DLP calls for all political parties to join nation-wide Solidarity Day in support of West Papuans on December 1st

Click here for full media release: Premier Andrews called to support Solidarity for West PapuansWest Papua

Excerpt below:

The Democratic Labour Party Member of Parliament, Dr Rachel Carling-Jenkins today introduced a motion into the Victorian State parliament calling for:

“the Government to show support for the plight of the people of West Papua by establishing a West Papuan Solidarity Day, including a public raising of the Morning Star Flag, commencing Thursday, 1 December 2016 and continuing on 1 December each year until the United Nations free vote is held.”

Dr Carling-Jenkins advised the parliament that: “West Papua was forcibly annexed by Indonesia in 1962 and since that time the West Papuan people have suffered from atrocities such as torture, murder, rape, oppression, forced removal of their children, and other crimes against humanity by the Indonesian authorities.

The Democratic Labour Party Federal Secretary, Stephen Campbell, states that the DLP believes there has been a decades long cover up by consecutive Australian governments who have turned a blind eye to the sufferings of the West Papuan people in return for favourable treatment by the Indonesian government.

“Surely history has taught us that no good can come by ignoring the sufferings of oppressed people” Mr Campbell stated.

“How can we, as Australians, deal with any nation who can invade a neighbouring country then treat the citizens of that country with the sort of inhumane treatment the Indonesians have handed out to the West Papuans? Has East Timor taught us nothing?”

The Democratic Labour Party is calling for all political parties to join them in their call for a nation-wide Solidarity Day in support of the West Papuans on December 1st.

“The DLP will be contacting every party in this country and asking for them to turn up with their supporters in every capital city in Australia on December 1st” Mr Campbell said.

“This is one time when party politics must disappear. None of us should seek anything except justice for the West Papuan people and the full compassion of the Australian people.”

The Safe Schools Program, Communism, and the DLP

The Democratic Labour Party (DLP) was born out of the need to protect Australians from the increasing presence of communist influence within the labour movement back in the 1950s.

Communist ideologues infultrated trade unions affiliated with the ALP and were able to dictate ALP policy in critical areas, which in those days included matters of foreign affairs and defence.

Dozens of ALP parliamentarians put their careers on the line by taking a principled stand in defending the labour movement from communism. They knew what was at stake; they knew that labour movement traditions of democracy, justice and fairness had been subverted.

Today’s DLP continues the fight of its predecessors.

One might have thought that the fall of communism in the late 1980s and early 1990s would have abolished the need for the DLP to ever exist again.

However, the current controversy surrounding the ‘Safe Schools’ program and the recent suspension of the program’s chief architect and public face Roz Ward, proves that the opposite is in fact true.

Courtesy Divid Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Courtesy Divid Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The program, which is endorsed and finanically supported by the Victorian ALP Government as an anti-bullying program, has come under heavy public scrutiny in recent weeks as its content and true intentions have been slowly unearthed.

Far from being an anti-bullying program, ‘Safe Schools’ has been found to be stringently ideologically driven in its teaching of a contested and controversial form of gender ideology, and there is now widespread awareness that it has social re-engineering as its ultimate purpose.

Ms Ward is a seasoned Marxist activist, and her Marxist leanings have been well-known. However, as the program’s content and true purpose was unveiled, and following some radical comments she posted on social media, Ms Ward resigned from her advisory role with the Victorian government and was suspended by her employer, La Trobe University.

Further, Federal Education Minister Simon Birmingham has called for Ms Ward to step down from the national steering committee for Safe Schools Coalition Australia, which has already severed its ties with the Victorian branch.

Clearly, the influence of radical left-wing ideology is still alive and well in Australia. ‘Safe Schools’ is nothing other than a continuation of the Marxist quest to destroy traditional structures and values, without you knowing about it and while you pay for it, under the guise of anti-bullying.

The bullying of any child, for any reason, is undesirable and unacceptable. Equally undesirable and unacceptable, is the indoctrination of our children in our schools by programs driven by radical ideologies, used as a platform for Marxist social engineering.

Clearly, the DLP still has a relevant purpose to serve, and it’s a very important one. This election, make your vote count. Vote Democratic Labour Party.

We are the pro-family party and here’s the proof

Both the Liberal Party and the ALP talk about being pro-family but the simple fact is that they are not.

