Federal ICAC Now (FIN) is approved! Australia’s anti-corruption party is a reality.
The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) has registered FIN as a political party and added its name to its current register of political parties.
It was a close-run thing.
The Government, supported by Labor, rushed the passing of the democracy-stifling Electoral Legislation Amendment (Party Registration Integrity) Bill 2021 through the last session of Parliament.
A bill is not a bill until it has Royal Assent. This was expected on about 9 September, but in an apparent flurry, the Governor-General signed off on 3 September.
FIN was registered as a political party on 2 September.
It was also a saga.
It was 12 May 2020 when the idea of FIN was first floated in the pages (if that is the right word) of IA. It struck a chord.
By October 2020, over 500 citizens, fed up with blatant government corruption with no consequences, had joined FIN and on 20 October, an application was lodged with the AEC to register Federal ICAC Now as a political party.
On its website, the AEC advises applications take at least 12 weeks — and it means “at least”.
Almost immediately, on 26 October, writs for the Groom by-election were issued.
For reasons I don’t know, the AEC suspends the processing of new party applications while a by-election is on.
The last day of return of writs was 3 February 2021, so that process resulted in a delay of around three months.
In those days, prior to the Electoral Act amendments, the AEC required a list of between 500 and 550 eligible members to which it applied a rigid stress test to assure it is valid.
FIN came up two members short for various reasons.
The AEC invited resubmission and, after culling lists and poring over the electoral roll, the application was resubmitted on 24 May 2021. The party was approved by the AEC on 2 September. 16 months from start to finish.
But just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water, the theme from Jaws struck up.
In August 2021, the Coalition, backed by Labor, pulled their anti-democratic electoral amendment caper which requires all non-parliamentary political parties to submit a list of 1,500 members – a three-fold increase – within three months of the amendments passing into law.
That means by 3 December 2021. Merry Christmas.
Exactly how the AEC is supposed to verify lists of 1,500 members from 34 non-parliamentary parties between 3 December and whenever the election is called is not specified in the legislation. Bunfight is my guess.
But right now, FIN is a reality. So a huge thank you to all IA readers and subscribers who have joined FIN.
And if you were one of the 44 members randomly contacted by the AEC for confirmation they knew they were members and had actually signed up, unlike some alleged UAP members who had no idea who had signed them up, hats off.
Federal ICAC Now has ambitious goals. The formation of a Federal ICAC is our headline, but cleaning up elections by prohibiting donations from corporations and unions, introducing real-time disclosure of large donations and putting a stick in the revolving door of members copping sweet political appointments for at least five years after they leave politics will all be on the policy agenda.
FIN is Australia’s anti-corruption Party.
If we are fortunate enough to have one or more FIN representatives in the next Senate, it will be a very different place.
FIN will scrutinise all legislation to detect corrupt potential and attempt amendments at an early stage.
To achieve the Party’s aims, elected FIN representatives will require negotiating flexibility, but will at all times vote in accordance with the U.N. Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
FIN will not support discriminatory policies.
FIN has no partisan interests.
Voting 1 FIN, then 2 your usual party, means voters have the ability to register their opposition to political corruption while still supporting their preferred team.
A good chunk of Australia’s current ills is the result of political corruption. The diversion of resources from Australian society to the hip pockets of spivs, both corporate and individual, hurts us all.
It is time to put a stop to it.
You can do your bit by joining FIN HERE.
Investigations editor Ross Jones is a licensed private enquiry agent and the author of 'Ashbygate: The Plot to Destroy Australia's Speaker'. You can follow Ross on Twitter @RPZJones.
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