Saturday, 14 July 2018


Julie Matheson - Western Australia Party (WAP)

Policy Source: Ms Matheson is the founder of the WAP, and although her bio that the ABC links to does not identify any key policy areas, it is fair to assume that her priorities and the party’s are going to be very closely aligned. A look at the ‘our vision’ page of the WAP website would indicate that this party is entirely concerned with getting WA a larger proportion of GST revenue. Even the ‘read more’ link under the heading ‘policies’ directs to a page titled ‘Truth about the GST’.
Yet the WAP does have other areas it cares, about specifically for the seat of Perth:

I will leave that to serve as a summary of WAP’s policies, trading depth of analysis for quantity, because as previously noted there is not much further detail to give other than on the topic of GST distribution.

Nicole Arielli - Animal Justice Party (AJP)

Policy Source: The AJP is a single-issue party, with all the risks that entails when unrelated legislation is before parliament. At times they have been referred to as extreme, for example in their push for vegetarian or vegan diets. Ms Arielli’s bio includes a statement that she has been “actively educating [her]self on the many animal harm issues including intensive farming, live export, companion animals, testing on animals, greyhound and horse racing, and animals in captivity”. My choice of AJP policy below has been guided by this statement.
Policy 1: Agriculture. The AJP advocates removing all funding from animal farming, a prohibition on advertising animal products, funding farmers to transition to plant-based crops, an end to live export, conscious-animal slaughter, tail docking, animal castration, branding, earmarking, teeth clipping, de-horning and mulesing. As Australians transition to a plant-based diet, the AJP seeks to slowly abolish breeding and rearing for slaughter.
Policy 2: Entertainment. The party seeks to end jumps racing in Victoria and SA and greyhound racing. Recreational hunting, fishing, rodeos, animals in circuses and marine parks, and horse-powered vehicles would also be banned immediately. The party would also phase out funding for zoos that do not exist for the benefit of the animals, favouring conservation parks and sanctuaries.
Policy 3: Companion animals. The AJP’s policy on companion animals is quite expansive in the topics it covers. The party’s desires include: funding for animal rehabilitation and no-kill shelters sufficient to accommodate all unwanted animals, an end to animal sale except from shelters and rescue, breeding by licensed breeders only, subsidising desexing, the abolition of bird cages, and legislation prohibiting landlords from discriminating against pet owners.

Jim Grayden - Independent Liberal (IND)

Policy Source: Mr Grayden is a Liberal-leaning independent candidate, and his website lists six policy areas concisely summarised. Those with “read more option” (two are under construction) all lead to a blog with four news articles, mostly about GST. To further complicate things, several other areas of interest are indicated in his brochures but constrained in detail for reasons of space. The policies below are drawn from the candidate’s policy summaries and blog posts selected based on the frequency related topics are mentioned in the brochure linked to above.
Policy 1: GST Reform. Mr Grayden is seeking “genuine GST reform”, including a minimum return for states of 75c in the dollar and the inclusion of gambling revenues in the GST. In his own words, “The CGC [the commission responsible for GST allocations] says that WA could have poker machines if we wanted to so they deem that WA receives the same revenue per capita that NSW, Victoria, Queensland, ACT and NT get from gambling taxes - the effect is that gambling taxes are effectively left out of the calculations when deciding GST distributions…
“The CGC includes mining royalties in its GST calculations even though the Eastern States have significant mineral resources that they choose not to exploit for political reasons. WA’s is penalised because we don’t have poker machines but the Eastern States are not penalised when they choose not to develop their mineral resources.”
Policy 2: Small Business. “Small business is a major employer and when small business is under stress, jobs suffer. Jobs that our children need whether that is a part-time job while studying or the first step on a career path.
“Jim is very aware of the challenges facing the WA retail sector since the end of the "mining boom" and from emerging online sellers.
“Working in the commercial property sector, Jim knows how business is struggling to survive and the need for real assistance.” [Directly quoted from the candidate’s website]
Policy 3: Resources. Mr Grayden is a “strong supporter” of WA investing in the mining of Lithium and rare earth elements used in modern electronics but notes that less than 1% of the money from lithium-ion batteries returns to WA. He argues that the traditional reasons for processing and manufacture abroad—namely cheaper labour—do not hold up in the modern age of mechanisation and that more of the energy minerals and production industry should be brought to WA.
The candidate also recognises that “as we transition from a fossil-fuel-based economy to a renewable energy based economy sustainability will be more and more important.”

