Campaign update: A sign of things to come?
9th April 2013
It was the most exclusive of events: a $500 minimum per head gala fundraising dinner last week for a right-wing think tank. Tony Abbott, Gina Rinehart and Rupert Murdoch took turns sharing the stage. Andrew Bolt was MC. Tony praised his fellow key-note speakers, especially Rupert, and promised the crowd a “big yes” to many of a certain think tank’s list of 75 policies to radically transform Australia.
So what, exactly, is on this think tank’s wish list? Independent media – gone. The ABC to be broken up and sold off, SBS to be fully privatised. Corporations to be allowed to make secret payments to political parties, Medicare gone for most Australians; a return to WorkChoices, just by another name. The clean energy fund and the renewable energy target – scrapped. Funding for sport and arts – including the Australian Institute of Sport – axed.It goes on. Never before has the extreme conservative agenda been laid out so clearly.
Here’s the full 75 point list:
Repeal the carbon tax, and don’t replace it. It will be one thing to remove the burden of the carbon tax from the Australian economy. But if it is just replaced by another costly scheme, most of the benefits will be undone.
Abolish the Department of Climate Change
Abolish the Clean Energy Fund
Repeal Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act
Abandon Australia’s bid for a seat on the United Nations Security Council
Repeal the renewable energy target
Return income taxing powers to the states
Abolish the Commonwealth Grants Commission
Abolish the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
Withdraw from the Kyoto Protocol
Introduce fee competition to Australian universities
Repeal the National Curriculum
Introduce competing private secondary school curriculums
Abolish the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA)
Eliminate laws that require radio and television broadcasters to be ‘balanced’
Abolish television spectrum licensing and devolve spectrum management to the common law
End local content requirements for Australian television stations
Eliminate family tax benefits
Abandon the paid parental leave scheme
End all corporate welfare and subsidies by closing the Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education
Introduce voluntary voting
End mandatory disclosures on political donations
End media blackout in final days of election campaigns
End public funding to political parties
Remove anti-dumping laws
Eliminate media ownership restrictions
Abolish the Foreign Investment Review Board
Eliminate the National Preventative Health Agency
Cease subsidising the car industry
Formalise a one-in, one-out approach to regulatory reduction
Rule out federal funding for 2018 Commonwealth Games
Deregulate the parallel importation of books
End preferences for Industry Super Funds in workplace relations laws
Legislate a cap on government spending and tax as a percentage of GDP
Legislate a balanced budget amendment which strictly limits the size of budget deficits and the period the federal government can be in deficit
Force government agencies to put all of their spending online in a searchable database
Repeal plain packaging for cigarettes and rule it out for all other products, including alcohol and fast food
Reintroduce voluntary student unionism at universities
Introduce a voucher scheme for secondary schools
Repeal the alcopops tax
Introduce a special economic zone in the north of Australia including:
a) Lower personal income tax for residents
b) Significantly expanded 457 Visa programs for workers
c) Encourage the construction of dams
Repeal the mining tax
Devolve environmental approvals for major projects to the states
Introduce a single rate of income tax with a generous tax-free threshold
Cut company tax to an internationally competitive rate of 25 per cent
Cease funding the Australia Network
Privatise Australia Post
Break up the ABC and put out to tender each individual function
Reduce the size of the public service from current levels of more than 260,000 to at least the 2001 low of 212,784
Repeal the Fair Work Act
Allow individuals and employers to negotiate directly terms of employment that suit them
Encourage independent contracting by overturning new regulations designed to punish contractors
Abolish the Baby Bonus
Abolish the First Home Owners’ Grant
Allow the Northern Territory to become a state
Halve the size of the Coalition front bench from 32 to 16
Remove all remaining tariff and non-tariff barriers to international trade
Slash top public servant salaries to much lower international standards, like in the United States
End all public subsidies to sport and the arts
Privatise the Australian Institute of Sport
End all hidden protectionist measures, such as preferences for local manufacturers in government tendering
Abolish the Office for Film and Literature Classification
Rule out any government-supported or mandated internet censorship
Means test tertiary student loans
Allow people to opt out of superannuation in exchange for promising to forgo any government income support in retirement
Immediately halt construction of the National Broadband Network and privatise any sections that have already been built
End all government funded Nanny State advertising
Reject proposals for compulsory food and alcohol labelling
Privatise the CSIRO
Defund Harmony Day
Close the Office for Youth
Privatise the Snowy-Hydro Scheme
It goes on. Never before has the extreme conservative agenda been laid out so clearly, but as they get more arrogant and brazen, our movement has the opportunity to do something we can’t count on the other parties to do alone: fight back, effectively.
Click here to become a core supporter of GetUp’s pepole-powered election campaign, and help stop this radical conservative vision of Australia in its tracks. Click here to share the campaign on Facebook, or here to share the campaign on Twitter.
Fortunately, the conservatives aren’t the only ones with an agenda for our future. While their elite right-wing donors were busy bidding on the chance to visit Fox news headquarters in America or go behind the scenes of Andrew Bolt’s show, ordinary Australians have been gathering in living rooms, cafes, libraries and pubs around the country to talk about what matters to us this election. Our top priorities are taking shape, and the two visions for our nation couldn’t be more different:
Climate change: expand renewable energy, keep a price on carbon and cut massive public subsidies to fossil fuels.
A humane policy on refugees and asylum seekers.
More funding for education and a high quality education system.
A progressive tax system and effective mining tax.
Stopping the expansion of the coal seam gas industry.
Our vision is worth fighting for, and we can change this election if we try. The last thing we want is to look back and think, ‘we could have done more.’ Become a core supporter, and join thousands of other Australians refusing to give up, and deciding to GetUp. www.getup.org.au/join-our-core-membership
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