While some of these policies are specifically local, we cannot ignore the fact that a lot of the problems facing South Australia are national issues, and will require the assistance and partnership of other states and the Commonwealth.
Being a small party, Gamers4Croydon does not have the resources to develop fully detailed policy on all issues in advance. However, our approach to policy and legislation is to consult with the people who are most affected by an issue, as they will have greater insight. Our guiding principle is to put people ahead of party agendas, so policy will be based on evidence not ideology.
|Implement an R18+ classification to protect children from adult content|
Not only does the current classification system fail to allow adults the right to choose – its first guiding principle under law – but it also falls short on the second: protecting minors from potentially harmful or disturbing content. A huge number of games rated MA15+ in Australia have been rated for 17 or 18 year olds in places like the US and Europe, and a mere handful are edited to earn their local rating. Contrary to some claims, the lack of an R rating for games makes it easier for children to access adult content.
Another important function of the classification system is to advise parents about the suitability of content for their children. It would be reasonable to assume (as a majority of Australians do) that, as with films, content only suitable for adults would be rated R18+. The lack of an R rating makes for a classification system that misleads parents and prevents them from making truly informed decisions.
With an R18+ classification for videogames, these problems would be solved. Adult content would be restricted to adults. Ultimately, adults would be given the freedom to choose what they want to experience, children would be protected from inappropriate content, and parents would be better able to make decisions in their children’s best interests.
|Oppose mandatory internet filtering|
The motivation for mandatory internet censorship – protecting children – is a noble one. Unfortunately, the method chosen will do very little to protect children and will be detrimental to Australia as a whole – even the children it seeks to protect.
Filtering specific sites will not protect children from the major dangers of the internet – strangers in chat rooms, identity theft and cyber bullying: these are activities that happen outside the reach of any feasible filter. By claiming to protect against such dangers, cleanfeed would give parents a false sense of security, potentially exposing children to greater danger.
While not protecting children, the filter has the potential of protecting the government. A secretive blacklist would allow any material the government did not wish seen to be filtered out. The internet is a place for the free flow of information, essential to modern democracy. Giving government the power to control the flow of information undermines that very democracy.
An opt-in filter would provide parents with an easy alternative to filtering software on their computer, without infringing on the civil liberties of responsible Australians.
|Introduce an Independent Commission Against Corruption|
Mike Rann’s claims that South Australia doesn’t have a ‘culture’ of corruption would be nice to believe, but it’s not an excuse to be complacent. Corruption is inherently secretive, often burying itself deep and doing significant harm before being discovered. The financial harm alone can be enormous but when allowed to fester, corruption damages people’s lives – the cost of which is incalculable.
We should not wait to act on corruption until it comes to light, as has happened elsewhere in Australia. The cost of cleaning up afterward would be extreme, compared to the relatively minor cost of establishing an ICAC to weed out corruption before it becomes entrenched.
|Ban all political advertising with public funds|
Public funds are just that: public. They should be used for things that benefit South Australia and the people who live here. Public funds should not be used for making politicians look better. As Opposition Leader, Mike Rann promised fines for Ministers who authorised political advertising with public funds. Eight years later, he put a non-binding ban on some forms of political advertising, then proceeded to spend millions on preening his government's credentials on health, water security and Work Cover.
What South Australia needs is no-nonsense legislation that puts a stop to all forms of political advertising with the public’s money.
|Make it illegal for politicians to lie about matters of public importance|
Lawyers, doctors, police, and countless other professionals suffer severe consequences for lying. Witnesses at trial can be jailed for it. Advertisers are fined huge sums of money for misleading the public, but for whatever reason we've come to expect it of politicians. We even accept it, taking it for granted. While doctors, lawyers and witnesses can all affect people’s lives with their lies, it is rare for those lies to affect over 1.5 million people. Every decision in government affects us all, and so does every lie.
