radio spots to try and ensure people knew the rolls may have been fixed and explain this, but was no longer allowed on air on most stations and time slots, neither were any of my supporters when it came to election conduct.
 
The 2014 election resulted in 1,017,865 votes being cast for the lower house, resulting in 124,563 voters not turning up to vote for the lower house.
 
Interestingly those who did not turn up to vote for the upper house was 95,563, so somehow 28,717 people were able to vote in the upper house but somehow decide to sneak out with the lower house  ballot paper?
 
The counting for the upper house also went up and down, this interesting issue, we are told was due to a few polling booths counting ballot papers twice. I can assume this mistake also will not be made public. 
 
The turn out for the upper house, even though it was somehow higher than for the lower house, was the lowest in recent times which has in itself raised a few eyebrows.
 
I was leaked a winning margin in December 2013 of 1873 votes, although the liberals could have taken 3 extra seats and taken government for around that amount (1984 votes) is all that would have been needed to change 3 lower house seats. In 2010 the winning margins in the required seats was 1250.
 
The final result for the lower house in first preference votes was Liberal 455,797, and Labor 364,420, seeing Labor take office. (In 2010 it was Labor 48% to Liberal 51% in the 2 party count)
 
Coincidentally in 2007 an Independent who had sworn to back the Liberals in his advertising, also backed Labor to take government (for the job of speaker of the house)
 
In 2010 nearly 17,000 postal ballot papers went missing, questions as to where they went have never been answered,  the 2014 election in regards to such issues wont usually be known for at least 6 months, in most cases results like this are not made public.
 
I attempted to find out where missing ballot papers were going during the conduct of the 2014 election to try my best and safe guard peoples votes. However the official P O Box address 666 for the electoral commission (very interesting number) was not used, all up we cam across around 60 different postal and replied paid addresses, too numerous to follow.
 
In 2010 Labor had registered some interesting reply paid addresses including one with the name Isobel Redmond, I have more leaks to follow up to expose what has been done this election.
 
Shamefully these practices are now common place, and changes to electoral law by the 2 major parties continue each year further undermining voters rights. In December 2013 SA electoral law was changed to make it near impossible for minor players and Independents to run, in 2010 the Attorney general (Labors Michael Atkinson) introduced laws to stop people from making online comment with out publishing their full details and home address.
Full details of all electoral law changes will be in my YouTube overview.
 
Informal votes; In the upper house there were 39,636 informal votes, the lower house will take a little work, as an overview is not being published.
 
Several dodgy practices were exposed during the campaign, but the biggest ones in the seats that mattered were kept silent by the media, a usual occurrence.
 
It was here supposedly personal letters were sent to thousands of voters, yet did not carry the usual “Authorised by” information, in each case these letters asked voters to back Labor in both houses.
 
I had run a campaign over the past few elections for voters to use a Pen when filling in the ballot paper, simply because many scrutineers reported to me, what appeared to be modified votes, marks on the ballot paper in pencil simply rubbed out and re-done.
 
This resulted in the Electoral commission during the 2014 election running a massive campaign called “The power of the pencil” to promote people using a pencil, I will leave that as a question for you to ponder.
 
Personal information already provided to me has again made the use of pencils a concern, but those who were privy to these issues are contracted to remain silent by the commission in the same way they were in 2010, so whistle blowers are unable to come forward.
 
Issues are as usual flooding in, names missing from the rolls, names appearing twice, multiple voting, dodgy advertising, flyers and promises, posters being stolen and even dodgy posters.
 
Reports of missing postal ballot papers, dead people remaining on the roll and the like appear to be as bad as previous years, reports from those counting the votes in regards to changed ballot papers showed an increase.
 
In several booths I have received video evidence of an assortment of issues from Labor members in the booths to parties standing right by the entrance door, and a variety of electoral breaches, in the most these were Labor members and supporters.
 
