Wanted: 150 Community Leaders to Form New Political Party
9 August 2012 at 10:08 am
The Centre for Civil Society, a public policy institute, is helping to form a new political party made up of community sector leaders to contest the next Federal Election.
The CCS is inviting interested community leaders to help form a Public Commission for a new major party in Australia to be called the Heart and Soul of Australia.
The Commission is described as a citizens' initiative, aiming to enrol 100 participants in each Federal Electorate from Australia’s 150 electorates by March 2013.
The campaign is also calling for submissions on ideas and policies for a new major party.
The Convening Group says its policy framework is based on four broad commitments:
- Support for self-employment, small businesses and independent owners – a wide distribution of ownership of economic assets and property and the breakup of concentrations of economic and market power
- Support for civil society – a strengthening of community groups, voluntary associations, support networks, social enterprises, cooperatives and mutuals
- Individualised funding for consumers and families – self-directed services and individual budgets in disability, mental health, ageing, education, and social services
- Governance reform in democracy, parliament and public institutions – innovation in public voice and citizen empowerment and the end of career politicians
A spokesperson for the Convening Group Joanne Stuart says Australia's communities lack voice and infrastructure.
“Everyone knows our two major parties are deeply disconnected from the Australian community and unrepresentative of the society they seek to govern. The issue is whether it is possible to do anything about it,” Stuart said.
“Municipal governments have become too big and bureaucratic to provide either a voice for locals or networks for getting things done. At the neighbourhood level, we have no permanent infrastructure for communities to come together, deliberate, find local solutions and communicate their needs to governments.
“Expressions of interest are invited for 150 community leaders to coordinate a national network of community voice and local infrastructure to empower Australia's communities and reconnect them with public decision-making,” she said.
“The Heart and Soul of Australia is a citizen's initiative to bring Australians together in a movement that can change the direction of Australian public life by representing local communities and ordinary people in Parliaments and public institutions. Its leadership is exercised by a Public Commission for A New Major Party in Australia.”
The members of the convening group comprise a mixture of small business and Not for Profit leaders from around the country including Domenic Greco the Executive Director of the Convenience and Mixed Business Association, Sharon Everson the CEO of The Deaf Society in NSW, Greg Bondar, the CEO of Tharawal Aboriginal Land Council and the Director of the Centre for Civil Society Vern Hughes.
Back in 2006, Vern Hughes was also part of a new community based political party called People Power which was registered Federally and was set up to contest the Victorian, Queensland and NSW elections.
The members of the convening group of the new Public Commission for A New Major Party in Australia can be found here.