They give nothing but lip service to the importance of the family.

Whether it be their leaders marching in the Sydney Gay Mardi Gras, professing their supp

ort for same-sex marriage, doing nothing to make changes to the income tax system to allow a parent to stay at home, or standing idly by and letting our children be indoctrinated in our schools with Marxist and anti-family propaganda, both the Libs and the ALP are not fair dinkum about supporting the traditional family.

The Democratic Labour Party, on the other hand, has always been pro-family and we have policies that recognise the family as the foundation of our civil society.

Using the income tax system to allow for stay-at-home parents

Courtesy of photostock at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Courtesy of photostock at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The Liberals and the ALP have done nothing to use the tax system to promote the ability for families to have one parent stay at home, not have to work and instead devote their energies to raising a family.

The DLP will introduce income tax splitting to allow the income of the working parent to be split with the stay-at-home parent for tax purposes, thereby giving them more after-tax income and removing the need for both parents to work.

Only the Democratic Labour Party is committed to changing the way the tax system unfairly and inequitably penalises families.

Maintaining the institution of traditional marriage

If either the Liberals or ALP gain control of the Senate with the Greens at the next election, then same-sex marriage will become a reality.

The Democratic Labour Party will defend and stand up for the institution of marriage being exclusively between a man and a woman. Only the DLP will make sure that the Marriage Act remains unchanged.

Protecting family values

Both the Liberals and the ALP support the Safe Schools program which is being used by socially radical groups as a way to indoctrinate our children into accepting ideologies and causes that are controversial and simply anti-family.

It’s not a matter of parents having a right to withdraw their child from classes dealing with such matters. Children should simply not be indoctrinated with radical social re-engineering in the first place.

The Democratic Labour Party will scrap the Safe Schools program and ensure that our schools are never again used as a platform for social engineering designed to denigrate those institutions which put the family at the centre of our society.

Instead, the DLP will promote proven anti-bullying programs that will not be used as a means to indoctrinate radical social ideology, and which will teach our children emotional intelligence, such as the RULER Program from the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence.

This election, make your vote count. Vote Democratic Labour Party.

Investing superannuation funds in a way that most benefits Australia

The commencement of infrastructure projects is vital for Australia, yet we are hampered by debt and the lack of capital for long-term investments.

One way of providing such capital is by directing superannuation funds into infrastructure projects that are of long-term national interest.

Courtesy of dream designs at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Courtesy of dream designs at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Employers are required by law to contribute 9 per cent (in some cases more) of each worker’s salary to a fund – in other words a tax levied for the express purpose of self-funding retirement benefits.

These funds choose to invest the proceeds wherever, and however, they want. Much of the proceeds are invested overseas, where the risk can be much more difficult to assess and which generates no home-grown advantages.

There is no obligation to invest even part of their funds, or at least to give preference to investing part of their funds, in infrastructure projects that directly benefit the Australian economy and employment.

Further, of the many billions of dollars held by superannuation funds, very little is re-invested back into the regions.

Surely it is perfectly reasonable for people living in rural and regional Australia to desire to ensure, that the superannuation that each person contributes to, should be equitably re-invested into that part of the country that they are living and employed in?

The Democratic Labour Party believes that this is an area that merits significant consideration, and will support ways that encourage funds to invest in Australian infrastructure projects, and in regional and rural Australia.

Full time carers are ending up in poverty – it’s about time we fix this

There are over 500,000 unpaid primary carers in Australia.

These primary carers are often people caring full time for a family member such as an elderly parent or disabled child.

Few commitments would be found to be more commendable. It is in a sense a giving up of one’s life for the service of another, a great act of love and generosity that is indeed a prime example of the beauty found in selfless humanity.

Acts of great generosity have a power that touches and moves us, something which you’ve probably felt before.

While caring is an experience which deepens friendships and relationships, it can also be very physically and emotionally demanding. It can be very hard work. The more hours spent caring, the greater the decline in carer health, because carers end up having less time to maintain their own health.

Something that is very concerning is this: their role as a full time carer prevents them from obtaining full time employment and receiving compulsory superannuation payments available to employees.

Because of this, most will reach retirement age with little or no means of financial support.