Other interesting new tactics that have come up include; Party buses (political) bringing in the elderly, extensive use of recorded phone messages and unique counting times and procedures.
 
A brief YouTube documentary will be available in the coming weeks.
 
Mark Aldridge
 
Please see below for previous exposes, photos and links.
Mark Aldridge exposes massive electoral fraud at the SA Public launch of the Australian Alliance
The day after this speech it was revealed the state government amended electoral law once again to ensure they face NO opposition in the upper house, with leaks exposing they intend to introduce assoc…

 

ABORIGINAL SOVEREIGNTY the way Forward

January 30, 2014

 

ABORIGINAL SOVEREIGNTY AND THE RIGHT TO SELF-DETERMINATION

The ideal of a Bill of Rights for all Australians, the need for a treaty between the Australian government and the sovereign people of this land and the need to revisit our constitution are issues that are long overdue for transparent and educated debate.

Treaties and other forms of agreements are accepted around the world as the means of reaching a settlement, between indigenous peoples and those who have settled upon their lands.

Treaties can be found in countries such as the US, Canada and New Zealand. Indeed, in other nations such as Canada, new treaties are still being debated.

Australia is the exception. We are now the only Commonwealth nation that does not have a treaty with its indigenous people. We have never entered into negotiations with them about the taking and occupation of their lands or even attempt to define their place in this nation’s past or present.

Rather than building our country on the idea of a partnership with Aboriginal people, our laws have sought to exclude and discriminate against them, for over 200 years.

This is reflected in the text of our constitution, which in 1901 created the Australian nation. That document was drafted at two conventions held in the 1890s. Aboriginal people were not represented, nor were they consulted in the drafting of the constitution.

Even though the constitution protected against discrimination, those protections were and have never been applied to the aboriginal people, a clear fault in the preparing of our founding documents.

The idea that Australia was terra nullius, or no man’s land, when white settlers arrived in 1788, for the purposes of our laws, was nothing more than a vain attempt to hope the problem would go away, it was as if they could close their eyes and Aboriginal people would simply no longer exist, or just maybe they thought they could wipe them out completely.

Hence:

•     While the preamble to the constitution set out the history behind the enactment of the constitution and the notion that the constitution was based on the support of the people of the colonies, it made no mention of the prior occupation of Australia by its indigenous peoples. Australia’s history, it seemed, began in 1788.

•     Section 25 recognised that the states could disqualify people from voting in the elections on account of their race.

•     Section 51 (xxvi) provided that the Parliament could legislate with respect to “the people of any race, other than the Aboriginal race in any state, for whom it is deemed necessary to make special laws”. This was the so-called, “races power”, and was inserted, in the words of our first prime minister, Edmund Barton, to allow the Commonwealth to “regulate the affairs of the people of coloured or inferior races who are in the Commonwealth”.

•     Section 127 provided: “In reckoning the numbers of the people of the Commonwealth, or of a state or other part of the Commonwealth, Aboriginal natives shall not be counted”.

Some of these things were fixed with the 1967 referendum. It:

•     Removed the prohibition on the Federal Parliament making laws for Aboriginal people.

•     Deleted the prohibition in section 127 on the counting of Aboriginal peoples.

On the other hand, the referendum did not change the preamble or section 25.

Today, we have a constitution that ignores the existence of Aboriginal people and recognises that people can be denied the vote on account of their race, and that laws can be passed that discriminate against people for the same reason.

Given this history, it should come as no surprise that the white settlers never entered into one or more treaties with Aboriginal people.

Even from a stand point of English precedent law, the Queens own orders to work and trade with the original people for the use of their lands, was ignored by the first fleet.

The question today is how we can end this pattern of exclusion and discrimination. Constitutional change is certainly part of the answer but so is a treaty. These are separate debates but they represent two things that must be achieved.

The application of a bill or rights is also worthy of debate, because in the past 20 years, even Australian settlers or the children of, are now facing similar exclusion and protections by their own government.

