How It All Started
The idea for the Charter for Australia came about when Greg Twemlow became so totally frustrated with and cynical about the way the political class gives priority to their tenure in power rather than what's best for Australians. It seemed to Greg that politicians at all levels operate in a "guidance vacuum". Their decisions often taken in self interest and for special interests rather than transparently for the benefit of the citizenry.
The Charter for Australia doesn't replace the Constitution, which in effect is an opaque and cumbersome document as far as the average citizen is concerned.
In concept, the Charter for Australia reflects in quite simple and transparent form, what matters to the people of Australia.
Charter for Australia
In 1901 Australia was formed as a Commonwealth and a Federal Constitution was proclaimed. The Constitution of Australia is the supreme law under which the government of the Commonwealth of Australia operates. The Constitution however and very importantly, does not provide a framework or a decision-making model that guides our Governments on decisions taken at all three levels, Federal, State and Local.
Australians deserve and need a Charter that acts as a framework for decisions taken by our elected representatives, corporations and all people whose decisions affect large numbers of Australians.
Acknowledgment, support, protection and promotion of the original culture that developed in Australia over tens of thousands of years along with a formal treaty, modeled on New Zealand's Waitangi Treaty.
Our environment must sustain and be sustainable. No person or group or organizational entity is entitled to approve or engage in activities that harm our increasingly fragile environment.
Medical, dental and mental health services must be available to all Australians.
Children are protected, loved and given equal opportunities.
A level playing field to ensure we all get to maximize our potential through acquisition of knowledge, skills and competencies. Lifelong learning is encouraged and funded.
For those people who enter politics there is a simple test: the decisions you take are transparent and always made to reinforce the Charter for Australia. Failure to declare conflicts of interest result in being banned from involvement in politics. All spending over $5,000 must be recorded and the records openly available for review by Australian citizens.
Australia does not tolerate deliberate, deceptive and misleading conduct, by persons in a position to benefit from such conduct. This form of deceptive and misleading conduct is a criminal offence.
An fundamental right for every Australian.
Corruption is regarded as a cancer and is not tolerated. Corruption includes undeclared conflicts-of-interest.
Exploitation of Australia's finite mineral resources must be on the basis of a substantial monetary contribution being made to Government revenue that is held in trust for future generations. Extraction of resources cannot be approved where the extraction or post-extraction processing causes environmental harm.
Australian citizens own their data and do not give any form of automatic rights to companies to exploit or misuse their data. Data privacy must be guaranteed by any person or entity that holds personal information.
Decisions taken by the current generation cannot harm the prospects of future generations. This is based on the fact that future generations have rights to be born into a country espoused in the Charter for Australia.
Strong borders must be maintained and all persons entering Australia must have been granted a visa that suits the purpose of their stay.
UK and USA Charters
UK - MAGNA CARTA LIBERTATUM (The Great Charter of Liberties)
THE FIRST GREAT CHARTER OF KING EDWARD THE FIRST
Granted October 12th AD. 1297,
IN THE TWENTY-FIFTH YEAR OF HIS REIGN
TRANSLATED FROM THE ORIGINAL, PRESERVED IN THE
ARCHIVES OF THE CITY OF LONDON BY RICHARD THOMSON, 1829
EDWARD by the grace of God, King of England, Lord of Ireland, Duke of Aquitaine, To all to whom these present letters shall come, Greeting. We have examined the Great Charter of the lord Henry, late King of England, our father, containing the liberties of England in these words:—
“HENRY, by the Grace of God, King of England, Lord of Ireland, Duke of Normandy and Aquitaine, and Earl of Anjou, to the archbishops, bishops, abbots, priors, earls, barons, sheriffs, governors, officers, and all bailiffs, and his faithful subjects, who see this present Charter, Greeting.
Know ye, that in the presence of God, and for the salvation of our own soul, and of the souls of our ancestors, and of our successors, to the exaltation of the Holy Church, and the amendment of our kingdom, we spontaneously and of our own free will, do give and grant to the archbishops, the bishops, abbots, priors, earls, barons, and all of our kingdom, these under-written liberties to be held in our realm of England for ever.
US Declaration of Independence
On July 4, 1776, the Second Continental Congress unanimously adopted the Declaration of Independence, announcing the colonies’ separation from Great Britain.
In Congress, July 4, 1776.
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America, When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
During the debates on the adoption of the U.S. Constitution, its opponents charged that the Constitution as drafted would open the way to tyranny by the central government. Fresh in their minds was the memory of the British violation of civil rights before and during the Revolutionary War, so they demanded a "bill of rights" that would spell out the immunities of individual citizens. Several state conventions, in their formal ratification of the Constitution, asked for such amendments. Others ratified the Constitution with the understanding that the amendments would be offered. On September 25, 1789, the First Congress of the United States therefore proposed to the state legislatures 12 amendments to the Constitution that met the arguments most frequently advanced against it. The first two proposed amendments, which concerned the number of constituents for each representative and the compensation of congressmen, were not ratified. Articles 3 to 12, however, were ratified by three-fourths of the state legislatures and constitute the first ten amendments of the Constitution, known as the Bill of Rights.
Read full Declaration