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Better Government

We need a more responsive and democratic government engaged with the people.  We need to restore and grow better institutions that serve the public interest:

  • Government should report annually to Australian Citizens on the return on investment for money spent in every project, fund and department, as a company reports to its shareholders.  

  • Privatisation as government policy should be suspended pending a royal commission into the impact of privatisation on Australian society and its economy.  A new model for running statutory corporations in key industries (banking, energy, transport, telecommunications) will be developed.

  • Government tender processes should be completely transparent with commercial confidentiality ending once the tender is awarded.

  • Administration of taxpayer funded services should remain under government control. For example the Land Titles Office and social security payment collection ought to be managed by the state. 

  • Justice should be the responsibility of the state.  Private prisons can provide incentives to incarcerate.  Private contractors should be phased out.

  • Detention centres will be closed down.  In Australia or offshore, the government should not jail people who have not committed crimes and never for indefinite periods.

  • Significant strategic decisions need a super-majority of both houses of parliament. Such decisions might include referendum proposals, decisions to go to war or material changes to the treaty or international status of Australia (e.g. ANZUS, ASEAN, TPP).

  • Election campaigns should be publicly funded with capped private donations from individuals and companies permitted.

  • Lobbyists should be publicly listed on a register with access to politicians and their remuneration sources disclosed.  Private access to ministers should be banned.

  • Public service tenure must be restored, with staff contracts extended to encourage independence.  Expenditure on outsourcing should be reducedto fund the initiative.

  • Consultant fees – we need real-time public disclosure of the fees paid to consultants by government to do work once done by public servants.

  • A bill of rights binding on all governments that enacts basic rights consistent with United Nations standards including social, civil and political rights, criminal procedure rights and environmental and economic rights. 

  • Failing NGO service providers should be re-nationalised; for example in employment services, vocational education and disability services.

  • Regulation should be boosted by providing additional resources to ASIC, the ACCC and APRA.  Better staff with genuine career paths are needed to make regulation work.

  • An accountability and corruption watchdog modelled on the state-based corruption bodies is required to properly monitor performance in government.  

  • Water is a key national resource that needs to be federally managed in a transparent market.  An independent authority should manage national water allocation and use.

  • Climate change projects remediating and preparing for further impacts on our coastlines, rivers and forests need to be developed and properly funded.  Initiatives should be connected to the Sovereign Wealth Fund and National Industry Policy.  The health of the Great Barrier Reef should be the barometer of our success in living within and restoring our environment.

  • Self-determination: Australia should be a republic with a president as its elected head of state chosen by a majority of adult voters.