In more recent times, a call for a treaty was made at the Corroboree 2000 convention, and the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation identified a treaty as unfinished business of the reconciliation process. It recommended:

That the Commonwealth Parliament enact legislation . . . to put in place a process which will unite all Australians by way of an agreement, or treaty, through which unresolved issues of reconciliation can be resolved.

By a treaty, I mean nothing more than an agreement between governments and Aboriginal peoples. Such an agreement could involve three things:

1.     A starting point of acknowledgment.

2.     A process of negotiation.

3.     Outcomes in the form of rights, obligations and opportunities.

A treaty about such matters could recognise the history and prior occupation by the Aboriginal people of this continent, as well as their long-standing grievances. It could also be a means of negotiating redress for those grievances and helping to establish a path forward based upon mutual goals, rather than ones imposed on Aboriginal people.

At the heart of the idea is the notion that a place in the Australian nation cannot be forced on Aboriginal people. It needs to be discussed and negotiated through a process based on mutual respect that recognises the sovereignty of Aboriginal people.

The international evidence is compelling in showing that listening to indigenous people is, by itself, insufficient to bring about real change. Change must be built on the genuine partnership between indigenous people and governments that can arise through the making of a treaty.

The evidence in the US and Australia shows time and again that redressing disadvantage over the longer term depends on indigenous people having the power to make decisions that affect not only their own people, but the use of their lands in general.

They must be responsible for the programs designed to meet their needs, and must be accountable for the successes and failures that follow.

At present much of Australian land is held in trust of the crown, and payments are still paid to the crown, just maybe that land should be held in trust of its original owners, and the income of leasing said land where the owners find it appropriate, could be a pool of resources for the sole use of the Aboriginal community’s for their country.

I can see nothing in our laws, nor the original letters patients that show valid reason for the crown to maintain ownership of Aboriginal lands, or why we would be paying any benefits from their use to a what could be considered a foreign power.

Another worthy debate would be to address representation in the Australian parliament, not in a token seat or an advisory role, one chosen for each parliament by the aboriginal people themselves.

It may be worthy of empowering the chosen representatives to control and destiny of their electorates resources and income, giving the power of destiny to the Aboriginal people themselves.

The “Harvard project’s” headline finding is that when Native Americans make their own decisions about development approaches, they consistently out-perform external decision makers, on matters as diverse as governmental form, natural resource management, economic development, healthcare and social service provision.

Positive change in Australia depends on Aboriginal people having more control over their lives. Improvements in education, employment and quality of life must be achieved by policies and programs owned and developed by the very people affected.

Success cannot be imposed from Canberra. The hard work must be done by Aboriginal people, and in saying that they must have the resources and support to ensure they can.

The problem in Australia is that we lack the laws and institutions necessary for Aboriginal people to make such decisions.

Unlike nations such as New Zealand, Canada and the US, agreements such as treaties have not been reached that recognise a measure of indigenous sovereignty. Instead, in Australia, decisions have often been imposed on Aboriginal people by parliaments and governments lacking even a single indigenous member.

In most cases the government prefers to deal with those who hold the same government’s position, rather than those who are considered leaders in their own community.

A negotiated treaty with Aboriginal people would mark an important break from a system that for many decades has disregarded the views of Aboriginal people, and reinforced their feelings of powerlessness. A treaty could give rise to stronger, and more capable, institutions of Aboriginal governance.

This is not to suggest there is any quick and easy fix. It is simply to say that fair and transparent dialogue is one piece of the puzzle. It is something that needs to be done both to achieve reconciliation and underpin long-term Aboriginal prosperity.

“We have to acknowledge that pre-1788, this land was Aboriginal country, and until we have acknowledged that, we will be an incomplete nation and a divided people.

“We only have to look across the Tasman to see how it all could have been done so much better. Thanks to the Treaty of Waitangi in New Zealand where two peoples became one nation.”

