By Maurice Sibelle
BRISBANE — Australia's first Indigenous Peoples Party will field 10 candidates in the Queensland state election on September 19. Champion jockey Darby McCarthy will head the IPP ticket in the seat of Clayfield.
The party, formed five days before nominations closed, was unable to register with the Electoral Commission. Candidates from the IPP will not have their party's name on the ballot paper.
Under Queensland's new electoral laws, none of the smaller parties will have their name on the ballot paper. The Goss government legislation requires parties to register 500 members' names with the Electoral Commission before their party name is allowed on the ballot paper.
The independent Electoral and Administration Review Commission recommended that small parties need have only 150 names before they are registered.
So far the ALP, Nationals and Liberals are the only parties registered. They did not have to provide 500 names because they have members of parliament.
Susan Price, Democratic Socialist candidate for Brisbane Central, commented, "The new law substitutes one undemocratic law for another. Now Queenslanders will not know who they are voting for. This further entrenches the major parties by not allowing the smaller parties to compete on an equal footing."
Ian Rowland from the Democrats said, "We outvote the Nationals two to one federally, yet we aren't registered in Queensland. We don't call for the deregistration of the Nationals federally. It's just a ploy by the Labor Party to cut out the smaller parties."
Simon Bliss, Green candidate for Greenslopes says, "It denies the smaller parties proper recognition on the ballot paper. A lot of people decide who they will vote for at the last moment. These laws do not give people the option to vote for a party they may have heard about in the papers. That means we can only tell people how to vote for us through our own media (ie leaflets), whereas the major parties have the ballot paper to assist them."
Bliss went on to protest against the short duration of the campaign and called for legislation that would bind governments to longer election campaigns.
The following are alternative candidates in the Queensland election:
Susan Price, Brisbane Central
Indigenous Peoples Party
Netta Tyson, South Brisbane
Col Smith, Woodridge
Norma James, Inala
Darby McCarthy, Ipswich
Walter McCarthy, Toowoomba North
Merv Gibson, Cook
Jacob George, Mt Isa
Lynette Van Issem, Woodridge
Norman Jonson, Cook
John Felan, Barron River
George Wilson, Bulimba
Jon Metcalfe, Cairns
Lou Gugenberger, Chatsworth
Anton Castro, Cook
Brad Farmer, Currumbin
Simon Bliss, Greenslopes
Richard Nielsen, Kedron
Peter George, Rockhampton
DemocratsAndrew Bartlett, South Brisbane
Kerri Kellett, Mt Coot-tha
Colin Parker, Mundingburra
Glenmary Swan, Keppel (Democrat)
Hermann Schwabe, Nicklin.