Today the Pirate Party is launching a crowdfunding campaign[1] to raise at least $3,000 for its candidate Michelle Allen, running in the Canning by-election[2].

“Crowdfunding the resources we need for elections has proven to work well for us in the past,” said Tom Randle, Pirate Party Councillor. “Given our embrace of distributed participation, we’re able to run our election campaigns at a very low-cost while connecting our members from all over Australia to help Michelle’s campaign to be as successful as it can be.”

The Pirate Party recently concluded its democratic pre-selection processes and announced its candidate, Michelle Allen. Her campaign will focus on digital rights and civil liberties, pushing back against web-site blocking, data retention and mass surveillance. She will also campaign on marriage equality, copyright reform, internet censorship and privacy rights. The full Pirate Party platform can be found here: http://pirateparty.org.au/wiki/Platform

The Pirate Party is run entirely by volunteers and the money raised from the crowdfunding campaign will go directly towards election materials and helping the Party run a strong campaign.

“Our vision offers real hope. We’ve thrown out the old world views from the 20th century which the major parties are still clinging to, our policies stand on their own ready to take Australia into a positive future based on our Party’s core promise at its simplest: Freedom, Democracy, Science. Canberra needs a whole lot more of all three.” said Canning candidate Michelle Allen. “With the election to be held on Saturday 19 September, which also happens to be ‘International Talk Like A Pirate Day’, we’re ready to help the good citizens of Canning make this election a ‘Vote Like A Pirate Day’ as well.”

The crowdfunding campaign will end on the 30th September, but the Pirate Party expects to reach its goal before the election date, The Pirate Party encourages everyone who wants an alternative voice at this election to donate (a little or a lot) to help the Pirate Party run a successful election campaign.

[1] http://pozi.be/canning2015
[2] https://pirateparty.org.au/2015/08/25/vote-like-a-pirate-day-pirate-party-announces-canning-by-election-candidate/

Pirate Party Australia is pleased to announce that its Western Australian members have voted to preselect former WA Senate candidate Michelle Allen as its candidate for the Canning by-election.

Michelle Allen has lived around the Canning electorate for most of her life. Michelle is currently working as a Software Development Manager for a Perth based company where she has over a decade of experience in all areas of Information Technology. She has a long history of advocating for equality, human rights and copyright reform in Australia. Michelle believes all Australians should be treated equally, regardless of race, gender, sexuality, social status or belief, and has campaigned to ensure that everyone in Australia is given a fair go.

“This is a chance for us to show both the current government, and the so-called opposition, how unhappy we are with their constant efforts to quash our digital liberties and basic human rights,” said Canning candidate Michelle Allen, “We will show them we won’t stand by while they simply kowtow to the interests of their corporate donors while pushing policies that benefit their mates or appeal to fear rather than the well considered evidence based policies that the country needs to progress.”

This is the Pirate Party’s second run in a House of Representatives seat. Melanie Thomas came 4th in a field of 11 candidates in the 2014 Griffith by-election. Pirate Party Australia also ran candidates for the Senate in a number of states in the 2013 Federal election, as well as in the 2014 WA special Senate election. Co-incidentally, the date of the Canning by-election is the same day as “Talk Like a Pirate Day” which Pirate Party Australia hopes will be another reason for voters to “Vote like a Pirate”.

“While we know that this is quite a different situation to Griffith, we hope that when voters see our evidence based, common sense policies they will consider supporting the Pirate Party. In my experience, once people see what we stand for, and see that we are serious about becoming a viable political alternative to the major parties, neither of which represent the interests of the average Australian, voting Pirate just makes sense,” continued Michelle.

While the Pirate Party was founded with a focus on digital rights, civil liberties, privacy and copyright reform, the party has since expanded its policy set to a wide array of science based, evidence driven policies in areas that concern many Australians. These policies include, but are not limited to, support for marriage equality, better education outcomes and support for science, a sensible and humane approach to asylum seekers, drug law reforms, comprehensive support for renewable energy, and a comprehensive tax reform & welfare policy that both massively simplifies the tax system but maintains fairness and progressiveness. The full Pirate Party policy platform can be found at https://pirateparty.org.au/wiki/Platform.