Whether it’s faked emails, dodgy invoices or creatively cropped photos; they all undermine a very basic principle of democracy – that people know what they’re voting for. Your freedom of choice is being eroded each and every time a politician lies, bends the truth or is creative with the facts. Politicians need to be judged on what they can deliver, not the tales they can tell. Legislation to punish politicians for deceiving the public would go a long way toward making that a reality.
|Restrict prepared questions in Parliament, and improve the standard of Question Time|
One of the most important elements of our system of government is the requirement that the Government be responsible and accountable. One of the ways this is supposed to happen is in Question Time, when politicians ask difficult questions, point out weaknesses in legislation, and force the Government to make improvements. What really happens is a lot of yelling, a lot of evading and not much of anything else. The Government even gets to use half the time asking itself questions, which usually result in schoolyard insults being thrown across the chamber. Sometimes the gymnastics involved in the evading can be entertaining, but sadly, mostly the Government avoids accountability, and the whole exercise becomes a waste of taxpayer’s money. It shouldn't be.
Banning the reading of prepared questions and answers from Government backbenchers would free up a huge amount of time for real questions to be asked. Tightening the rules about what constitutes an answer would stop Ministers from wasting time playing word association. Enforcing the existing rules of conduct would make for a whole lot of time saved. The end result of which would be a Government that is forced to do a better job and is held to account for its actions.
|Expand the Salisbury Council stormwater recycling scheme across Adelaide and suitable regional centres|
Billions of litres of rainwater are wasted each year, running out into the sea. This is water that could be used to reduce South Australia’s reliance on the Murray and help keep the waterway alive. The system employed by the Salisbury Council has earned national and international acclaim for its potential to provide safe, clean drinking water – with suggestions it could be of a higher quality than existing water supplies.
The system includes an aquifer storage solution that means water will be available when it is needed most and employs natural processes to filter the water of pollutants. These natural processes mean that much of the work is passive, not requiring power from the grid.
|Start a retro-fitting program to have rainwater tanks installed on all existing homes where practical|
Not everywhere is suited to mass stormwater recycling. Some regions don’t have the conditions for wetlands; others might not have suitable aquifers. Some towns just aren’t big enough for it to be economically viable. But that doesn’t mean rainwater can’t be put to better use.
The State Government’s existing support for rainwater tanks in new homes is commendable, but more can still be done. Vast quantities of water are still wasted because the cost of retrofitting their homes is still too great. Expanding the rebate, even covering the cost entirely, would put more free water in South Australian homes, and lighten the load the once-mighty Murray is under. Every drop counts, and rainwater tanks can save billions of them.
|Provide support for the construction of one of the world's largest solar electricity farms|
Solar electricity requires three things: sunlight, space and money. The climate in the South Australian outback – where there’s plenty of space – makes SA one of the best places in the world for solar power generation, and the setup cost for solar power is steadily decreasing. Advances in heat-storage technology even mean that modern plants can generate power when the sun isn’t shining.
In other words, we’re perfectly placed to take advantage of an environmentally friendly power source with minimal ongoing costs. Becoming a world-leader in solar power would also do wonders for the state’s growing reputation as a high-tech hub. Between the rising cost of fossil fuel, and the environmental impact of dirty power, together we can get South Australia ready for the future with free and clean energy from the sun.
|Provide government support for Electric Vehicles to be manufactured in South Australia|
Electric Cars are becoming increasingly common, and much more affordable. Already, it’s cheaper to run an EV carbon free than the equivalent petrol car and as technology continues to improve, so will the cost compared to petroleum. Thanks to fewer moving parts servicing costs are lower as well.
As an emerging hi-tech market, the manufacturing of EVs is a strong prospect for the future of the local automotive industry, continuing to provide employment when the industry would otherwise suffer from rising oil prices. With numerous defence contracts and our natural renewable energy potential, SA is well-placed to lead the country in future technology. A re-invigorated and forward-looking automotive industry can only strengthen that position, and advance South Australia’s international reputation for innovation.
|Repeal legislation restricting the display of R18+ DVD cases|
The South Australian government recently introduced a law that forces DVD rental and retail stores to segregate films with an R18+ classification, or replace the cover with a blank one. The alleged intent of the law is to protect children from adult images on DVD covers, but it is arbitrary and ineffective.
