Constitution of the New Liberals
- The name of our Party is The New Liberals (the Party).
- This is its Constitution.
- The Constitution comes into force on the date of its execution by the four founding members of the National Executive.
- The New Liberals is a party determined to work for growth in Australia’s power and wealth, and to use those assets to foster equality, dignity and respect for all, through the guarantee of fundamental human rights, financial safety nets, access to justice, and the paramountcy of the rule of law.
- Ours is a national party. It does not have State branches.
- We will promote the election of our endorsed candidates to the Senate and the House of Representatives of the Parliament of Australia. In due course we will also promote our endorsed candidates for election to the various parliaments of the States and Territories of the Commonwealth of Australia, and to local councils and shires.
Aims of the Party
- To base Australia’s economic development on policies of incentive, not of subsidy.
- To guarantee that economic growth through adequate investment in research and development, technological advance and entrepreneurial endeavour.
- To establish a simple and just tax system, which guarantees that all persons and all entities will pay their fair share.
- To promote Australia’s environmental health by acknowledging that care for the environment and good business practice are complementary, not mutually exclusive.
- To guarantee the liberty of all. To ensure that liberty will only be forfeited by due process of law.
- To maintain the best and most cost-effective defence of Australia, where the needs of Australia will be the paramount consideration.
- To understand that education is the bedrock of a great society, and so to foster its improvement, efficiency and effectiveness at all levels, and to adequately reward those who deliver it.
- To recognise that a great society is one free to tell its stories to the world, and so to encourage and support those who tell Australia’s stories with dignity, clarity and passion.
- To ensure the health of all, both physical and mental, through proper investment in medical and surgical infrastructure and personnel, particularly through policies of preventative medicine.
- To foster equality, dignity and respect for all, through the guarantee of fundamental human rights, financial safety nets, access to justice, and the paramountcy of the rule of law.
- To celebrate Australia’s unity whilst harnessing the power of its diversity.
The National Executive
- The National Executive shall be responsible for the formulation and implementation of policy.
- The National Executive shall consist of the following office bearers: (1) The President; (2) The General Secretary; (3) The Treasurer and Party Agent; (4) The Party Leader and Registered Officer.
- At the commencement of this Constitution, the following persons shall hold the following offices: (1) The President – Katharine Rebecca Kline; (2) The General Secretary – Steven James Hopley; (3) The Treasurer and Party Agent – Jennifer Lynette Philip; (4) The Party Leader and Registered Officer – Victor Alan Kline.
- The above office bearers shall hold office for four years, at which time their office shall be open to election by financial members of the party. Each financial member is entitled to vote for each office. Each office holder will be elected by the same method of preferential voting which pertains to the election of members of the House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Australia. Election for office bearers shall thereafter be held at four-year intervals.
- Voting for this, or any other matter under the Constitution, is not compulsory. But the General Secretary shall ensure that all financial members are given the opportunity to vote in any ballot of members called.
- The role of the President is to oversee the ongoing functioning of the Party, and to ensure that, in all its business, parliamentary and non-parliamentary, the Party adheres to its aims and to its Charter of Core Values.
- The role of the General Secretary is to ensure the efficient administration of the Party, including the day-to-day management of the Party, and the conduct of correspondence of the Party. It is also the role of the General Secretary to contact the Australian Electoral Commission on general election and enrolment matters, such as the appointment of a party agent or to notify updates in the contact details for the Party or its office bearers.
- The role of the Treasurer and Party Agent is to maintain the Party’s finances in a good an orderly matter according to law. This includes the lodging of the Party’s annual financial disclosure return and the receipt of election funding.
- The role of the Party Leader and Registered Officer, is to lead the Party, to nominate the Party’s endorsed candidates, to select the Party’s registered name or registered abbreviation to be printed on ballot papers adjacent to the Party’s endorsed candidates, and to receive any formal notices about Party registration from the Australian Electoral Commission.
ALTERATION OF THIS CONSTITUTION
- This Constitution can only be altered on the unanimous recommendation of all members of the National Executive, supported by a vote of two-thirds of financial members.
- There shall be an annual general meeting of the members of the Party, at a time and place to be determined by the President.
- There shall be monthly or quarterly meetings of the National Executive, which shall be held at a time and place to be determined by the President.
- A quorum for meetings of the National Executive shall be two members.
- Membership is open to any individual over the age of 18 years of age who (i) agrees to the aims of the Party and to its Charter of Core Values; (ii) has paid the membership fee, as determined from time to time by the Treasurer; (iii) agrees to uphold the Constitution of the Party; (iv) agrees not to bring the Party into disrepute; (v) has not been convicted of an electoral disqualifying offence; (vi) has submitted a completed application form to the Party.
