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Submissions and activities to support Australia Together

From time to time ACFP makes submissions to government and parliamentary inquiries on matters of strategic signficance for Australia's future.  

Submissions can be accessed via the links provided below.

Indigenous Voice

Supporting an Indigenous Voice to Parliament - 2023

Throughout 2023, ACFP supported campaigners in favour of the Indigenous Voice to parliament. Our support was strong because an Indigenous Voice to both parliament and the government is fully consistent with the Vision for Australia Together. Defeat of the Voice is wholly at odds with the Vision and moves us away from the possibility of making our aspirations for the future a reality by 2050 or sooner.

 

To determine that this is so, ACFP conducted an analysis of how the Indigenous Voice, as proposed in the referendum and as envisaged in principles set by the the parliament, is consistent or inconsistent with each aspect of the Vision. The results of the analysis are available here in this Fact Sheet: How is the Indigenous Voice consistent with the Vision for Australia Together?

 

The analysis in the Fact Sheet shows that there isn’t a single element of the Vision for Australia Together that wouldn’t be enhanced by establishment of an Indigenous Voice. Broader Australia would also be much better off, with enhanced capacity for:

  • peace (both at home and in the wider world),

  • climate change mitigation and adaptation,

  • cultural harmony, and

  • genuine fairness in their democracy.

Analysis in the Fact Sheet on How is the Indigenous Voice consistent with the Vision for Australia Together, functions as a good example of how useful the Vision for Australia Together is in helping Australians efficiently select strategies that will propel us toward a better future as a nation and how it can do so without calling on us to cancel out the legitimate interests of particular groups. For more information on the benefits of building a better future in this way, visit the ACFP webpage on National Integrated Planning & Reporting.

Human rights

Submission to Inquiry into Australia's Human Rights Framework - June 2023

In 2023 the Attorney General and Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights sought comments on whether the Human Rights Framework adopted by the Labor government in 2010 and abandoned by the subsequent Coalition government should be re-established and, in particular, whether this time around it should include a Human Rights Act.

ACFP submitted that legislation to protect human rights is long overdue in Australia but that full security of rights cannot be achieved unless human rights are enshrined in the Constitution.
 

Legislation is not enough to protect Australians from government abuse.

 

Read the full submission on human rights here.

Speech to the Parliamentary Joint Committee of Inquiry into Australia's Human Rights Framework

On 28 September 2023, ACFP's Founder Bronwyn Kelly addressed the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Human Rights in their current Inquiry into Australia’s Human Rights Framework. She made a case in support of a Human Rights Act but stated that the Constitution is a barrier to security of the human rights of Australians.

Governments can - and they do - all too easily reduce or revoke human rights because rights are not enshrined in the Constitution. But with a process of nation-wide community engagement to build a new Constitution, Australians can finally secure the rights that have long been denied to them in Australian law. Read the full opening statement and additional material submitted by Dr Kelly here.

Parliamentary Joint Committee Deputy Chair, Russell Broadbent MP, endorses Bronwyn Kelly's speech on human rights.
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Questions on Notice from Senator Thorpe

After her appearance at the parliamentary Inquiry into Australia's Human Rights Framework, Senator Lidia Thorpe asked Bronwyn Kelly some Questions on Notice.

Read Dr Kelly's answers to Senator Thorpe here

Listen to Bronwyn Kelly's answers to Senator Thorpe on the Australia Together Podcast.

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A complete audio recording of the answers to Senator Thorpe's questions to Bronwyn Kelly is accessible in Episodes 37, 38 and 39 of The Australia Together Podcast series on Insights into Human Rights and Democracy in Australia. This also includes a detailed answer to a key question about democracy in Australia from the Chair of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights, Mr Josh Burns MP.

Click here for a full transcript of all three Australia Together Podcast episodes on Insights into Human Rights and Democracy in Australia.

A seven-step program for nation-wide engagement to build a new Constitution

In her testimony to the PJCHR Bronwyn Kelly suggested the need for  a program of nation-wide engagement and collaboration for the development of a new Australian Constitution - one fit for a 21st century democracy where everyone has political equality. Dr Kelly submitted an outline of how that process may work. 