While the desire to prevent children from being exposed to adult content is reasonable, this legislation will do very little to achieve that goal. There is nothing stopping R rated DVDs being on an adjacent shelf to children's DVDs except the same thing that was preventing it to begin with - common sense. Instead, it will force responsible adults to wade through pornography in order to find cinema classics like Fight Club and Pulp Fiction. We feel legislation on this matter is unnecessary: the market pressure of unhappy parents should be sufficient to prevent mixing of adult and children's DVDs.
|Repeal legislation undermining freedom of speech and the right to privacy|
Recently, the Rann government passed legislation requiring all political comment from private individuals to be accompanied by their full name and address. With some government MPs threatening legal action to silence political opponents, the right to privacy in political discourse is more important than ever. When public officials try to avoid accountability, the public must be able to call them out, and must be able to do so without fear of retribution.
Anonymity and the right to privacy have been regarded as essential to freedom of speech for generations. While the Rann government has promised to repeal this aspect of the legislation if re-elected, this is that same government that introduced the law in the first place. The same government that misled other parties about the extent of the law. The same government that has a bad track record on keeping promises that limit its power. Taking the government at its word would be entrusting our human rights with the people who tried to restrict them.
|Support marriage equality|
The Golden Rule - do unto others as you would have them do unto you - is evident throughout human history across a vast array of societies, and important in most world religions. In contrast, those same religions are used as an excuse by some to deny a very basic expression of love to people in the gay community. Despite wanting nothing more than an opportunity taken for granted by so many people, gay couples are refused the right to marry, or even the legal protections of a civil union.
The union of two responsible people in love harms no one. It is no one's business but those two people. For any government to deny equal rights to anyone based on the identity of the person they love is inexcusable. To quote a prominent political commentator: "In a time of impermanence and fly-by-night relationships" gay couples "want the same chance at permanence and happiness that is your option. They don't want to deny you yours. They don't want to take anything away from you. They want what you want - a chance to be a little less alone in the world."
|Support the right of terminally ill individuals to voluntary euthanasia|
Although modern medicine can provide amazing results, sometimes it is not enough. Many terminal illnesses are slow and painful, robbing sufferers of quality of life and dignity. This suffering can become unbearable. To alleviate suffering, it is essential that individuals be given the right to end their life on their own terms.
The law must recognise the right of the terminally ill to pass comfortably, surrounded by friends and family, instead of alone, in shame, and in pain. No individual, group or government should be allowed to require suffering to continue, or to deny dignity to the terminally ill.
|Support reproductive choice|
There are many bones of contention in modern Australian politics, but possibly none are as emotive as the right of a woman to determine whether she is ready or willing to be a mother. It is essential that women have access to the option of a safe and legal abortion provided by experienced, compassionate medical practitioners.
It has been said that the greatest advancement for the liberation of women in the past century was the development of the oral contraceptive. This may or may not be true, given how far women's rights have come in the last 100 years. What is true, is that women should be the masters of their own destiny by empowering them with reproductive choice.
The keys to women's lives should be in women's hands. Every woman should be able to make the highly personal decision on when she wants to, and is ready to, experience the joy and responsibility of motherhood.
|Include study of how our democracy works in school curricula|
Around the world, people have risked injury, torture and death for the privilege of voting for their future. In Australia, we take that right for granted and in many cases, know very little about it. That lack of knowledge of how the system works is exploited by the major parties to secure their dominance, a dominance that actually undermines the representative nature of our democracy.
Teaching our children how their democracy can work for them is essential. It will prevent politicians from getting away with deception, it will hold government to a higher standard, and it will force politicians to care more for the will of the people than the will of their donors. Making this learning part of every child’s education may not help the major parties, but it will make South Australia better.
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