While full time primary carers are eligible for welfare benefits, these are only enough to get you by a day at a time. As soon as these welfare payments stop, you are on your own. Full time primary carers have been retiring into poverty, because decades without paid employment means decades without superannuation.

This is simply not acceptable. These people do not deserve to finish up in poverty the way they do after years and often decades of full time service to not just a person in need of great care, but also service to the community and indeed the nation.

As these carers provide a major contribution to society and a massive saving to Government expenditure, they are should be entitled to receive a government funded contribution based on 9% of average weekly earnings.

The Democratic Labour Party believes that the government should fund superannuation contributions for full time primary carers. 

It is appalling that such an initiative has not been sought after by successive governments on both sides of politics.

Perhaps they lack the focus of the approach that the DLP brings to politics – one that puts human dignity first.


Sex Party’s Fiona Patten seriously misled about DLP on this morning’s Sunrise

This morning’s Sunrise on channel 7  in Victoria hosted a short debate between the Sex Party’s senate candidate Fiona Patten and the DLP’s senate candidate Mark Farrell.

This 5 minute debate touched on the issues of same-sex “marriage” and abortion, with both sides presenting their positions.

While on the topic of abortion, in what appeared to be an attempt to deceive people and throw mud at the DLP, Fiona Patten declared that it is stated in the DLP Constitution that the DLP are “against sex before marriage”.

Mark Farrell refuted this, stating that it was not in the Party’s Constitution. “I am the Federal Secretary and I know my Party”, Mark added.

Indeed, Mark was right. Here is a copy of the DLP’s most up-to-date Constitution:
DLP Constitution and By-Laws

Nowhere in the Constitution do you find such a statement. No such thing is mentioned in any of the Party’s policies, either.

The private relationship between two people is not a matter for the state to legislate on. Is the Sex Party really that unintelligent as to think the DLP would support a position that would require a state-sanctioned, legislated move to have police patrolling our citizens’ bedrooms? Sounds a bit Communist to me.

Massive fail, Sex Party.


Mark Farrell on Chanel 7's Sunrise

Living in a sea of uncertainty, which party can we trust for the future?

Living in a sea of uncertainty, which party can we trust for the future?

  • NOT one with the best spin doctors, be they Green or any other
  • NOT those for whom things like satisfying big business or pushing for gay “marriage” are more important than your family

When it comes to the crunch, a party will act in accordance with its rock bottom values, its real vision for society




The Democratic Labour Party is about:

  • The flourishing of families; all mums, dads, children, grandparents
  • Defending the dignity of workers, fair wages and conditions, job creation and job security
  • Defending small business from big business, bureaucracy and the Greens
  • Standing with the sick and vulnerable, and their carers
  • Standing up for our best traditions, like the fair go for all including the last and the least; valuing natural justice; man-woman marriage not same-sex ‘marriage’; freedom for religious faith

Real development is not leaving things behind, as on a road, but drawing life from them, as on a root – G.K Chesterton


That is our vision, all our policies flow from that.

A wide range of practical policies like superannuation for carers, free sports injury insurance for amateur sports people – to support healthy sports and families that build community, better trading terms for small business, school education vouchers to give parents control over education, establishing a Federal Development Bank, abolishing carbon taxes and emission trading schemesand many more.


And what is the ALP really about, today?

There may still be a few decent Labor politicians and policies left as remnants, but for most of those who control the ALP, their “progressive” ideology and connections come first. With lots of spin, all the time.

Their real commitment is to holding power over ordinary people, and to pushing deceptive projects  –  various tricks of social engineering like same-sex “marriage” disguised as “marriage equality”, or restricting our freedom of speech and religion – down our throats.

And getting fat salaries for all that, from our taxes.

The DLP has the vision

The ALP has the spin

…and the Greens have the spin doctors


The ALP has become Fake Labor. A current example from our community:

Foreign multinational locks out Aussie workers, ALP nowhere to be seen



Use your vote to make a difference this Federal Election. Vote for the labour party that upholds our best traditions, values and principles. Vote DLP.



By Andrew Kis-Rigo

Palmer says “we’re fair dinkum”… But they printed their election material in China

The following is taken from DLP Riverina candidate Paul Funnell’s blog.

Election campaigns are like pressure cookers. They expose the cracks in parties and candidates.

Pretty soon the disconnect between what people say and what people do gets exposed.

