Sandra Kanck gives her account of what preceded her 'expulsion' from the Australian Democrats over the matter of population policy. Sandra was an Australian Democrats member of the South Australian Legislative Council from 1993-2009 and the last Democrat member in elected government. When she retired she became the president of Sustainable Population Australia (SPA) and still is.
The environmental group at the centre of the controversy between its national president, Hon. Sandra Kanck, and the Australian Democrats has countered claims by those who expelled Ms Kanck that it is a political party.
On 11/12/2012 newspapers reported that Sandra Kanck, last Australian Democrat to leave parliament, now president of Sustainable Population Australia, had been 'expelled' from the Democrats by John Davey, a professional migration agent, in the role of "Democrats National Executive spokesman." Davey is reported to have said that "the decision was made as a "last resort" after Ms Kanck refused 'repeated requests to put appropriate distance between her activities amongst other special interest groups and the Democrats'". Senior Deputy National President Darren Churchill defended Kanck, saying that a group of seven people had attempted to take control of the party and was "removing anyone who stands up to them". It seems incredible, but is this also the same John Davey of the Democrats whom in 2002 Crikey.com referred to as a "former porn lobbyist" and "Director of the Eros Foundation, the lobbying group for various naughty interests" in "The power behind Brian Greig’s throne [in the Australian Democrats]"?
Media Release from Senator Andrew Bartlett 8 March 2008
Queensland Senator Andrew Bartlett has called on the federal Labor government to set up a public inquiry into allegations of bribery and intimidation by Australian government and wool industry officials.
Newspaper reports say many large clothing retailers in Sweden have banned Australian wool products; Sweden's Minister for Agriculture Eskil Erlandsson has urged consumers to boycott Australian wool and there are alleged bribes by a representative of the Australian Wool and Sheep Industry Taskforce, accompanied by an Australian Embassy official.
"These are serious allegations which need to be openly investigated," Senator Bartlett said.
"It is bad enough that people from taxpayer backed bodies and industries are alleged to be trying to silence animal welfare activists who want to expose cruelty to Australian animals. But the allegation that an Australian Embassy official in Sweden has also been involved is extremely serious.
"Australian Wool Innovations has a history of intimidating those who try to highlight the cruelty involved in mulesing of sheep and the live export industry, including trying to misuse the Trade Practices Act to run drawn out and expensive legal action against ordinary Australians."
"The live export industry has also used disinformation as a regular tactic for many years to try to deflect repeated evidence of immense cruelty.
"Despite these practices and the continuing animal cruelty, both major parties have continued to support government resources being put into maintaining and growing these industries.
"These industries and the federal government have the right to put an argument as to why the cruelty involved in the industries might be justifiable. But they should not be trying to silence those who disagree, particularly at the taxpayers' expense," Senator Bartlett concluded.
Media contact - Tracee McPate - 0417 607 655
t: 07 3252 7101 local call cost (Qld): 1300 301 879 f: 07 3252 8957
e: senator.bartlett|AT|aph gov au web: www.andrewbartlett.com
Release Monday 19 November 2007
The Australian Democrats continue to be outraged at the poor standards of the Coalition on Government advertising, exposed again in the annual report of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet for the year
ending June 30 2007.
"The Annual Report shows $281.3 million was spent on 'campaign' and 'non-campaign' advertising in 2006-07. A good portion of this was designed to help the Coalition retain power, rather than being useful information," said Senator Andrew Murray, Democrats Accountability spokesperson
"Following last week's scathing Audit Office report on regional funding scheme rorts, this Annual Report also does little to signal any acceptance of the need for higher standards or greater integrity by this
Coalition Government. They do have a sense of the absurd though. They measure self-satisfaction and give themselves a tick for positive feedback from members of the government and advertising agencies! If
they surveyed the citizens of Australia they would get a different picture.
"The Democrats take no issue with genuine advertising informing citizens of government programs and services. However, we do take issue with advertising that has a clear partisan and political content. Our long campaign for reform has been ignored by the Coalition.
"Together with the Labor Party and based on the Auditor-General's guidelines, the Democrats successfully moved a Senate order for more stringent controls on government advertising in 2003. To its shame, the Government has contemptuously refused to comply with this order.
"Similarly, the Government would not implement the recommendations of the December 2005 report of the Senate Finance and Public Administration Committee into Government Advertising and Accountability, which laid bare the aggressive misuse of taxpayer money by the Coalition.
"This Government remains unabashed by the squandering of taxpayer funds to promote party political propaganda. It has no shame," Senator Murray concluded.
Media contact: Senator Murray 0419 958 038 or 08 9481 1455
A quick comparison of the PM&C Annual Report with the December 2005 Senate Finance and Public Administration Committee's recommendations in its report on Government Advertising and Accountability.
The Annual Report provides information to fully satisfy one of the four items set out in recommendation 10. That is, it provides the totalfigure for government expenditure on advertising activities in 2006-07
(item 1 of recommendation 10, see p76 of the annual report, $196.4 M on campaign advertising and $84.9 M for non-campaign advertising in 2006-07).
There is some information on expenditure by agency (item 2 of recommendation 10). However this is limited to information on major campaigns, not all campaigns. The disaggregated information accounts for $124 M (around 63%) of the $196.4 M total.
The annual report does not provide any information on the media type and time (item 3 of recommendation 10) nor detailed information about major campaigns (item 4 of recommendation 10).
Information relating to recommendation 11 (disaggregated agency figures) appears to be included to some extent in individual portfolio reports. For example a quick check of DOFA (p102) and DHS's (p225) annual reports
shows that this information is being included by individual portfoliosin compliance with section 311A of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918.
There is some limited information on PM&C's expenditure in relation to recommendation 12 (public opinion research). Page 191 for example shows $50,782 to Corporate Diagnostics for 'client satisfaction of campaign
and non-campaign media placement agencies'. Similar limited information is provided in the DOFA (p102) and DHS's (p225) annual reports again as a result of section 311A of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918.
Australian Democrats: www.democrats.org.au
Queensland Democrats: qld.democrats.org.au
Online Opinion article: No fishnets please - we're Democrats
It is true the media like a show but we trust Australians understand how important the Democrats are - still keeping the bastards honest. - Lyn Allison , comments