The Pirate Party has been working for some time to co-develop and fund a new, all-in-one member management system that will make running a small political party or volunteer organisation in Australia far easier.

Our aim has been to develop software which will eliminate a significant part of the burden of administration and red tape for small parties and community groups, so that our volunteers can focus on more important things. We also wanted to make membership communication simple for such organistions, and to make membership itself safe and private.

And thanks to you, it’s happening.

“We offer our heartfelt thanks to our generous members and backers from other groups and parties who joined together to fund this project,” said Simon Frew, Pirate Party President. “Thanks must also to our former president Brendan Molloy, who spearheaded this project, and ThoughtWorks, which dedicated hundreds of hours of their time. They have put in a huge effort to change the game for the community sector.

“With three years between elections, small parties need to look for effective ways to make a difference,” said Mr Frew. “And our members and supporters have done just that.”

More details on the project are available here: http://www.pozible.com/project/203561

For several months now, the Pirate Party has been working with ThoughtWorks to develop a digital tool that could change the game for small political parties and community groups in Australia.

“It is hard to run a community group or a political party in this country”, said Thomas Randle, Councillor for Pirate Party Australia. “Anyone in the community group space will know how punishing the red tape has become, and how many different pieces of software are needed to protect membership lists and deal with the administration”.

Not any more though: the Pirate Party intends to launch a new, specialised membership management tool customised for the needs of Australia’s struggling small parties and community groups. This new software not only protects membership data to the highest standard, it also allows a party to easily meet AEC audit requirements. It contains tailored software designed to simplify administration and financial management. It also has mechanisms to manage member communication. It is an all-in-one party management tool which replaces a whole mass of disconnected software programs and also adds a range of new functions which parties and groups need. This powerful software should free up significant resources and time so that community groups and small parties can focus on their important work.

“The best news is, this software will be totally free”, said Mr Randle. “In line with the Pirate Party’s ethos, we are sharing this product as open source freeware, and encouraging anyone interested to get involved in improving and updating it”.

The Pirate Party has started a fundraising drive to help us meet the costs of bringing this project to completion. We are appealing to anyone who wants to make a difference to chip in and help to make this happen.

“A donation to this project won’t be consumed and used up—our goal here is to permanently lift the tide under every community group and small party in Australia”, he noted.

To help and for more information, please check out the campaign page here: http://www.pozible.com/memberdb

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has recently announced that people being surveyed for the Census can no longer retain their anonymity. The ABS will now retain the names and addresses of all contributors to the 2016 Australian Census[1]. The previous Census introduced retention of private data on an opt-in basis, but this time around, retention of private data is to be compulsory.

“Whilst we don’t believe that the ABS is planning to collect identifiable information for nefarious purposes, there are serious privacy concerns with collecting names and addresses along with all of the other personal information gathered in the Census,” said Simon Frew, President of Pirate Party Australia. “A future government could simply re-collate the data and use the information to target opponents based on religion, career or ethnicity. When potential abuse can only be thwarted by the good-will of future governments, the risk to personal safety is too great.”

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The Pirate Party is distancing itself from the ‘Alliance for Progress’. The Alliance, an informal group consisting of a number of progressive minor parties, was formed to promote collaboration on common interests and the negotiation of preference arrangements between its members. While these were commendable goals, and the Pirate Party values the cooperative ties that were established with other like minded parties, the Party wishes to distance itself in particular from any activities where Alliance for Progress members may be associating with the so-called ‘Minor Party Alliance’ and their ‘preference whisperer’.

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Today the first test of Australian website blocking laws is being launched. These laws were passed by the Abbott Government last year, and are now being used by Village Roadshow in an attempt to block the free movie streaming site SolarMovie.

"It took them long enough," said Simon Frew, President of Pirate Party Australia. "They have spent years campaigning for these laws, and 'donated' hundreds of thousands of dollars[1][2] to both the Coalition and ALP in an attempt to put the Internet genie back into the bottle. It then took them over six months to launch their first case."

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