ACFP will continue to champion the introduction of such a process. Click here for the outline of the suggested National Collaborative Process for Development of a New Australian Constitution.

Defence laws

Submission to Defence on reforming defence legislation - April 2023

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In 2023 the federall government called for public submissions in relation to reforming defence legislation.

ACFP’s submission explained that the principles under which the review was being conducted did not align with the values of Australians, values which place peace well above war and aggression.

ACFP suggested scrapping the entire review and replacing it with a fully inclusive strategic planning process in which Australians can participate to define the nation’s strategic interests and acceptable paths towards the maintenance of those interests (that is, paths that are consistent with their values as espoused by them, not by governments).

ACFP also supported the submission from the Independent Peaceful Australia Network (IPAN) because their points and objections are consistent with the values of Australians to promote peace and prevent war wherever possible.   

Wellbeing

Submission to Treasury on Measuring What Matters - January 2023

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In 2022, Treasury proposed developing a new measurement system for Australian wellbeing based on the OECD's Indicators Framework.

ACFP’s submission explained that the OECD framework is likely to be less useful to Australians in measuring wellbeing than the Australia Together National Wellbeing Index but linkages between frameworks would benefit benefit Australians if policies are selected to protect what Australians value - what actually matters to them.

ACFP suggested Treasury establish a program to ask Australians what they value and what they want for their future before selecting policies and indicators of progress towards what matters. 

Read the full submission to Treasury from ACFP here.

Petition demanding that Australia lead the world at COP26 to stop global heating

Petition on COP26

This petition was submitted in October 2021.

Click here for a link to the Petition demanding Australia lead the world at COP26 to stop global heating.

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Find out why the petition was so important in this video:

What's at stake at COP26? Everything!

Click here to find out why fair sharing of a global carbon budget of 235 billion tonnes will be the key to success at COP26.

Why has this petition been posted?

Australians want to stop global heating. And the good news is that we can. As Professor Lesley Hughes from the Climate Council has said: “There is no physical reason why we must accept the inevitable demise of life on the planet." She is right.

But we only have about a decade left to do it and there are two crucial things we must fix if we are to succeed. If we fix these things, then nothing will be in our way – not physically anyway.

  1. The first thing to fix is Australia’s entirely uncooperative stance on the international stage in climate change negotiations under the Paris Agreement - the agreement we have signed with more than 190 other countries to stop global heating.

  2. The second thing to fix is the world’s persistent focus on using negotiating frameworks in the Paris Agreement that will not stop global heating.

 

For this reason Australian Community Futures Planning has launched a petition calling on the Prime Minister Scott Morrison and the Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor to:

  1. take a position of global leadership in COP26 in Glasgow in November 2021 to stop the planet warming by more than 1.5 degrees Celsius; and to

  2. propose a Motion at COP26 to establish a new negotiating framework in the Paris Agreement - one that is capable of actually stopping the heating and doing so in a way that is fair and achievable for all countries. 

 

The Paris Agreement uses a negotiating framework that was useful for encouraging countries to sign the Agreement in 2015. But it is not and will not be useful for stopping the actual heating. The current negotiating system - which relies on all countries' pledging progressively larger percentage reductions in their emissions over time - can no longer function to stop global heating because it does not oblige each country to reach net zero before too much carbon is emitted in total. It is the total emitted that matters, not the date by which we reach net zero.

The world needs to permanently cap the total volume of greenhouse gases that can henceforth be emitted to the atmosphere if we are to keep temperature rises to no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius and all countries must reach net zero before we exceed the volume cap. Otherwise the heating will be locked in.

 

See how Australia can lead at COP26 to change the negotiating system for stopping global heating and help keep temperature increases to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Learn more about Strategies in Australia Together for fixing climate change, including the Strategy for Australia's international leadership role on stopping global heating.

Watch the video - A plan for fixing climate change

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The petition has been submitted with an open letter to the Prime Minister.

Read the petition and open letter here.

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Media Diversity

ACFP contributions to parliamentary inquiries into media diversity

Because a free and open press is vital for democracy and for Australians who wish to plan a better future in democracy, ACFP has made submissions to a range of media diversity inquiries and produced research papers and articles in contribution to this vitally important matter.

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We have it in our power to create the world anew

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