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Pressure Group Campaigns In The 2001 Federal Election

As always, pressure groups were active in the 2001 Federal Election.

This is a sample of some of the more prominent pressure group campaigns during the election.

  1. Australian Council Of Trade Unions – The ACTU is the peak union body in Australia. It campaigns for the ALP in elections and has a lot of material available at this web-site, such as Howard’s Legacy For Working Families.
  2. National Farmers Federation – The NFF is made up of State farm organisations, commodity councils, associates and affiliates. NFF does not have individual farmer members. However, by joining a State farm organisation, farmers contribute to and support NFF. It has released an Election Priorities document and a general policy document for the election.
  3. National Council Of Independent Schools’ Associations – The NCISA has developed a statement outlining the contribution of independent schools to education in Australia. This has been forwarded to Federal politicians, Federal political party secretariats, education media and national education bodies in Australia. Click here to download a copy (PDF)
  4. Aged And Community Services Australia – ACSA is running a non partisan, active campaign to ensure that aged care issues are raised, acknowledged and addressed by all political parties and particularly the incoming Government. Its objective it to “ensure that all Australians, irrespective of culture, geography or financial position have access to quality aged and community care services provided by a sector that is not only viable, but thriving.”
  5. Carers Association Of Australia – Conservative estimates show Australia’s 2.3 million carers who provide care at home save our economy $16 billion annually, yet carers include some of the poorest and most disadvantaged people in the community. Welfare Reform has ignored the needs of carers, many of whom barely subsist and report difficulties with meeting basic living costs such as utilities, home maintenance and transport. Income support, which is inadequate and severely restricted, needs a complete overhaul in recognition that carers save the wider community from the immense costs of institutional care.
  6. Uniting Church In Australia – This church has produced a briefing paper for Uniting Church members about social policy issues that the UCA has identified as important for the forthcoming federal election. It “is non-party political. It seeks to raise issues needing to be addressed in the election and invites conversation about the future of Australia. It is important for us to communicate our core Christian values with all politicians. We believe these Christian values are relevant to social and economic issues we face as a nation”.
  7. Friends Of The Earth – Opinion polling continues to show that the majority of Australians place great importance on environmental issues, yet this is not currently reflected in the national political debate. Climate justice/ greenhouse and nuclear issues are the focus of FoE election activities at the national level.
  8. Socialist Alliance – The Socialist Alliance in Australia is working towards a truly fair and sustainable society. The transition to such a society will require fundamental social, political and cultural changes which will only be possible through the involvement of the clear majority of people. They believe there is an alternative to the neo-liberal agenda of successive Labor and Liberal governments that has put profits before peoples’ needs. Privatisation, user-pays and enterprise bargaining has cut living standards and government services, creating a growing gap between rich and poor while social provision and services are cut and the hopes and livelihoods of people are smashed.
  9. The Wilderness Society – Australia’s leading national and state environment groups have united for the first time ever to map out a comprehensive environment agenda and campaign. They are outlining to all parties the urgent environment actions needed at a regional and national level, assessing the parties responses, and urging the community to join with us in bringing these issues to the candidates.
  10. Internet Society Of Australia – This group aims to foster high-quality development of the Internet to deliver benefit to all Australians. It calls upon all candidates for the 2001 Federal Election to state how they can contribute to this goal.
  11. Greenpeace Australian Pacific – Greenpeace is an independent organisation campaigning to ensure a just, peaceful, sustainable environment for future generations. Our mission and core values are based on independence, non-violence and bearing witness. Greenpeace International began in Canada in 1971 and today has a presence in more than 41 countries, and 2.5 million supporters worldwide.
  12. National Tertiary Education Union – The NTE has selected 13 federal electorates for intensive local campaigning. These seats have been selected with reference to a number of criteria, including the density of voters within the electorate who are demographically likely to be influenced by higher education issues when voting and the presence of a university campus. This is a key part of the Union’s strategy to maximise the electoral impact of higher education.
  13. Women’s Electoral Lobby – Established in 1972, the Women’s Electoral Lobby is an independent, non-party political organisation dedicated to creating a society where women’s participation and their ability to fulfil their potential are unrestricted, acknowledged and respected and where women and men share equally in society’s responsibilities and rewards. During the election, WEL will be analysing the policy and activities of political parties to see who will deliver a just society that recognises that women’s rights, responsibilities, contributions and needs are of equal value with men’s, though not necessarily identical.
  14. Australian Education Union – The peak education union says that “the Howard Government quite unashamedly governs on behalf of the private schools and their customers. Education Minister Dr Kemp has an undisguised contempt for public education. By 2004, only 32% of Federal schools money will go to the 70% of children in public schools. Meanwhile, despite its growing enrolments, TAFE is subject to a funding freeze.”
  15. Australian Conservation Foundation – The peak environmental lobby group continues to play an important role in Australian elections. This site also details the ACF’s Natural Advantage document which outlines policies for a sustainable Australia.
  16. Community Aid Abroad – CAA has produced a scorecard for the Coalition and ALP of their performance in areas such as foreign aid, human rights, East Timor and refugees. The government scores D+ and the ALP gets C+.
  17. Emily’s List – Acronymically, “Early Money Is Like Yeast”, the organisation run by Joan Kirner, the former Labor Premier of Victoria, is devoted to electing more Labor women into Parliament.
  18. Australian Nursing Federation – the industrial body representing nurses in Australia and the largest professional nursing association, the ANF is taking the opportunity the Federal Election presents to lobby politicians on behalf of nurses.
  19. Australian Council of Social Service – the peak council of the community welfare sector, ACOSS is “the principal voice of low income and disadvantaged people in social and economic policy matters.” They have recently released a paper called Leaping the Chasm, a challenge to the political parties for the 2001 election. (Alternate download here).
  20. Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry – The ACCI is the peak council of Australian business associations. Its member network has over 350,000 businesses represented through Chambers of Commerce in each State and Territory, and a nationwide network of industry associations. This site contains position papers on many issues and details of submissions the ACCI makes to governments. Last month they released a document called “What Business Wants From Australia’s Next Parliament”.
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Malcolm Farnsworth
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