My time recently spent at the Tent embassy in Canberra made it clear that all I had been taught over the past 35 years had been flawed and with that so had my ideals on what drives both the aboriginal community and indeed our parliament.

I grew up believing the 26th of January was a day of celebration, the day our fine nation was born, for the aboriginal people this day holds a different significance, the day they were invaded, just like we as Australians morn the losses on ANZAC day, the original people of these lands morn the beginning of an invasion that resulted in the rape, murder and destruction of their people and their country.

So many settled Australians continue to say “leave it in the past” and unite to celebrate Australia day, without truly understanding what this day means to the aboriginal people, something I feel is the direct result of we as settled Australians having very little knowledge of our nation’s true history and foundations.

Saying sorry may be a fine gesture, but it will never have any true meaning until we can honestly embrace our past and use its lessons as a driver to understand the way forward.

While you are reading this, Aboriginal children are still being taken from their families, the land is still being destroyed, and governments are still telling our sovereign people where to live, how to live and how to spend their money.

So this is not just about the day the tall ships landed, it is about the treatment and persecution over the next 200 years or more that have been left out of the history books, the stories that would have brought about the genuine understanding and empathy needed to unite us as a nation.

The Aboriginal people can receive apologies for the slaughter of their people, the theft of their children, and the destruction of their lands, but that will do nothing to heal the past or improve the future, while we continue to deny their sovereignty or refuse their right to self-determination.

Let us as a nation hope and pray that the time will come where we can create a new date that can be celebrated by a united Australia, one that respects and honours the rights of liberties of every person living in this great country.

Mark Aldridge

Independent Candidate

08 82847482 / 0403379500

South Australian March 2014 election fails before it starts.

January 17, 2014

URGENT NOTICE TO ALL SOUTH AUSTRALIANS

SOUTH AUSTRALIAN MARCH 2014 ELECTION “FAILING ALREADY?”

 

The very fact the electoral commission themselves do not appear to know what new laws are in place, whether or not any new electoral laws are assented to, or even what the costs for candidates will be, the looming state election in March 2014 appears from the onset to be a failure.

The government and the opposition recently passed new electoral laws in a deliberate attempt to take control of the upper house, to ensure minor parties and Independents will not be able to run or compete at any level.

The changes include;

  • A huge increase in the amount of nominations required up from 2 to 250.
  • To exclude Independents from being able to preference
  • A massive increase in costs up from $450 to $3000
  • Other changes to empower the 2 party system at the expense of the free and informed vote of the electorate.

Questions to the electoral commission; Are these new laws legal, have they been assented to, when will they be in place, when we there be access to the nomination forms, are all remaining unanswered, only weeks out from when nominations must be lodged.

So let’s look at what I have to do to nominate;

To have my name on the ballot paper, with the right to be involved in the preference deals, I will need to run with a friend, 2 candidates will be needed.

The nominations needed (signatures with names addresses and dates of birth) will be a minimum of 500, yet I can’t start getting nominations until forms are made available, what if I only get 24 hours?

It is known that the electoral rolls are faulty, missing around 100,000 names, so I will need to get around 750 nominations to ensure I comply, but it gets worse, as each elector can only nominate one candidate.

So if an elector signs my nomination form, but has signed another’s as well, because all the minor candidates will need hundreds, both will seemingly be invalid, so how many will a candidate have to get?

Two candidates running together will need to raise $6,000 in the next few weeks, a massive imposition, when it is already near impossible to compete with the huge funding of the major parties, these changes are to wipe out the minor player ability’s to field candidate and produce electoral materials.

The other nasty change hiding in the new legislation is that Independents are no longer allowed in the primary ballot draw, so the ballot papers are now designed to promote the major parties, this does not support the concept of a fair go.

While these issues are indeed massive in their own right, one must question how the electoral commission can police the new rules, because with thousands of nominations to go through, where will they find the time, let alone ensure just accounting?

