You can now VOTE for our principal objective in the Senate Election on 24th November, 2007:
To abolish state governments and introduce a two-tier system of Governance in Australia.
Our Group of two candidates has a box ``above the line'' under the letter P. The only mark required to secure a vote is 1 in the box. Our candidates are:
Because ours is a community group, not a registered political party, it cannot have the affiliation next to the name of the candidates.
You can also vote ``under the line'' for us and do your own preferencing. You must then clearly fill in ALL the squares. The advantage of that is that YOU determine how your preferences flow. If you vote ``above the line'' the preferences will be distributed according to deals made by the participating parties and groups prior to the election. If you want to see what these preferences look like please ask to be shown the record of the preferences sheets, which are available in every polling booth. In most cases the order is the result of negotiations amongst participants. These preference orders may not be what you would prefer. Doing your own preferencing is a bit more work but you have the satisfaction to know that the distribution of your preferences will follow YOUR choice. We encourage you to do your own preferencing if that is your wish.
Ever thought we are over governed with our nine State, Territory and Federal governments? Been confused by the separate sets of laws and regulations? Felt like you've moved overseas when you've moved interstate or crossed a State border? Noticed the wasteful duplication? And wish we invested more in education, health and the environment than in bureaucracy? Yes, we do need structural change and we encourage people to start thinking about that. The political parties now representing us don't. Not one federal parliamentary party has abolishing State Governments in its platform.
Beyond Federation seeks for Australians a system comprising two levels of democratic government - at the national and regional/local levels. Beyond Federation is an umbrella community group, not a political party, which draws its support from people of quite diverse backgrounds.
Formed in January 2002, Beyond Federation consults and lobbies for a two-tiered system of government, and holds regular Shed a Tier Congresses to explore visions and options. So far Congresses have been held in Canberra, Sydney, Brisbane, Albury, Central Coast, Gippsland and Sunshine Coast. We're gradually moving to other parts of the country. For Congress and further information updates please see our website:
Duplication of bureaucracies and regulation among the State and Federal governments.
The existing structure costs us up to $30 billion a year, across the private sector as well as the public domain. What could we do with the savings depends on what point of view and preferences you hold but there can be little doubt that such savings could be used in far more productive ways.
The fiscal imbalance between federal and state governments, dated back to the centralisation of income tax powers in 1942, has turned the states into subservient agencies of the federal government.
Meanwhile, local governments, and communities smaller than the present States, are disempowered.
Buck-passing between State and Federal governments has resulted in an endless path of delays, a prominent example being the Murray Darling basin - now in a perilous state environmentally, socially and economically.
Combating climate change has been much too slow altogether. We need a national approach to such a major issue.
Health is another prime example of mounting federal-state problems. We experience destructive competition and squabbles among the States and the Commonwealth over other essentials such as water, land, and electricity, and the concessions given to foreign investors. Industrial relations, education, ports, and taxation have also become major friction areas.
The inconsistency in laws, regulations and standards among the States and the Commonwealth is at times absurd. They undermine national security and integrity and make it harder for police, emergency service workers and others to maintain law, order and safety. People living in border areas, such as Albury-Wodonga or Tweed Heads and Coolangatta, ACT, know about them. Some two years ago the Border Mail reported 1639 differences resulting from different State laws in Victoria and NSW.
In 1900 federation made sense. It was an achievement but more than 100 years later, with massive improvements in transport and communication, as well as an integrated domestic market and established sense of national identity, federation is a hindrance. Amazingly our objective cannot be found in the programs of the parliamentary parties at the federal level.
We believe an independent persuasive voice in the parliament is needed to stimulate this objective and negotiate the transition - an issue that has several constitutional ramifications. The existing parliamentary parties are held back, not because they don't believe this is a laudable objective, but because they all have state interests to protect. The time has come for Australia to progress beyond such barriers, and beyond federation.
We are not putting forward a blueprint and we do encourage much more public debate on such National-Regional and National-Local models as have already been suggested in many forums in the past decade. However, our priority is with kicking goals. We prefer action at the parliamentary level as soon as practicable. With an INDEPENDENT voice in the parliament the movement could progress significantly.
Re. CANDIDATES: Dr. Klaas Woldring, a former Associate Professor in Management, and Mr. Max Bradley, a former Local Government Councillor, President of Shed-a-Tier will be our Senate candidates in the 2007 election.