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ACM Home arrow Election Watch arrow Responses arrow Federal Election 2007

Federal Election 2007 Print E-mail
Written by ACM   
Friday, 10 August 2007

You can download the ACM 2007 Election brochure by clicking  here. 

To read copies of the letters and questionnaires, click here.

You may read  the party leaders' responses, as we receive them, by clicking on "The Leaders and Generic Party Responses" below. As the name suggests, we have included generic party reponses there. 

 To find the responses of particular candidates, you will need to click on the relevant state or territory, then the Senate or the relevant House electorate below. 

The Leaders' 

and Generic Party Responses 

  

Liberal Party of Australia: John Howard MP

National Party of Australia: Mark Vaile MP

Australian Labor Party: Kevin Rudd MP

Family First Party: Senator Steve Fielding

Australian Democrats: Senator Lyn Allison

Australian Greens: Senator Bob Brown

Australian Labor Party: Generic Response

Thank-you for your letter regarding the Australian Labor Party’s policy on the Australian Constitution. In April this year, the national conference endorsed the following:

Labor recognises that the Australian Constitution has been amended rarely in the past. History shows that referenda are only likely to succeed when they receive broad support across the political spectrum. Accordingly, labor will seek to build a broad consensus for constitutional reform both with other political parties and among Australian people as a whole.

Labor recognises that the Constitution was not set in stone at the time of Federation. It must be adaptable and acquire meaning from the needs of the day. Labor acknowledges that it is the role of the high court to interpret the Constitution in context, rather than relying on any expression of original intent mad at the time of Federation.

Labor is committed to engaging the public in a process of ongoing constitutional reform to remove outdated and inappropriate provisions from the Australian Constitution, to modernise our democratic structure and to make public administration more effective by facilitating cooperative schemes between Commonwealth and State Governments.

Labor believes the Constitution should:

·         Reflect Australia’s status as an independent nation and as a federal parliamentary democracy.

·         Use simple language and reflect actual practices and conventions of our system of government, including that the head of state should act on the advice of the government enjoying the confidence of the House of Representatives.

·         Provide the most suitable framework for the economic, environmental, social and political development of Australia as a Federation.

·         Recognise an appropriate division of responsibilities between all levels of government to facilitate national planning and the effective delivery of public services; and

·         Protect the independence of judiciary.

Labor supports the inclusion of a new preamble to the Constitution which recognises Indigenous Australians and the core elements of Australia’s history and democracy and appropriately expresses the values, aspirations and ideals of the Australian people

Labor believes that the monarchy no longer reflects either the fundamental democratic principals that underpin the Australian nation or its diversity. Labor believes that our head of state should be an Australian who embodies and represents the traditions, values and aspirations of all Australians.

Labor recognises the difficulty of advancing constitutional reform if the Australian people are not fully involved in the process and unless bipartisan support is obtained.

Labor is committed to consulting with the Australian people, other political parties, that States and the Territories as to the form that the Republic should take. Labor will promote community debate about the advantages and disadvantages of the various republican models.

However building a consensus takes time. Labor is committed to ensuring that the Republic has broad support, and we will take the time to make sure we get both this and the model right, rather than just rushing through one devised by politicians.

In doing this labor will first seek to establish a broad consensus and then move to conduct plebiscites o establish support for an Australian head of state and the preference for different forms of a republic. When a preference has emerged, Labor will initiate an appropriate referendum under section 28 of the constitution.

Labor believes that every Australian citizen should be eligible to be our head of state.

Labor supports Australia’s continued membership of the Commonwealth of Nations.

Labor will not change the Australian flag.

Yours Sincerely

 

Coaltition Generic Response:

 

 

 

Name: Brian Loughnane

Federal Campaign Director of the Coalition.

 

9 November 2007

Mr David Flint

National Convenor

Australians for Constitutional Monarchy

GPO Box 9841

Sydney NSW 2001

Dear Mr Flint

Thank you for providing the opportunity to outline the views of the Coalition on the issue of the monarchy and the Australian flag. On behalf of Coalition Members of Parliament and candidates, I am pleased to resound to your recent letter.

As you are aware, the Coalition’s ranks are comprised of men and women drawn from all sections of the community and they hold a diverse of views on the question of Australia’s constitutional arrangements.

In our view, the Australian people will decide if they wish the republic debate to resurface and should that occur, Coalition Members of Parliament will no doubt make their individual opinions known to the constituency at the time.

