2022 Speech to Eastwood Chamber of Commerce

Printer-friendly versionSend by emailPDF version

Here's the speech I gave recently to the Eastwood Chamber of Commerce on the 11th of April. At the time, I made the point of recognising that there can be good people in the Liberal Party, and good candidates , but that was in the broader context of the Morrison Government and its record. For sure, I did not want to directly have a go at the Liberal Party candidate next to me. Trying to further illustrate this duality, I noted that Menzies increased the pension and decimalised currency - but also took us to Vietnam and invited the Brits to test their nukes in our backyard. Apart from this difference, what follows is pretty much what I said :

I'm John August, candidate for the Pirate Party branch of Fusion in Bennelong. There's many things to criticise about the Morrison Government, and many reasons to vote fusion if you normally vote Labor, Greens or other. But, with 4 minutes, I'll focus on why we're a good alternative to the Liberal Party.

Even if you might be otherwise sympathetic to a Liberal Government, Morrison and his predecessors have let us all down. Partly, it's the vacuous narrative around support for business. When they talked about dropping business taxes, some owners noted taxes were only one of many business costs, including rent, interest, insurance, utilities and labour. These costs were also important. Even if hiring staff was cheaper, you could only fit so many people into a cafe or even a hole in the wall. Significantly, though, profitability was dependent on the prosperity of customers. How much they had to spend after necessities. The Governor of the reserve bank noted how wages being held back held back the whole economy.

Affordability of accommodation is important. Sure, there's been improvements elsewhere, but it's the thing. Changes in rents and median property prices compared to median incomes shows just how deep it runs. It's not just people struggling to pay their accommodation - as customers, they have less to spend in your business.

How do we turn things around? We emphasise innovation. We want to re-pivot our economy around innovation. That's not just silicon valley innovation, which you're maybe familiar with. If you open up a green grocer in response to an opportunity, that's being creative. It's creativity we need to encourage.

Further, we want to pivot our tax system towards land value taxation. Rather than people coveting their assets, there's real innovation. Wealth circulates amongst consumers at large, and there's a healthier economy.

For sure, Government talks about growth and innovation. But, when you look closely, it's spin and vested interests. Deals with dodgy Cayman Island entities around water. Favors for sectional interests. Privatisations based on incomprehensible financial arrangements no-one understands. Artificially propping up the use of coal when the market is looking elsewhere. Compared to the Government, if you look closely - I think you'll see our approach is superior.

There's bureaucracy. Government might claim to be against it - but there's the bureaucracy their mates suffer under - and what the rest of us have to deal with. Customs incinerated irreplaceable botanical samples from France, and there was also Robo-debt. The Pirate Party believes in some regulation, but we don't believe in laying it on thick either. We believe in personal freedom, from Government manipulation or the intruding eyes of corporations. But, importantly, that's also the freedom to run a business.
Our approach to tax and welfare is founded on a negative income tax and a guaranteed minimum income. Whatever your situation, work a bit more and you'll have more to spend. You don't lose your benefits and fall into a poverty trap. For higher income earners, there's a flat increment to taxation, so incentives are maintained.

Not just economics, but Government surveilance, treatment of women, empathy training, transparency of Government, foreign policy, journalists and witness K, dealing with bushfires, going to the footy followed by an unending stream of covid announceables that took a whole lot longer to eventuate if they did at all, and about turns on global warming and electric vehicles. The Morrison Government really has lost the plot.

It's worth supporting Fusion if you're concerned about social welfare. However, if you're thinking the Liberals are on nose, I'd suggest Fusion better encapsulates your concerns. Yes, there's other parties too. For sure, look at everyone's policies - including ours. I think you'll find our approach best meets your needs and provides a positive future for Australia.

I think you'll find that when you're at the ballot box, thinking about your options, and the signal your vote sends - a vote for Fusion makes the best statement you possibly can, in support of a prosperous, ethical Australia and your own future.