The next party on the ticket is a very new party indeed – so new, that Google can’t find their website with any of the obvious searches, and it took me five searches to even establish that they have one.
Fear not, gentle reader, I found it eventually. Let me introduce the Building Australia Party.
Can I just start by expressing my joy at a nice, new party without many policies? The Socialists and the CEC were bloody exhausting, not to mention the Greens and the Democrats. I’m developing a real appreciation for single-issue parties.
Their ticket is a bit confused – they start of with one person each from the DLP and the Liberal Democrats, then move on to the Carer’s Alliance, the Democrats, Senator On-Line, and the Shooters and Fishers. Eventually, they go via Family First to the ALP. At the bottom of the ticket – surprise! – is the CEC, with the Australian Sex Party, the Secular Party and One Nation also not feeling the love. I detect a rather old-fashioned, conservative Christian, Rotary-club-ish sort of party. But not quite such an egregiously right-wing Christian group as others we could mention.
Disappointingly, the Building Australia Party does not appear to be have any candidates named Bob. We shall try not to hold this against them. Their website only has four pages, one of which is for contact details and another is for memberships. On their front page, they tell us:
The Building Australia Party is a new party on the political scene and has grown out of discontent from within the building industry and the building design profession. This discontent has arisen due to governments of all persuasions not adhering to the principles of good business acumen when applying policies in all areas under government control.
The original proponents of the party all have a business background and are united in their beliefs to Build a Better Australia. Whereby the Building Australia party has grown out of the building industry and the building design profession and have a mantra to improve Housing Affordability, the underlying principles of commonsense, business acumen, reigning [sic] in of waste and the reduction of overregulation will be the cornerstone to building a better Future for all Australians.
Building Australia seeks support from all, to help develop a party that becomes less divisive as opposed to the major parties. No matter which party end up in power there is nearly 50% of the population that feel disenfranchised because of the wedge politics that are played out.
Building Australia recognises that good ideas and good policy is not reserved for any particular party, they develop from individuals and those ideas should be harnessed for the benefit of all.
We need to bring commonsense, respect and business acumen back into governments.
Help build a BETTER Australia by supporting the Building Australia Party.
On the face of it, this sounds reasonably good. I’m not sure I am entirely convinced that the principles of commonsense and business acumen are the best ways to run a country, but I do like their talk about trying to decrease division and effectively increase consensus. It’s hard to tell how this would play out in reality, since they are still very, very new and there isn’t much news about them.
At the moment, they have party objectives rather than policies, and promise to fill out these policies over the coming weeks. I suspect they won’t have time before the election, so let’s look at these policies as they stand. Most of them, unsurprisingly, relate to building, so we’ll get those out of the way first.
They want to reduce unnecessary planning delays which increase costs, and make council codes the rules, with complying plans granted automatic approval, and they want to harmonise these rules across the state. I can see some potential pitfalls here, although I agree consistency is a good thing. Still, sometimes there are reasons why approval isn’t automatic…
They also want to reduce needless overregulation by establishing an Independent Building Commission (have you noticed that all small parties want to establish Independent Commissions?), and they want an industry-based workers compensation scheme.
In areas that are probably about building but may have wider applicability, they want licensing and registration to be about skills recognition and not just consumer protection, which would act to professionalise the industry. Actually I think this is a good idea in a lot of fields. They also want the government to establish viable apprenticeships and traineeships for youth. Again, a good plan… though my vague understanding was that part of the problem at present is that most people want to go to university rather than going the apprenticeship route and we don’t have enough tradies, so perhaps we also need to figure out how to make apprenticeships more inviting, so that people who have an aptitude for and interest in these more practical professions and so forth are more inclined to take them up.
Their most interesting aim is to make housing more affordable. I’m not sure how they plan to do this, and will be interested to see a more detailed policy. It’s certainly one of the big things that the government needs to look at, and it’s interesting to see that this is being called for by nearly all the minor parties, one way or another. Of course, I’m not sure that anyone knows how to actually achieve this laudable goal.
I also like their policy of simplifying homeowners warranty insurance so that people can understand it. There’s a certain plaintive, personal note to this that can’t fail to appeal.
And finally, they want to bring back commonsense into government at all levels, local, state & federal. Which is all very well, but whose definition of commonsense are we using?
All in all, a nice little party. Nothing that makes me want to run screaming, but equally nothing that fills me with overwhelming joy. I think they will end up somewhere in the middle of my ballot, but before the major parties.
And now, gentle reader, wish me luck – next up on the ballot are One Nation, the Liberals and the Christian Democratic Party. After which the ALP will no doubt look like a haven of left-wing sanity. For all our sakes, I shall hold my nose and dive into the cesspit, to find what gems may be hidden there. I may be some time…