Wesley Du Preez - Liberal Democrats (LDP)

Policy Source: Following my approach adopted for previous LibDem candidates, I have deviated from the ABC's link and policy topics are taken from the LibDem's bio for Wesley Du Preez, which helpfully states three ”simple but ambitious” aims. The former forms one policy below, the latter two. Policy detail is taken from the LibDem policy pages.
Policy 1: Cutting red tape. The party argues for the immediate deregulation of the taxi industry; removal of licensing and certification for various industries including auctioneers, hairdressers, bar workers and casino workers; deregulation of retail trading hours, gambling and poker machines, liquor licensing, radio and television broadcast licensing and workers compensation insurance.
Policy 2: Cutting spending. The party also wants the immediate privatisation of the NBN, ABC, SBS, Australia Post, electricity and public transport, with TAFE, universities, schools and hospitals to follow. With the savings from running such services, the LDP wants the government to have zero net worth in the future, and be funded entirely through taxation rather than borrowing.
Policy 3: Freedoms. The LDP believes in free speech and does not believe defamation, humiliation, intimidation or obscenity should be illegal, but later adds “[w]e should be free from harassment”. They also oppose current restrictions on the extent of media an individual can own and defend the right of journalists to conceal their sources. The LDP opposes the criminalisation of bikie gangs and terrorist organisations on the grounds that there should be freedom of association, along with rejecting curfews, laws against loitering, and limits on peaceful protest. The party also supports the rights to euthanasia, birth control, abortion and the refusal of medical treatment.

Colin Scott - Sustainable Australia (SA)

Policy Source: SA boasts over 20 separate and diverse policy areas on its policy page (24 at the time of writing) but heads this page with a discussion of four major themes: jobs, housing, planning and environment. These four themes are repeated—with specific implications for Perth—in the candidate’s bio. These seat-specific policies are quoted directly below; readers should be aware that the language used may be less neutral and balanced than I try to achieve in my own words.
Policy 1: Secure jobs. For Perth this means:
  • Reducing our reliance on housing construction to drive 'growth' and re-allocating much of this 'property investment' speculation back into our factories, farms and small businesses
  • Placing a strong emphasis on manufacturing in Perth, rather than importing products, including through helping small business start-ups and high tech robotics
  • Better investing in education and skills training (and re-training)
Policy 2: Affordable housing and better planning. For Perth this means:
  • Ending all future negative gearing and capital gains tax concessions for property investors
  • Restricting the purchase of Australian housing and land to Australian citizens and long-term permanent residents
  • Slowing population growth via lower immigration (whilst maintaining our current refugee intake) to save Perth from overdevelopment
  • Limiting new housing developments to the ability of the local area's infrastructure (schools, hospitals, roads, public transport, parks, gardens, etc) to cope
  • Applying more lateral and flexible thinking to improving our public transport network, for example, through bus networks across suburban areas rather than just into the CBD
  • Containing our population growth to our ability to affordably and sustainably supply water
Policy 3: Sustainable environment and population. For Perth this means:
  • A whole-of-catchment approach to delivering a clean and healthy Swan River
  • Curtailing pollution in our living environment, including noise pollution through vehicles and construction
  • Strengthening local environmental initiatives including waste recycling, biodiversity and animal habitat protection, soil health, waste recycling and community gardens

Ben Mullings - Australian Mental Health Party (AMHP)

Policy Source: As may be obvious from the party’s name, AMHP is a single issue party and thus it is difficult to predict how they will vote on matters not concerning their focus: mental health. However, the party does provide a page outlining three different policies within the subject of mental health, and these are discussed below.
Policy 1: Medicare. AMHP wants Medicare to be flexible enough to allow people with mental health issues to choose a therapist they trust, and an end to the inconsistent and often abruptly terminating support for therapy.
Policy 2: Education. The party wishes to adjust the curriculum in schools to encourage understanding of mental health issues and to improve cognitive, emotional, and interpersonal functioning among young people to minimise help manage the emergence and severity of mental health issues later in life.
Policy 3: Mental Health Targets. AMHP seeks to establish targets for suicide reduction, mental health funding, housing for people in need and other areas that the party believes will limit the severity of Australia’s mental health crisis.