All of this because the government elected want to own the upper house, the house of review, they don’t want pesky Independent thinkers either questioning or exposing their legislative agenda, leaks to me expose the government are intent on undermining our civil and human rights, by the introduction of draconian laws akin to those coming out of QLD.

Now all of this may just piss everyone off, but they are the least of our problems, because the whole electoral conduct will in the most be totally dodgy.

The 2010 state election was found to be dodgy and to be honest totally invalid at law, yet no changes have been made to ensure all the dodgy practices exposed in 2010 do not happen in March.

Over 16,000 ballot papers simply went missing, thousands of postal ballot applications were found to be dodgy around 77,000 names were missing from the electoral rolls and the major parties handled tens of thousands of postal ballot applications, will this all happen again, or even get worse?

The Labor party were caught dressing up as another party and handing our dodgy how to vote cards, they were caught intercepting electoral mail and also ballot paper applications.

Polling booths were absent of important information and ran out of ballot papers, in fact the complaints were massive and so where the allegations of corruption.

I risked my own home to take these issues to the court of disputed returns, fighting for “Your right” to a just election process, only to find out that general elections cannot be invalidated at law, regardless of the count or the conduct, which is absolutely appalling.

The only way to overcome all these issues is to elect genuine representatives of the people, who will fight for democratic reforms, but these changes and dodgy practices are all about ensuring that does not happen.

The results of these electoral changes are to further empower the major parties, which will only result in increased attacks on our civil liberties and our once fine system of democracy.

I for one need your help and support, I have never asked for money in my 15 years fighting for your rights, but without your help, I will be out of the race, as will many other patriotic candidates.

Please consider my hard work over the past years in fighting for your rights, with a small donation to allow me to run as a candidate, even if I am not your preferred choice, because having a choice is an important part of democracy.

Commonwealth Bank Salisbury, Mark M Aldridge BSB; 065122 Account number; 10326657, please mark donations as “Political donations” in case I am unable to raise sufficient funds, because if that is the case, all moneys will be refunded.

In the best interests of democracy, please share this post, text or link with every South Australian, and consider visiting my website www.markmaldridge.com and continue reading up on the governments attack on democracy.

Mark Aldridge

Independent candidate and National spokesperson for the Australian Alliance.

08 82847482 / 0403379500

QLD becoming the police state of Australia

November 5, 2013

 

QLD is leading the world in abhorrent laws, now the new laws passed to deal with the G20 summit in QLD next year show the true direction for civil liberties in Australia

Police Minister Jack Dempsey says people living inside special security zones in Brisbane and Cairns will be barred from their homes and given up to $200 to stay elsewhere if they are identified as a risk by federal authorities.

The G20 bill passed by the state parliament late on Tuesday, approved payments covering accommodation for those with a criminal background, plus their dependents.

In a massive list of items prohibited in the security zones between November 14 and 17 next year include eggs, a bag of flour, manure, kites, surfboards, canoes, kayaks, toy cars and model aircraft as examples

Weapons including longbows and slingshots will also be banned, and get this “reptiles, insects or other animal capable of causing physical harm if released”.

Background checks would be based on local and international intelligence and would affect anyone with a criminal history or those that have attended rallies or protests in the past.

The offenders need not have past offences in the state of Queensland.

“We are expecting 99 per cent of people will be able to go freely once they have had their crim history checked,” reporters were told by police on Wednesday.

“If there are people who the authorities think will put the operation at risk, those people will be advised that they will not be able to go into those restricted areas.”

Australian Council for Civil Liberties president Terry O’Gorman said the removals seemed extreme; the Australian Alliance has also raised issues with the new laws and their impact on civil liberties.

“If you have a conviction for a terrorist offence then that may be a justification,” but to include any person with criminal history which may include traffic offences, then these laws have stepped well over the mark.

If one has an undefined criminal history and is then moved from their homes for the G20, that is not the type of actions we need in this country.