Yesterday, I received something in my letterbox.

It was an election DVD from the Palmer United Party.

It’s bright yellow cover (looking strangely familiar, sort of like DLP yellow) was headed with the words “We’re Fair Dinkum”. And there was a big picture of Clive on it, with his thumbs up.

But when you turn it over, in very very small print on the back, you see the whole thing was printed in China. Whoops!

At the DLP we have a strong “Made in Australia” ethos. We believe in it deeply.

All our material, whether during a campaign or otherwise, is made here, in this country, by Australians.

To do otherwise would be sheer hypocrisy.

A country is what a country makes.

Our Senator, John Madigan, helped launch the Australian Manufacturing and Farming Program.

The goal is to get politicians out of Canberra and into factories and on farms, to get them out into the real world, where things are made and things are grown.

So what Australian printers missed out on Clive Palmer’s campaign work because it was printed in China?

And what else is his party pushing out that was also made overseas in sweatshops or factories using cheap labour?

Really, we think it’s a disgrace – and more than anything, it makes any claims of being “Fair Dinkum” sound hollow and false.

And one more thing.

Every reference to the Prime Minister on Clive’s DVD is about Julia Gillard. That’s right. He uses her name repeatedly.

His whole strategy is not only built on a false promise – it’s out of date.

Clive’s jive, it seems, is just that.

palmer-1 palmer-2

Foreign multinational locks out Aussie workers, ALP nowhere to be seen

One would think that if there’s one thing the Australian Labor Party would do, it would be standing up for Australian workers. Apparently not so.

Let me take you on a trip to the Latrobe valley in Victoria. Just past Moe, we arrive at the Yallourn power station, which supplies the State with over 20 per cent of its power supply.

Energy Australia, a subsidiary of the Hong Kong-based China Light and Power, has locked out the unit control operators at its Yallourn power station, without pay, for the last seven weeks.

The company first locked out the 75 workers on June 21 after failed enterprise bargaining negotiations on conditions and shifts. These workers are members of the Construction Forestry Mining Energy Union (CFMEU).

Just after the lock out began, the workers were the subject of a disgraceful allegation that they had something to do with a fire in a circuit breaker. Energy Australia allowed this smear to circulate and it became front page news in the Herald Sun. However, it was later found that the fire was an accident, most likely caused by poor maintenance. The workers are yet to receive an apology.

These locked out workers are highly skilled – there is a worldwide shortage of unit control operators and these blokes could get highly paid work anywhere there are power stations in operation. Energy Australia wants the Federal government to buy out the power station and close it down.

Energy Australia is refusing to include consultation, staffing levels and job security clauses in the EBA – some of the major sticking points in the dispute with the workers.

Meanwhile, 75 workers are locked out of their workplace without pay and Energy Australia is refusing to negotiate. These workers have families and mouths to feed.

DLP Senator John Madigan has travelled to Yallourn to where the workers have been locked out, bringing along food, supplies and even some financial aid. The workers were extremely grateful that they had the support of a politician, not just by words, but by action too.

Senator Madigan has tried hard to get the Victorian Government to have a better understanding of the situation, and even wrote a personal letter to Deputy Premier Peter Ryan. However, not only did Mr Ryan rebuff the invitation, he launched a scathing assessment of the workers’ stance in a reply that contained factual errors and oversights on key aspects of the issue.

“Mr Ryan accuses the CMFEU of militant behaviour, yet the workers are merely seeking conditions that have been taken from them over a period of time … Contrary to Mr Ryan’s claims, a case could be made that it is the employer – Energy Australia – that is acting in a militant way by locking out these workers.” Senator Madigan said.

In the midst of all this turmoil, the Australian Labor Party is nowhere to be seen. The party that claims to be the workers party has refused to stand up for the workers.

Not one single ALP politician even attended the “A lockout is a cop out” rally in Melbourne on Friday in support of the locked out workers and their families.

The Democratic Labour Party, on the other hand, has been standing side-by-side with these workers all along.

While Senator Madigan was an apology at the rally due to being in Adelaide for an Industry Day promoting Australian manufacturing, farming and food processing, the DLP’s Victorian senate candidate Mark Farrell addressed the crowd on behalf of Senator Madigan and the DLP, to the applause and gratitude of the workers who know the DLP is out there to support them, just like any genuine labour party should.