Patrick Gorman - Labor Party (ALP)

Policy Source: As above for the larger parties with well-oiled social media machines I have inspected the images posted to summarise Mr Gorman’s priorities. Further details, where available, are provided from the national ALP campaigns page.
Policy 1: Education. Posts by the candidate indicate strong support for “properly funding schools”, and the ALP promise of waiving fees for 100,000 TAFE places. Federally the party also opposes cuts to university spending, increases to university fees and student debt, cuts to schools, $3b in funding cuts to TAFE.
Policy 2: Taxes and Wages. Mr Gorman’s images state he will fight for WA to receive a larger proportion of GST funding, reverse the cut to penalty rates, and support tax cuts for 70,000 WA workers rather than corporate tax cuts. The party generally also has issues with the overuse of labour-hire workers rather than employees.
Policy 3: Funding services. The ALP seeks to preserve funding for public services it sees as under threat from the Liberal government, including Medicare, the ABC and the SBS. The funding of the ABC has been one of many key issues in Mr Gorman’s campaign, along with providing a better NBN with less downtime and faster repairs, funding for local infrastructure including Gateway WA, and a promise to invest $2.8b in hospitals compared to a $7.8m cut to Perth Hospital and a $77m cut to hospitals across WA blamed on the current federal government. The ALP calculates federal funding to hospitals nationally between 2017 and 2020 will amount to $715m and opposes these cuts.

Gabriel Harfouche - Australian People's Party (APP)

Policy Source: Mr Reece’s bio gives me no direction on his personal issues of interest but party's policy page has several policies to sort through, so I have taken the three most expansively discussed as the "main platforms".
Policy 1: Taxation. This party wants to end tax deductions for work expenses*, increase the tax-free threshold, replace tax offsets for carers and people with disabilities with a payment, remove the beneficiary tax offset, reduce marginal tax rates, simplify GST and expand it to financial services, a 20% corporate tax rate with very few possible deductions; tax on all foreign businesses selling to Australians, and a 50% tax on property sales by foreign investors.
Policy 2: Immigration. The APP wants to reduce immigration for a 5-year period by: reducing visa numbers; abolishing temporary skilled migration; relying on temporary protection visas for refugees and repatriating them when it is safe to do so; providing visas for migrants to settle and remain in regional centres for 5 years; deporting all illegal immigrants; requiring family-sponsored immigrants of working age to have full-time employment for 5 years and not rely on welfare payments, with minors to be supported by family sponsors; and requiring immigrants to live here for 5 years, speak English and receive no convictions before seeking citizenship.
Policy 3: Social Security and Living Standards. APP policies call for: a $50 increase in the fortnightly single pension, $90 increase in the couples pension, Reduction of retirement age to 65, a reduction of gas and electricity bills by 50%, the implementation of a gas reservation policy, no expiration dates on any phone/internet data, unemployed people being made to work for councils or the military after 1 year, all welfare recipients to require photo ID, changing the NDIS to the National Investment Scheme, fully fund childcare only for working parents passing a means test, and all businesses with over 100 employees to have in-house childcare.
*The exact wording of this policy is "allow no work-related deductions". Though purely speculative, it is possible this should read "allow non-work-related deductions" which has the opposite effect of expanding rather than restricting tax deductions.

Paul Collins - Independent (IND)

Policy Source: Mr Collins is positioning himself as the closest thing Perth has to a Liberal candidate this election, but although he is a member of the Liberal party he has also stated he does not agree with them on everything. As such, I am not relying on the Liberal party policies for this write-up. In his posts on Facebook I can find a lot of ALP positions Mr Collins opposes, but few direct positions he will argue for except a 75c floor on GST returns to WA. There are some policies, however in the brochure shown below, so I will do the usual lazy shortcut of posting that instead of writing them up under three headings. Be aware that as this is written by (or at least for) the candidate, it may not be impartially worded.

Caroline Perks - The Greens (GRN)