Officials have used previous G20s in Toronto in 2010 and Russia this year as their guide.

The new laws, which are to lapse after the summit, make it easier for officers to strip search and arrest troublemakers, the issue here is how we define trouble makers.

New offences for actions such as disrupting meetings and crossing barriers have also been created.

Mr Dempsey the police minister said police could detain people if they had reasonable suspicions a crime may be committed.

The Police went on to say “We are making sure that obviously the rights and liberties of the community are protected, in that people will be able to protest but, protest in a way that does not bring fear or apprehension to other people who are here visiting from the G20.”

People do indeed have a right to protest, as well as to feel safe in the community, but these laws tread too heavily on the rights and liberties of everyone.

The ideal police can come through a person home, removing eggs, flour and even surfboards, is ridiculous, let alone restrict people from entering their own homes.

Other recent laws in QLD resulted in police asked to break the law, mandatory sentencing regardless of criminal actions, intimidation of the innocent, association laws, laws that keep a person from their home or business et al.

It seems QLD is becoming the police state of Australia, where the rights and freedoms of the people, now come second to parliament and the corporate sector, a very frightening direction for all Australians.

Mark Aldridge

Referendum 2013 “Local councils are not government” VOTE NO!

July 23, 2013
Local councils and the 2013 referendum
THE VOTE NO ARGUMENT
I have written a lot of articles on the issue of local councils and the constitution, but here is a quick overview that relates to the up and coming referendum.
The date of the referendum is up in the air as of this week, with the change from Gillard to Rudd, as the referendum must be held 2 months after passing the senate, the date must be after the 24th of August, the G20 summit is a week before the original date of the 14th of September, and Rudd will want to be there, so September the 14th or later would be an educated guess.
In the past 40 years local councils have grown into a powerful corporate structure writing laws, issuing taxes, fines, charges, licences, registrations, building development and a host of increasing red tape all being inflicted on both the community and Australian small business.
It is interesting that councils have obtained the power to do all this from state government legislation, not by way of the public debate nor constitutional recognition, in fact when the people of Australia were asked if we wished to see the “establishment and continuance” of local councils, we said NO?
Since around 1920 local councils have been funded by the federal government via the states, simply because it is state legislation that empowers and police’s local councils, not federal legislation nor the constitution itself.
“This funding arrangement still exists and has served us well for nearly a century; it ensures the separation of powers in our constitution are upheld.”
Without this separation of powers, the commonwealth would be able to bypass the state and impose their own ideals on local governance using the power of their considerable local funding promises to manipulate local policy.
The reason councils were never included in the constitution is that local councils were never considered a level of government, so in recent years the federal Labor governments have tried to side step the states to intervene in local issues, in 1974 (Whitlam) and 1988 (Hawke) called for referendums that asked the Australian public if we indeed wanted the establishment or continuance of local governments and the Australian people voted a clear No!
When the people by way of a referendum say NO, to words like “establishment and continuance” it should mean just that, yet these private corporations have continued to flourish and expand their powers over most local community issues, using bluff over substance.
The 1974 and 1988 referendums were funded by the commonwealth with both the Yes and No arguments receiving equal funding, to ensure transparency, even though private donations fell behind the Yes argument.
Interestingly the 2013 Labor government backed referendum has led to some interesting funding arrangements, first of all the LGA started pooling rate payer’s moneys over 12 months ago,  well before we the people were aware of the impending referendum.
The federal government then showed their true cards, by a 95%/5% split in allocation of funding, 9.5 million to back the yes argument, and only 0.5 million on the no side of the debate, even the booklet going out to every Australian home has the no argument buried at the back.
Our Constitution was created through open and honest debate, so any changes to it must be made in the same manner, and from that stand point it has already failed!
For any federal government to disregard democracy at such a grass roots level is a disgrace, in the same way allowing rate payers money to be used to empower local councils without the approval of their constitutions just goes to prove where this referendum is going, and what the results will be if we dare vote yes.