- Membership is taken to be accepted when the applicant for membership is so advised by the Treasurer.
- The National Executive may, for the Party’s protection, and in its absolute discretion, reject any application for membership of the Party.
- The National Executive may expel any member (i) who has been convicted of an electoral offence, either before or after joining the Party; (ii) whom the National Executive reasonably determines has engaged in conduct which has, or which may bring the Party into disrepute; (iii) who has remained unfinancial for 30 days or more; (iv) whom the National Executive has reasonably determined has failed to uphold the Party’s aims or Charter of Core Values; (v) whom the National Executive reasonably determines has failed to uphold the Constitution of the Party.
- Only current financial members of the Party shall be eligible (i) to be considered for candidature for the Party; (ii) vote on relevant Party matters as determined by the National Executive.
- Members may resign by communicating their intention to resign to any Member of the National Executive by any means of communication they wish, and their membership shall cease upon acknowledgement of receipt of the act of resignation by that National Executive member.
- The President may, in exceptional circumstances, and with the unanimous agreement of all other members of the National Executive, approve the membership of any person who may otherwise be prohibited from membership.
SELECTION OF CANDIDATES
- Candidates shall be selected by the National Executive. The National Executive shall determine to which seat, or for which State, the selected candidate should stand at election.
- Each member of the National Executive shall have a veto, in his or her absolute discretion, preventing the selection of any given candidate.
- Once a candidate is selected, that candidate then becomes an endorsed candidate, whom the Registered Officer may then nominate for the seat or State in question.
- The same procedure as in paragraphs 38-40 above, shall be followed, mutatis mutandis, for candidates seeking selection for State or Territory elections, or for Local Government elections.
- Any disputes in relation to the affairs of the Party, shall be mediated, conciliated, arbitrated or otherwise heard and determined by the National Executive in the manner it considers appropriate to the relevant circumstances. If there is not agreement amongst the National Executive as to the manner of settling a dispute, the manner shall be determined by the President.
THE PARLIAMENTARY PARTY
- All members of The Party who are federal parliamentarians, shall be members of The Party Room.
- The Party Leader, shall be the leader of The Party Room. If, however, the Party Leader is not a parliamentarian, then the Leader of The Party Room shall be chosen by the vote the of the members of The Party Room.
- In either case, the Deputy-Leader of the Party Room shall be chosen by the vote of members of the Party Room.
- The form of the election for the Leader (where necessary) and the Deputy-Leader of the Party Room, shall be determined by the National Executive.
- The Party Room has the power to expel from The Party Room, any member whom the Party Room reasonably believes is causing, or is likely to cause damage to the Party, its reputation or standing in the community, and may refer the relevant member to the National Executive to consider whether the person should be expelled from the Party.
- The same procedures, as in paragraphs 43-47 above, shall apply, mutatis mutandis, to parliamentarians of a State or Territory.
DIRECTION OF PREFERENCES
- Direction of preferences for all seats in the House of Representatives, and for the Senate, shall be determined by the National Executive. Direction of preferences for State, Territory or Local Government elections shall, mutatis mutandis, also be determined by the National Executive.
FUNDING AND PROPERTY
- Funding for the Party shall be derived from membership fees, authorised donations, election funding payable to candidates, and such other sources as are authorised by law.
- Details of funding, be it by money, goods or services (other than voluntary labour), will be open to public inspection.
- The property and income of the Party will be applied solely towards promoting the principles, and achieving the objectives, of the Party, and no part of that property or income may be applied or otherwise distributed, directly or indirectly, except in good faith for that purpose.
- Should a dispute arise as to whether property or income has been properly so applied, a decision thereon shall be made by the National Executive in the manner specified at paragraph 42 above.
- Where a matter arises as to the interpretation of this Constitution, a decision thereon shall be made by the National Executive. If the National Executive is not unanimous in its interpretation, the interpretation favoured by the majority or plurality of members of the National Executive shall prevail. In the case of a tie, the vote of the President shall prevail.
CASUAL VACANCIES AND ADDITIONS TO THE NATIONAL EXECUTIVE
- A member of the National Executive may resign on three months’ notice, delivered in writing to each of the other members of the National Executive.
- The casual vacancy created by the resignation, or the death, of a member of the National Executive, shall be filled by a resolution of the National Executive. All remaining members of the National Executive must agree to the appointment.
- If it is intended that a new additional office bearer be appointed to the National Executive, all current members must agree to that appointment and to the person to be appointed.
- The office filled after the casual vacancy, or the office created by the addition of a new office bearer, shall be open for re-election at the next four-yearly election of the National Executive, along with all other offices of the National Executive.
- The party may only be dissolved by the unanimous recommendation of the National Executive, supported by the vote of two-third of financial members.