Policy Source: Conveniently, the Greens have released specific policies for the WA by-elections in Fremantle and Perth. There are three policies from their general platform--'Ending Corporate Influence', 'World Class Social Services' and 'A Future For All Of Us'--and two other policies specifically released during WA by-election season--'Beyond Waste' and 'Getting Big Money Out Of Politics'. The latter are used as main policies below. Ignoring 'Ending Corporate Influence' as being synonymous with 'Getting Big Money Out Of Politics', the other two policies 'World Class Social Services' and 'A Future For All Of Us' are discussed as the third policy for Perth and Freemantle respectively, decided by a coin flip. Voters in either seat would do well to read both summaries.
Policy 1: Beyond Waste. The Greens' waste management policy is set out over four steps: investment in resource recovery (i.e. recycling) initiatives including through community grants, ending federal funding for waste incineration, phasing out single-use plastic products and introducing mandatory schemes to encourage the manufacture of recyclable products.
Policy 2: Getting Big Money Out Of Politics. The Greens' plan to limit the monetary influence of politicians is two-pronged: first by introducing a $30 carbon price on major polluters and removing fossil fuel subsidies which they argue encourage pollution thanks to the influence of the fossil fuel lobby, and secondly by banning political donations from mining, development, tobacco and alcohol industries, capping all other donations and demanding all donations over $1000 are reported to the public. Their ending corporate influence policy also mentions making corporations pay their 'fair share' of tax, opposing a corporate tax cut from 30% to 25%, and establishing a government-backed People’s Bank.
Policy 3: World Class Services. The first sentence of this policy page is: “The Greens are a party of essential services, not tax cuts”. These services include a $75 increase to the Newstart and Youth Allowance; more funding for primary, secondary and tertiary education; improvements to public health care; fully funding the NDIS; adding dental to Medicare; increasing access to bulk-billing GPs; further investment in mental health; providing accessible and affordable public transport.

Aaron Hammond - Science Party (SCI)

Policy Source: I was not easily able to determine a method of prioritising the policies of the Science Party (which covers a lot of topics) on either Mr Hammond’s Facebook or the party website, although Mr Hammond’s how to vote card does provide the small panel of policies below—a little lighter on detail than I prefer but a convenient summary.

Ellen Joubert- Australian Christians (AC)

Policy Source: There are 9 policy areas listed on the party's website with no obvious way to pick the main ones, but most can be folded into their broadest policy heading of 'Social Policies'. Three others remain: 'Environment and Climate' and 'Economy' which are long enough to deserve description below and their 'Religious Freedom' policy which is summarised in this one-page document they provide.
Policy 1: Social Policies. On the topic of family, the AC believes marriage should be between a man and a woman and supports adoption only by heterosexual couples, mentoring programs for men and boys without fathers, pre-marriage education for all couples, perjury laws to be applied to the Family Court, declassifying 'economic abuse' as a criminal offence. They oppose the introduction of voluntary euthanasia, abortion and IVF outside of heterosexual marriage. The party opposes the Safe Schools program, wants the national curriculum to be developed by stakeholders and supports the inclusion of Australia’s Christian heritage in the curriculum. It supports medical uses of cannabis but not recreational use. They oppose the inclusion of home ownership in the means testing of pensions, wants pensions to be indexed by a measure other than CPI and supports fully funding the NDIS. The party opposes prostitution but believes punishment should fall on the clients of sex workers rather than sex workers themselves, and ISP filters on pornographic material by default in Australia.
Policy 2: Environment and Climate. This party does not believe there is sufficient evidence for human-caused climate change and opposes any form of taxation or other burdens to this end, but supports "sensible pollution controls that do not unnecessarily and excessively burden businesses and increase the cost of living". This position heads all of their policies on the environment, be that generally, carbon taxation specifically, and even water management. These policies then all provide the '10 key aims' of their subsequent policies: recognition of pollution harms and adapting [sic] evidence-based solutions; land use management geared towards environmental sustainability; protecting natural biodiversity; ensuring air and water quality; managing vegetation and soil quality for agricultural sustainability; improving waste management; protecting coasts and rivers; ensuring sustainable resource development; balanced and sustainable consumption; promoting energy and resource production without favour to any approach.
Policy 3: Economy. The AC opposes keeping the minimum wage as high as it currently is, increasing taxes on businesses or implementing greater employment regulation (particularly in child care). They support income splitting for single-income families and the establishment of specialist banks for small and medium businesses.

Tony Robinson - Australian Liberty Alliance (ALA)

Policy Source: Mr Robinson is a co-founder of ALA, and on the party’s own statement that he would be contesting the seat of Perth it states that voting for the candidate will “show the corrupt career politicians that we have had enough of BIG government, BIG government waste, Islamisation and divisive multiculturalism”. The following policy areas are derived from this statement and filled with detail from the party’s policy page.
Policy 1: Small Government. The ALA seeks less bureaucracy and the reduction in government spending to below 20% of GDP. To do this, the ALA will push for a reduction in the number of ministers to only the positions they consider essential, reduce government overheads, and end government programs they determine to be wasteful.
Policy 2: Islam. The party views Islam as a totalitarian ideology that does not accept the separation of church and state. The party opposes all attempts to impose Sharia law on Australia “before the demographic, economic and sociopolitical realities make a peaceful solution impossible”, which presumably includes voluntary Sharia courts as used in the UK. Achieving this includes a 10-year ban on immigration from member nations of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (excepting non-Muslim refugees). Halal foods should be labelled according to the ALA, and certified at the producer’s cost and full-face coverings prohibited in public.
Policy 3: Multiculturalism. The ALA opposes the existence of dual citizenship, opposes affirmative action, and sees reconciliation with Aboriginal Australians as incompatible with the treatment of Indigenous people as a special class of citizens.
At first glance, it might make more sense to divide the three policy areas into small government, spending and multiculturalism including Islam, but the division of policies on the website makes it easier to disentangle island and multiculturalism generally rather than government size and spending.

