This Friday 17th September at 6pm AEST, Pirate Party Australia is going live on reddit.com/r/technology to answer questions on civil rights, digital liberties, and the steady descent of Australia into spying, surveillance capitalism and authoritarianism. Speaking will be three of our candidates from the 2019 Federal Election: Brandon Selic (Queensland), John August (New South Wales) and Tania Briese (Victoria) who between them draw on diverse experiences in law, community, family care, education, health, and of course technology.

We’ll be creating the thread at about 30 minutes beforehand for all your questions then answering questions for the following three hours until 9pm AEST. Feel free to ask about the 2019 election campaign, the 2021 election campaign, the recent Identify and Disrupt Bill (which makes it legal to impersonate/add/delete data without a judicial warrant), the recent changes to party electoral registration (designed to disqualify minor opposition parties), the recent changes crackdowns on whistleblowers and journalists or anything!

“This latest bill has bypassed recommendations about oversight, and also stands in the Dark Shadow of past Government abuse. While they talk about the ‘Dark Web’, it’s amazing how ‘Dark’ they themselves have become.” says Pirate Party Australia Treasurer, John August.

The legislation creates “Disruption Warrants” which can be authorised by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, under control of the Attorney General – a ministerial position. Our politicians have just granted themselves the power to hack, change or delete data on any computer or network they like. This sidesteps independent court authorisation, which is supposed to prevent corruption and targeting of political opponents.

“Most recently, the NSW Government’s Fixated Persons Unit, originally founded to prevent terrorism, was used by Deputy Premier John Barilaro as part of a personal political vendetta against public figure ‘Friendly Jordies’. On the one hand it’s NSW not Federal legislation. On the other, it all fits together in an all too familiar pattern, of which this legislation is but one more part”.

Pirate Party Australia vows to repeal the law if elected, and supports any movement to do so.

A petition to repeal the Identify and Disrupt Bill is here: https://me.getup.org.au/petitions/repeal-the-identify-and-disrupt-bill-2021

Pirate Party Australia has signed an open letter [1] with other parties, opposing the Coalition’s Party Registration Integrity Bill. The bill introduces new restrictions around party names and triples the registration threshold to 1500 members.

“This Bill is a blatantly anti-competitive attempt to wipe smaller parties off the ballot paper,” said Alex Jago, Secretary of Pirate Party Australia. “Firstly, there’s the name-squatting. The Liberals are full of conservatives, and the Nationals only try to represent about a quarter of the population. If they can’t live up to their own names, then they shouldn’t complain and change the rules shortly before the election.”

The registration threshold change also has other implications than just ballot access.

“The membership threshold increase is directly aimed at cutting down the ballot, but it does so indirectly and with unfortunate side effects,” Mr Jago continued. “Party registration is about more things than ballot access; there’s financial disclosure implications too. A high threshold harms transparency.”

Read More

Pirate Party Australia declares the government response to be a combination of naive optimism, wishful thinking and false economy.

“Both the Commonwealth and State Governments have made a complete hash of it, be it around quarantine, the vaccination rollout, choices around lockdown or a festering bureaucracy,” said John August, Pirate Party Australia Treasurer.

The responses taken by both State and Federal governments of Australia have been either mismatched, unpredictable or otherwise missing entirely, whether regarding lockdowns, financial support, business restrictions, or vaccine rollouts. This has been partly due to inaction from the federal government, or politically motivated action on the part of state and federal goverments. Pirate Party Australia is developing a unified approach to Covid management which takes into account the latest scientific advice and best practices in public health which will be announced in the coming weeks.

View more here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zKUV2II5cPQ

National Congress 2021 — You’re invited!

G’day Pirates,

I hereby invite you to the 2021 Pirate Party Annual National Congress!

The National Congress is an opportunity for members to propose and debate new policies and constitutional amendments, hear nominations for Party Officials, and meet Pirates from around Australia.

It is held annually and is the paramount decision making body of Pirate Party Australia.

Date: Saturday 31st July and Sunday 1st August.

Last year we held Congress entirely online and it went so well we decided to do it again! Attend from anywhere by video call and text chat.

Book your ticket today!

Watch parties and Friday night meetups are a distinct possibility! If you’d like to meet up with your local pirates, drop me an email at [email protected] With any luck, I’ll be able to put you and a mate or two in touch! Better yet, make a post on the forums for more visibility.

I urge everyone – this means you – to consider running for National Council. This year, we’ve had only six out of nine positions filled. That’s not sustainable, so please step up and help out! As always – we’re a party for everyone and we want people from all walks of life in our leadership team.

Details of the National Congress, including the agenda, new policies, nominations, constitutional amendments and details on how to participate online will be available on the Wiki: https://pirateparty.org.au/wiki/Pirate_Congress_2021

The National Congress is followed by a seven day voting period, which is open to all members. All members will be emailed ballot information at the opening of this voting period.

There are a number of dates and deadlines and procedures to follow if you wish to submit items to the National Congress or declare candidacy for positions.

Constitutional Amendments:

  • Deadline for amendment proposals is Saturday 3rd July 2021 09:00 am (AEST)
  • Email your proposals to [email protected]

Policies and Policy Amendments:

  • It would be appreciated if policy proposals could be submitted at least 10 days before National Congress so that they can be allowed for in the agenda.
  • Email your proposals to [email protected]

Nominations:

  • Positions up for election are all nine National Councillors, the Policy Development Officer, and one position on the Dispute Resolution Committee.
  • Nominations can be accepted up until the relevant agenda item at National Congress.
  • Nominations for electable positions can be made by following the instructions here: Pirate Congress 2021/Nominations

We thank you for your continued support!

Please feel free to discuss National Congress or any other matters in our discussion forums at https://discuss.pirateparty.org.au/

Yours sincerely,

Alex Jago
Secretary
Pirate Party Australia