These guys need our support

Energy Australia has locked out the unit control operators at its Yallourn W power station, without pay, for the last seven weeks.

These guys are highly skilled – there is a worldwide shortage of unit control operators and these blokes could get highly paid work anywhere there are power stations in operation.

Energy Australia wants the Federal government to buy out the power station and close it down. EA is refusing to include consultation, staffing levels and job security clauses in the EBA – some of the major sticking points in the dispute with the workers.

Given the failure of the contract for closure negotiations (part of the Clean Energy Future Plan Policy), designed supposedly to close down large polluting power stations, Energy Australia has initiated its own discussions with the Federal Government and Opposition and is holding this group of workers to ransom.

Not surprisingly, some of the blokes have told Energy Australia to get stuffed and resigned.

They are certainly not the first and won’t be the last group of workers to leave the Valley and find work elsewhere.

That could cause huge problems for Victorian power consumers, particularly if we have a hot summer and the summer peak can’t be met.

That type of scenario could black out Victoria and possibly the eastern seaboard. These guys need our support. A lockout is a cop out!

Come along to a rally in support for the 75 workers locked out by Energy Australia at the Yallourn Power station. It happens this Friday, Melbourne City Square, 11am.

Stop selling off our country

Year after year, more and more Australian land is being sold off to foreign owners.

Not only are we losing ownership over our land, but the economic prosperity that eventuates goes overseas too.

Take the Ord River for example. It’s 320 kilometres long, situated in the Kimberley region of Western Australia. In the late 1930s, work began on a massive irrigation project, which included the construction of Australia’s largest artificial lake by volume, Lake Argyle, in 1971.

The Ord River project has the potential to be a major agriculture precinct, with its proximity to Kunanurra and Wyndham providing access to airport and port facilities respectively.

By 2009 more than 60 different crops were being grown in the Ord catchment area, and the Rudd Government and WA Premier Colin Barnett announced a development plan for the area, with plans to develop the community and infrastructure including upgrading Kununurra Airport and the port at Wyndham.

What happens next is very sad indeed. Just late last year, Chinese company Shanghai Zhongfu won the bid for 15,000 hectares of prized Ord River agricultural land.

So now the Chinese will come in, grow food and ship it back to their country. Obviously, there is no problem with China feeding it’s people. But why don’t we have an Australian owned agricultural company exporting to China instead?

That’s 150 million square metres of prime agricultural land that Australia no longer owns. And another lost opportunity to grow exports and strengthen our economy.

But it’s not just in the north.

In Australia’s south-western Wheatbelt region, the Chinese are buying up land there too.

Heilongjiang Feng Agricultural is said to want to buy and lease over 100,000 hectares to grow grain for export to China, according to a report in The West Australian in November last year.

The company already spent over $52 million acquiring farmland in the Great Southern and Wheatbelt regions in October-November last year.

Farmers in the eastern states will tell you the same story, of foreign companies buying up prime agricultural land in those areas too.

How is Australia ever going to grow, flourish, and develop if our leaders can’t do much more but sell off our country?

This brings me the the Democratic Labour Party’s policy on foreign ownership. The DLP believes that:

“no majority foreign owned entity or individual may own more than 2 hectares of Australian land”

It may sound extreme. But it’s a policy Australia desperately needs.

Oh, and if you thought it’s just prime agricultural land being bought up, you’re wrong. More and more residential property is being bought by overseas investors, making it harder for Australians to own their first home…

You can read the DLP’s statement on foreign ownership here. 



By Vince Stefano

Where’s the commitment to help our tortured and oppressed West Papuan neighbours?

Aussie Diggers will tell stories of Papuans running under heavy Japanese fire during World War II to pick up wounded Aussie solders bringing them to safety.


But for over 40 years, Australia has been ignoring the plea for help of the very people who risked their lives with outstanding bravery to save our own.


If you want to read up on a brief history of what has taken place in West Papua all this time, you can read this. But be prepared to be shocked.


Just recently, The Age published an article on the genocide happening on our doorstep in West Papua, named in the article as “Indonesian Papua”.


Why are some of us, but most especially our politicians, too afraid to use the correct name “West Papua?