On the issue of the flag, the Coalition Government believes the Australian National flag represents our nation, its history and heritage. It is Australia’s flag representing a free and independent nation and one in which all Australians should be proud. The Coalition legislated in 1998 to require that any change to the Australian Flag would need to be approved by a majority of voters. (s3 (2) (a) & (b) Flags Act 1953.)

................................

Once again, thank you for helping us to communicate the Coalition’s plans for Australia to your members.

Yours sincerely.

Brian Loughnane

Federal Campaign Director.

[Note : Certain material not related to the matters raised by ACM have not beebn copied]

 

Democrats Generic Response:

Statement 1.    We will support the role of the Australian Crown in the Australian Constitutional system. [If you do not support the role of the Crown in the Australian Constitutional system, how would you replace the Australian Crown, and how much more taxpayers’ money should be spent on this?] 

No. Australia’s existing Constitution provides for monarchy with the monarch of another country as our Head of State. The Australian Democrats support a republic with an Australian Head of State.

Statement 2.    We will support the retention of the Australian National Flag.[If you do not support the retention of the Australian National Flag, please describe the new flag you are proposing]

We support, in consultation with the Australian public, a flag which is truly representative of the Australian identity. If this results in the retention of the current Australian National Flag, we will support this result. Please note that this is not necessarily the view of the Australian Democrats. Please see question five.

 

Statement 3.    We do not believe there are significant aspects of the Australian constitutional system which should be changed  [If you think significant aspects of the Australian constitutional system should be changed, what are they?] 

 

There are a range of deficiencies in relation to our existing Constitution, for example, it provides for a constitutional monarchy with the monarch of another country (the United  Kingdom) as our Head of State; there is no recognition of prior ownership of the land by the indigenous people of Australia, or their continuing rights to land and culture; there is no recognition of the fundamental rights and freedoms of individuals; the Commonwealth is not given any specific power enabling it to protect the environment and must rely on other powers, such as the corporations power, in order to introduce environmental laws; there is inadequate protection for the separation of powers; and the institutions of government are not clearly defined, for example there is no mention of the Prime Minister.Therefore, Constitutional reform is necessary to provide for:

*an Australian Head of State;

*promote reconciliation between Australia’s indigenous people and other Australians by recognising, their prior ownership and special relationship with the land, as well as their continuing rights in respect of it;

*protect the fundamental human rights of individuals against Executive infringement and legislative erosion;

*invest the Commonwealth with the power to make laws in relation to matters of environmental importance;

*and promote public  confidence in the institutions of government, including the judiciary.

 

Statement 4.    We will strongly oppose any bill designed to undermine the right of the Australian people to be consulted in a referendum before any change is made to the Australian Constitution. 

 

 

:I will strongly oppose any bill designed to undermine the right of the Australian people to be consulted in a referendum before any change is made to the Australian Constitution.

 

Statement 5.    We will oppose any change to the Australian National Flag being effected other than following a popular vote in accordance with the provisions of section 3(2) of the Flag Act, 1953, as in force on 1 September 2007.  

 

:Yes. This section of the Act, for your information, says:(2) The blue flag referred to in subsection (1) ceases to be Australian National Flag if, and only if:(a) a new flag or flags, and the flag referred to in subsection (1), are submitted in each State and Territory to the electors qualified to vote for the election of members of the House of Representatives; and (b) the new flag, or one of the new flags, is chosen by a majority of all the electors voting.

 

Statement 6.    In the event of proposed changes to the Constitution or to the Flag being referred to a vote by the people, we will publicly insist on and vote for the adequate funding of both the yes and no cases. 

 

In the event of proposed changes to the Constitution or to the Flag being referred to a vote by the people, I will publicly insist on and vote for the adequate funding of both the yes and no cases.  

 

Australian Greens: Generic Response 

Statement 1.    We will support the role of the Australian Crown in the Australian Constitutional system. [If you do not support the role of the Crown in the Australian Constitutional system, how would you replace the Australian Crown, and how much more taxpayers’ money should be spent on this?] 

 The Australian Greens Believe:*Australia’s constitution and democratic structures should help to build an ecologically sustainable and equitable society, with global consciousness and intergenerational perspective.*Australia’s Constitutional should express our aspirations as a community and define our rights and responsibilities as individuals and as members of the community.*Parliament is the central authority of representative and responsible government.*Australia should become a republic with an Australian Head of State.

 

Statement 2.    We will support the retention of the Australian National Flag.[If you do not support the retention of the Australian National Flag, please describe the new flag you are proposing]

 The Australian Greens support a referendum being held to allow the Australian people to determine whether to adopt a new Australian flag.  