The issue here is one of 3 strikes and you are out, so the YES argument is going to be sold any way it can, and we all know what that means, when questioned on the issue Anthony Albanese said “If the outcome is a NO vote it won’t matter” that being the case, why spend all the tax payer and rate payers money, on asking a question the Australian people have already clearly answered twice.
When the 74 and 88 referendums failed the state government exceeded their powers under the constitution, and wrote legislation that purported to empower local councils that were now a corporate structure, in an attempt to have them seen as a third tier of government.
An interesting side note here is that the states have no right to raise taxes, yet the legislation written in an attempt to empower local councils, allows them that very right, because rates are indeed a tax.
How can a state government pass on powers it doesn’t even enjoy in its own right?
The big sell on voting YES is nothing more than a load of rubbish, the LGA quote a recent high court case that restricts the commonwealth from directly funding local government, and of course that is the case, because local councils are not a tier of government, and secondly the commonwealth has no right to fund them, because that is what the protections found in our separation of powers is all about.
The commonwealth funding has always passed through the state governments hands, and so it should, when questioned on the looming referendum, Labor made it clear, if the referendum ends in another NO vote, nothing will change, so the LGA’s sell, that it will affect its funding is nothing more than fear mongering.
What many people forget, Labor for many years has used local councils as a training ground for their budding members, so empowerment of a local corporation into the realm of governance has the ability to impede in many ways the federal structure of our nation.
The most important issue supporting a NO vote is the ability to police local councils, because the only power to do so is the State governments, should the Commonwealth get control of the councils, then who polices them? We have state governments, state laws, state courts and state authorities, we have federal governments, federal courts and federal authorities’, if local councils corporations become a quazi form of local government, who would police their actions?
Dare we the Australian people risk another tier of government that has no independent checks and balances, let alone continue to allow the councils to act in the ways they presently do, from my point of view, we should take way some of their powers, or at the very least define what they are, because the constitution and the people clearly give them none.
Never forget that local council CEO’s are paid more than our Prime Minister  just in case you wonder where your council rates end up. story here
Writing laws that are used against the people, issuing taxes where they have no rights and the increased intrusion into our lives has already become unacceptable conduct, so the last thing we need do is give them more power.
As a Community advocate and a small business owner, I could and will list some of the issues we are already confronted with when dealing with a corporation who think they are tier of government.
Wanting to enter private properties with out warrants, tell us how to clean our homes and even our garden sheds, how long our grass will be, what colour we paint our walls, how we conduct business, where we place signs, how many pets, the issue of fines, rates, registrations, development planning, how we use our parks, our car parks and our land, applications to hold a family get together, demands to have liability insurance to hold a family BBQ in a public park, I could go on and on and on.
“The fact we must have checks and balances is one thing, intrusion into every aspect of our lives is another, but giving local corporations the power of government will only bring with it more red tape and massive increases in the cost of living”.
Try selling your excess eggs, bake a cake for a fundraiser, or sell tomato sauce from your front lawn, and you will find out exactly how far their supposed powers have taken them, voting yes will only make it worse. Imagine local wannabe politicians wielding even more power without any credible checks and balances.
Imagine the federal government being able to side step our state government and enter our homes through local corporations they control, without local authorities being able to protect us.
There are rafts or reasons to vote NO, since 1906 only 8 out of 44 referendums have passed, simply because changes to our constitution can have huge ramifications, because what may appear as simple word changes can bring with them a raft of interpretations, which I cover in detail on my website.
The people that debated the words in our constitution did so in the best interests of our nation, and even though successive governments have done all in their power to water down its protections, it still remains a very powerful tool and indeed.
“It is more than evident that those who now wish to change our constitution do not have those same best interests in mind, so I will vote no for that reason alone”.
Mark Aldridge
Independent candidate for Wakefield
82847482 / 0403379500