Back in 2006, the then Howard government signed the Lombok Treaty with Indonesia, reaffirming Australia’s recognition of Indonesian sovereignty over West Papua, a position held by successive Australian governments to this day. Indeed, this was reiterated by Kevin Rudd in a meeting with the Indonesian president in July 2013.


Arguably, this was against the national interest. A Newspoll survey in 2006 found Australian support for West Papuan self-determination to be over 75%.


When it comes to West Papua, all we have done over the years is express ‘concern for human rights in the region’, but not once have we taken it as the serious issue it is.


Let me be crystal clear: Australia has moral and legal obligations to pursue, through its close relationship with Indonesia, an end to the atrocious human rights abuses happening there.


Thankfully, there are some members of our Parliament who doing what they can to help our abused, oppressed and forsaken Papuan neighbours.


Two minor parties in Parliament have found in each other unlikely allies: the Greens and the Democratic Labour Party (DLP).


Last year, DLP Senator John Madigan moved a motion that the Senate expresses its condolence at the death of Ms Vikki Riley, a campaigner who dedicated her life to helping refugees and the people of West Papua and East Timor. The government and opposition failed to support the motion, because Ms Riley’s involvement with West Papua was “in conflict” with Australia’s foreign policy.


And all because the motion contained the name “West Papua”, instead of the Indonesian name “Irian Jaya”.


The DLP and the Greens have continuously been questioning the Foreign Minister on Australia’s involvement in promoting and encouraging human rights in West Papua. The usual responses have been less than satisfactory, no surprise there.


Unfortunately, one of these two parties has been playing politics and not the issue.


In November 2011, DLP Senator Madigan supported a Greens motion in support of West Papua, which was knocked down by the house, but the Greens did not return the favour when Madigan put up a similar motion only moments later. See Hansard pages 9502-9504.


While the Greens website outlines a general commitment to human rights and justice, the DLP website clearly shows the Party’s commitment to West Papua, with practical steps that can be taken.You can read the DLP policy here.




By Vince Stefano

Do we need a bigger defence force?

Choosing the Australian Defence Force (ADF) we want is like choosing an insurance company – if we pay too high a premium, we may be wasting money on what is not needed; yet, if we pay too low of a premium, we mightn’t get the payout required when needed.

It’s for this reason that the cornerstone of investment in the ADF should be based on ensuring that it is self-reliant and capable of defeating any credible threat to Australia’s geographic security as well as insuring regional stability.

Australia’s defence should be based on three critical elements: being Australian, being a credible defence to Australia, and having a strong forceful capability. In order to develop an effective, robust and resilient ADF, we must recognise how these three elements support the other.


Being Australian

Being Australian is not simply about having Australian front-line personnel; it’s about the whole supply chain. It’s the idea that the boots the military marches on and the food that it eats are produced in Australia by Australian firms which recognise their contribution to Australia’s defense force by providing a quality product.

It’s the idea that the ships we sail, the vehicles we drive and the guns we fire are produced in Australia and only in exceptional circumstances are built overseas with Australian components – such as fighter aircraft.


A credible Defence to Australia

Determining the credibility of Australia’s defence ability should be done from an exterior perspective. While how we communicate our defence capability has psychological influence to potential foes, the credibility is more based on hard fact – on its actual capability. This is heavily linked with operational equipment, the ability to procure through an Australian reliable supply chain, advanced training of personnel, and appropriate geographical positioning of our forces.


A Strong Forceful Capability

The forceful aspect of our military enables us to offer deterrence from any potential adversaries. The pointy end can be expressed through the quantity and quality of our ‘blue water’ navy, our fighter aircraft, coupled with our AEW&Cs and aerial refuelling capability, as well as the interoperability of our army with the other two branches of our defence force.

Although on paper Australia has a strong forceful capability, the capacity has been neglected by successive Governments, leaving submarines to be unreliable, the bulk of our fighter aircraft to be out-dated and our forces not being remunerably supported as they should be


The DLP Difference

The ADF currently needs the Government’s support to address all three elements of what makes up our supposed military middle power status.

This can only be done by ensuring as a minimum, that the defence budget is kept at 2% of GDP, not including those costs required when on operations overseas. This forms the foundation of the DLP’s defence policy, which you can read by clicking this link.