Statement 3.    We do not believe there are significant aspects of the Australian constitutional system which should be changed  [If you think significant aspects of the Australian constitutional system should be changed, what are they?] 

 We support constitutional recognition of Australia’s cultural diversity, and the recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as original and ongoing residents of Australia.We Support the following:

*Constitutional recognition of the powers and responsibilities of local government.

*Amendment of Section 44 of the Constitution to allow any public  servant who has no conflict of interest to stand for election to parliament;

*Amendment of Section 44 of the Constitution to allow Australian citizens with dual nationality to stand for election to Federal Parliament; and

*An amendment to the preamble of the Constitution to recognise the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the original and ongoing residents of the Australia and their rights as such.

*An amendment to the preamble of the Australian constitution to recognise the prior occupation and sovereignty of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders as the traditional owners of the land.

*A constitutional amendment to require federal parliamentary endorsement for the deployment of ADF overseas.    

 Statement 4.    We will strongly oppose any bill designed to undermine the right of the Australian people to be consulted in a referendum before any change is made to the Australian Constitution.

 Yes, “I will strongly oppose any bill designed to undermine the right of the Australian people to be consulted in a referendum before any change is made to the Australian Constitution.”  

 Statement 5.    We will oppose any change to the Australian National Flag being effected other than following a popular vote in accordance with the provisions of section 3(2) of the Flag Act, 1953, as in force on 1 September 2007.

The Australian Greens support a referendum being held to allow the Australian people to determine whether to adopt a new Australian flag. Senator Bob Brown put a motion to the Senate for such a motion in November. 

Statement 6.    In the event of proposed changes to the Constitution or to the Flag being referred to a vote by the people, we will publicly insist on and vote for the adequate funding of both the yes and no cases.  

 We would support funding to conduct a free fair and balanced referendum process. We would insist that the information kits and materials that are circulated to the community put all views in a balanced format. We would also insist that the question being asked is carefully framed to ensure lack of bias, and enable a high degree of confidence in the result of the referendum .   

 

 

 

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New South Wales 

THE SENATE

THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

Banks

Barton

Bennelong

Berowra

Blaxland

Bradfield

Calare

Charlton

Chifley

Cook

Cowper

Cunningham

Dobell

Eden-Monaro

Farrer

Fowler

Gilmore

Grayndler

Greenway

Gwydir

Hughes

Hume

Hunter

Kingsford Smith

Lindsay

Lowe

Lyne

Macarthur

Mackellar

Macquarie

Mitchell

New England

Newcastle

North Sydney

Page

Parkes

Parramatta

Paterson

Prospect

Reid

Richmond

Riverina

Robertson

Shortland

Sydney

Throsby

Warringah

Watson

Wentworth

Werriwa

 

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QUEENSLAND

THE SENATE


THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

Blair

Bonner

Bowman

Brisbane

Capricornia

Dawson

Dickson

Fadden

Fairfax

Fisher

Flynn

Forde

Griffith

Groom

Herbert

Hinkler

Kennedy

Leichhardt

Lilley

Longman

Maranoa

McPherson

Moncrieff

Moreton

Oxley

Petrie

Rankin

Ryan

Wide Bay

 

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SOUTH AUSTRALIA

THE SENATE

 

THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

Adelaide

Barker

Boothby

Grey

Hindmarsh

Kingston

Makin

Mayo

Port Adelaide

Sturt

Wakefield

 

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TASMANIA

 

THE SENATE

 

THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

Bass

Braddon

Denison

Franklin

Lyons

 

 

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VICTORIA

THE SENATE

 

THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

Aston

Ballarat

Batman

Bendigo

Bruce

Calwell

Casey

Chisholm

Corangamite

Corio

Deakin

Dunkley

Flinders

Gellibrand

Gippsland

Goldstein

Gorton

Higgins

Holt

Hotham

Indi

Isaacs

Jagajaga

Kooyong

Lalor

La Trobe

Mallee

Maribyrnong

McEwen

McMillan

Melbourne

Melbourne Ports

Menzies

Murray

Scullin

Wannon

Wills

 

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WESTERN AUSTRALIA

THE SENATE

 

THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES: Click on the relevant seat below

Brand

Canning

Cowan

Curtin

Forrest

Fremantle

Hasluck

Kalgoorlie

Moore

O'Connor

Pearce

Perth

Stirling

Swan

Tangney

 

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AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY

THE SENATE

 

THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

Canberra

Fraser

 

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NORTHERN TERRITORY

THE SENATE

 

THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

Lingiari

Solomon

 

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