Ian Britza - Independent (IND)

Policy Source: Mr Britza is surprisingly hard to track down, given that he has previously served in Liberal governments before leaving the party. I could find no website or policy discussion and no pamphlet in his name except this one from his time in the Liberal party with no real policy information. I did find a newspaper article that listed his priorities as GST, senior Australians and government accountability, but I don’t have any information to expand upon this. His Facebook page did not help much either but did provide me with a media release. While I can’t extract specific promises from this, here are two quoted segments that may give voters some idea of his priorities:
“Ian has said ‘Australian People are wanting to regain the ability to get ahead, see real reduction in the cost of living and the cost of doing business in Australia. People want fair and affordable access to quality health, education and essential services as well as being confident in their safety.’ Ian is committed to standing up for these issues regardless of a win or lose.”
“Lack of the Australian Tax and importation laws is seeing an unprecedented amount of small and family businesses fail and close. Again, bipartisan inaction by both parties is the main reason this is occurring, despite both their bureaucracy and Politicians being provided proof of what is going on. Australian Jobs are another area Ian is committed to fighting for in Canberra.”

Barry Mason - Citizens Electoral Council (CEC)

Policy Source: The CEC is a LaRouche-ian party that has not noticeably updated its site in the decade or so of my reporting on elections, so some information may be drastically out of date. Mr Mason’s priorities are set out in the opening paragraph of his bio: “‘Jail bankers for fraud; break up the corrupt and bankrupt banks and then generate cheap credit for productive industries and infrastructure by establishing a government-owned National bank.’ These are just a few of the key policies that Barry Mason your Citizens Electoral Council (CEC) candidate for the Perth by-election, says he will fight for when elected.” That is technically three promises, however I feel realistically these should be treated as one topic. There is also discussion of international relations, but no real detail can be found on this on the CEC’s policy page. This page is headed by three topics too: survival, recovery and prosperity. Again, the first two are banking-reform focussed. The third discusses infrastructure and forms a second point to discuss below. Of the topics listed below that as ‘policy initiatives’ three remain distinct from these two topics: electoral reform, food crisis and global warming being a hoax. Of these, I feel the latter is the most newsworthy.
Policy 1: Banking reform. In addition to imprisoning bankers, dismantling banks and establishing a federal bank, the party insists on ‘Glass-Steagall’ separation of commercial and investment banking, the restoration of trade tariffs as part of the ‘New Bretton Woods’ system and the freezing of all home and banking mortgages until the CEC determines the GFC to have passed (this last decade apparently still being one of depression worse than the 1930s according to the CEC site).
Policy 2: Industry and Infrastructure. Perhaps one of the most strikingly specific policy text on the CEC website is: “We Must Have a National Fertilizer Industry!”, in response to the previously mentioned perceived food crisis. This includes government regulation of fertiliser prices at 2006 levels, a Fertilizer Control and Development Board, outlawing Anglo-Dutch cartel involvement in Australian agriculture and establishing rail infrastructure. The party also wants nationalisation of oil, gas and raw materials industries, support for the pig, sheep and dairy industries, the end of Murray-Darling environmental flows and at least 18 water developments in the forms of dams, irrigation structures and so forth. Rail development around the nation, high-speed shipping, a moon/mars program and thorium nuclear energy are all proposed by the CEC
Policy 3: Global Warming. The CEC claims that “Man-made global warming is a fraud”. What follows in this policy can only be described as a conspiracy theory (I leave the reader to determine whether the recent pejorative connotations of the term apply) that involves Al Gore, the World Wildlife Fund, Thomas Malthus (on behalf of the British East India Company) and H.G. Wells to (and I am quoting here to avoid an appearance of exaggeration) “shut down farming, manufacturing and energy industries, and kill millions of people” while introducing “a world government (akin to Tim Flannery’s proposed Commission for Thermostatic Control)”.
I genuinely have no idea where to begin discussing this, so I won’t.

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