We need to bring forward vital procurement projects. In my opinion, this means projects such as constructing of 12 new conventional submarines and purchasing three squadrons of the F-22 to operate in conjunction with 100 F-35s beyond 2020.

Self-reliance is good for Australia, it is good for our allies and it is good for the region. For other countries to know that Australia has the capability and the credibility to alone hold its own and support the region in times of need will provide a certainty and bedrock for other nations to peg their own concerns about the balance of power in our region.

Australia must value its existing military alliances, but must not sell out the defence of Australia to the United States, as this will simply be seen in the region as a power imbalance and provide potential adversaries with reason to believe that Australia’s motives are not peaceful.



By Matt Restall

To invest in our universities is to invest in our future

Earlier this year, the Federal Government announced cuts of $2.8 billion to the expected funding for student support and universities, already on top of a $1 billion in cuts announced late last year.


I don’t know about you, but to me it really makes no sense.


According to OECD figures, our public investment in universities ranks just 25th out of 29 advanced economies. Meanwhile, the strongest nations in our region are investing more and more in universities to drive skills, science and research.


That is, nations in our region are investing into their best resource – their minds – while we are going in the opposite direction.


As a student at RMIT University where I recently completed an undergraduate degree, I became well aware of the financial situation. RMIT’s primary analysis suggested that the funding cuts would cost the University more than $25 million over the next four years.


Even with the government’s promise to maintain indexation, the massive reductions have made the framing of future budgets increasingly difficult, as RMIT is still carrying the effects of cuts imposed on higher and vocational education in 2012.


Australians have the potential to transform our economy and indeed the world.  Despite having less than 0.3% of the world’s population, we account for over three per cent of the world’s scientific research output.


The Bionic Ear, Black Box Flight Recorders, spray-on skin for burns victims and WiFi are just some Australian innovations that come to mind.


Who do you think drives the innovation behind such products and services and industries? Our universities.


Furthermore, the Australian Workforce Productivity Agency found that each extra one dollar invested in tertiary education grows the economy by $26 and grows tax revenue by $8. I really can’t think of any public funded investment which pays itself off better than investment in tertiary education.


To invest in universities is to invest in our future.


I don’t understand politicians. I don’t think most people do. But to me it’s clear: the Federal Government needs to stop cutting and start investing more into our tertiary education.




By Vince Stefano


Asylum seeker issue: it’s time for our politicians to grow up

The failure of the major parties in relation to illegal immigration reform is nothing short of astounding.


On one side you have the Australian Labor Party who promised to create a more humane system which would better balance the rights of boat people and the Australian population. While they undoubtedly meant well, the reality is that under their leadership more boats have arrived then ever before, more asylum seekers have died at sea than ever before and conditions for refugees in detention have not improved dramatically from the Howard years.


Their attempts to fix the problem have stunk of political necessity rather than a genuine want to resolve the issue.


Now Kevin Rudd has come out and tried to claim that turning back the boats could cause war with Indonesia in an attempt to gain back ground from Indonesia, yet again proving that he is more interested in scoring political points than actually coming up with a workable solution.


On the other side of the aisle you have Tony Abbott who has simplified one of the most complex issues facing Australia today down into three words: “STOP THE BOATS”. I mean, honestly, how can he expect us to take him seriously when a catchy campaign slogan is all he wants to ever say on the issue.


It is an insult to those who have died, to those in detention and to all Australians when he takes such a pivotal issue for our nation and pretends he can fix it as if by magic. The policies he is willing to talk about often lack detail and again reek of political opportunism.


While turning back boats may not be about to cause us to go to war with Indonesia, it certainly isn’t as simple or as straightforward as the opposition would have you believe.


Finally, you have the Greens who’s irresponsible policy of getting rid of mandatory detention all together clouds the issue and makes finding a bi-partisan solution much harder. Not only are their policies politically unworkable, they are not practical in the real world. Obviously we cannot allow just anyone who comes on a boat strait into the Australian community, security checks and the like need to be done.


By taking a holier-than-thou attitude, what they are actually doing is making a resolution harder to come to and the lives of boat people harder.


Everyone needs to stop using the asylum seeker issue as a political play thing. There is no easy answer. There is no quick fix and the reality is that while everyone treats this as a partisan issue it will never be resolved.


We are talking about peoples lives here, it’s time Australian politicians grew up and gave the problem the respect it deserves.