Urgent platform amendment proposal: repeal aspects of National Security Bill

NOTE: This motion has already been put to the National Council and voted upon by email. See this post.

Hey there,

I am proposing that the National Council exercise their privileges under Article 5.2(2) of the Party Constitution to amend our Civil Liberties policy to include the following line in section “Remove existing laws which unduly restrict privacy, speech, expression and access to information”:

  • Repeal the aspects of the National Security Legislation Amendment Bill (No.1) 2014 that have an unjustifiable impact on civil liberties, due process and the rule of law.

Pretty straightforward, makes our position clear, and it will still be voted on at the next National Congress (or Policy Meeting) but will be considered policy up until then.

This power has not historically needed to be used by the National Council, however it seems that this issue is of such a nature as to require an immediate and strong response to make it clear that we will not stand for such an immediate shift to an unaccountable police state.

I have also tasked the Policy Development Committee with providing information about the implications of this legislation change, that should be easy to digest for the everyday person. We are also beginning to make plans on actions relating to this change.

Please let me know what you think of this.


It seems to me to be exactly the type of urgent circumstance that this section of the constitution exists for. ie to give us the ability to response in an agile manner to such egregious governmental derpage.

So long as the wider membership is given the opportunity to endorse/accept it through a vote at the next congress or policy meeting as suggested/required (somehow I don’t think there would be much danger of such an endorsement not occurring)

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I absolutely support this proposal, @Feenicks is right too.

It’ll have to be a judgement call of the congress but there’s a reason we have such a congress - we trust them and their judgement.

As long as it’s advertised similarly to this proposal and there’s an option for the rest of the membership comment on it, and/or to confirm or reject it at a later point.

I believe the circumstances justifies the Act First and Review process.

It also gives the party an opportunity to review the specific constitutional power being called on. I can’t see any reason to make substantive changes to that clause, but changing “is subject to the same conditions as those above.” to “is subject to the same conditions as those decided on at the National Congress.” would help first readings of it. Assuming that I actually grok it.

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I can refer to that the Constitutional Review Committee, and will.


Yep, it’s a requirement of the Constitution that any such policy amendments require being voted upon at the Congress. :smile:

Throwing in my support for this proposal.

Works for me.

Scary, scary times…

If you need a crystal ball vision from Stilgherrian on how these proposals looked 3 months ago, here you are: http://www.zdnet.com/beware-the-spin-behind-australias-new-surveillance-laws-7000031794/

This is a very appropriate platform and policy amendment and exactly how Art 5.2(2) should be used. These specific changes could not have been reasonably foreseen and having an explicit statement would be great. I anticipate the National Council will need to use this power again shortly unfortunately for Bills No 2 & 3 (and maybe even more), but as long as the membership remains informed and consulted, I have no issues. It’s very promising to see other members supportive of this course of action too :smile:

100% behind this proposal. This is exactly the kind of situation that part of the constitution was designed for.

Has my support. I presume that it will be easy enough to remove once the legislation is repealled?

Seems entirely appropriate to me.

Yes, entirely appropriate, but in the long run it may be useful to have a process that enables policy amendments to be debated online and voted on by the membership at any time of year without having to be tied to a congress. I assume that’s the eventual goal and just not possible under current capacity constraints?


Oh yes. These two reflect my own views so much better than I could express them myself:

I was debating whether they justified Article status in their own right?

I agree with your position.
I will be available this evening to work on the investigation as you requested.

… AndrewD…

Just echoing the sentiments of the previous posts here; this seems like an entirely appropriate use of article 5.2(2) - no protest against the proposed amendment from me.

A simple explainer of the legislation has appeared:

May I ask what I fear will turn out to be a dopey question: doesn’t the fact this Bill has passed in the Senate before being presented to the House completely violate rules of presentation?

I support this & wonder if we shouldn’t just seek to repeal the bill in entirety. Is there anything in it worth salvaging?