Pirate Party Australia is a federally registered political party founded in late 2008, and contested its first Federal Election in 2013. Pirate Party Australia is part of a worldwide movement that began in Sweden in 2006, and has since spread to more than 40 different countries. Pirate Parties have been elected to all levels government — local, state, national and supranational — with 44 state seats in Germany, three seats in the Icelandic Parliament, and a member of the European Parliament.

Candidate Page: http://pirateparty.org.au/candidates/

Yesterday Attorney-General George Brandis announced the Federal Government’s intention to repeal a provision of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 in order to stop what the Coalition describes as “vigilante litigation”[1]. The Pirate Party believes that the Australian legal system should remain available to anyone wishing to challenge the legality of administrative decisions, regardless of who they are or what ideology they represent.

“The notion of ‘vigilante litigation’ is frankly ludicrous,” said Simon Frew, President of the Pirate Party. “The law must be followed by the government and its agencies. When it is not, there must be a mechanism for the public to challenge these decisions through impartial courts — especially in the case of environmental issues that often have a regional, national and global impact. If that right is taken away, genuine vigilante actions might be the only way to challenge government action.”

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The Pirate Party welcomes the latest development in the Dallas Buyers Club (“DBC”) case[1]. Justice Nye Perram’s ruling protects Australians from speculative invoicing, a practice widespread in the US and other parts of the world in which copyright holders effectively extort legal settlements from those they accuse of copyright infringment. Furthermore, DBC was ordered to pay a bond of $600,000 to access contact details of alleged infringers to ensure they abide by restrictions his Honour may order over the content of communications between the rights-holders and the accused unauthorised file-sharers.

“We are pleased to see the Federal Court taking a keen interest in ensuring customers’ details are not used for shakedowns through speculative invoicing,” said Simon Frew, President of the Pirate Party. “We have been concerned that the DBC case would open the floodgates for a burgeoning new industry of copyright trolling in Australia.”

The judgement is a positive step for consumers because it limits the potential scope of damages. The company has not provided a legitimate way for damages to be calculated and Justice Perram has instructed the damages only be calculated in the context of someone viewing the movie, instead of calculating the cost of buying a commercial license to distribute. This ruling accords with the Pirate Party’s position on the issue, as well those of consumer and digital rights groups such as Electronic Frontiers Australia[2], who make the point that the movie retails for almost nothing compared to what might be sought as damages.

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A recent study[1] commissioned by the Queensland Government has found irreversible damage has been caused by the release of toxic chemicals and gases into the local environment near Chinchilla. The study indicates that the experimental plant run by Linc Energy is by far the most likely culprit. The Pirate Party, whose official policy includes a moratorium on coal seam gas (“CSG”) extraction[2], believes that this damage is unacceptable and that all CSG extraction should cease until the risks involved are properly understood and protected against.

The Pirate Party is also concerned (although unsurprised) that, while the study has been released to Linc Energy, it has not yet been released to nearby farmers and landowners. Notes released by the ABC detail “explosive levels” of hydrogen, and also highlights that four researchers were hospitalised while testing at the site, most likely due to elevated levels of carbon monoxide. The Pirate Party believes that landowners must immediately be made aware of the presence of dangerous levels of toxic chemicals and gases.

Pirate Party Deputy President Michael Keating commented: “State and federal government preference for mining over food production is dangerously shortsighted. Coal seam gas extraction risks agricultural land for short-term economic benefit and, as this report demonstrates, the risk is just not worth it. With a growing population and increasing risk of drought from climate change, gambling with agricultural land is folly.”

“This one incident has impacted hundreds of square kilometres of agricultural land. We cannot afford to keep losing prime farming land to these experiments, not when the lives and fortunes of our farmers are at risk. Our governments must step in to secure the safety and livelihood of our farmers,” Mr Keating continued.

The Pirate Party remains committed to the environment and ecology of Australia, and supporting the livelihoods of Australian farmers.

[1] http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-08-10/linc-energy-secret-report-reveals-toxic-chemical-risk/6681740
[2] https://pirateparty.org.au/wiki/Policies/Energy,_Environment_and_Climate_Change#Preserving_Australia.E2.80.99s_ecology