WikiLeaks Party announces candidates, policies

Issue 
The WikiLeaks Party said it would oppose any move to privatise the ABC or SBS.

The WikiLeaks Party formally announced its Senate candidates on July 25.

Three candidates will be standing for the Senate in Victoria, including WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, author and Monash University gender studies lecturer Leslie Cannold, and RMIT law lecturer Binoy Kampmark.

Two candidates will stand in the Senate in NSW — human rights lawyer Kellie Tranter and former diplomat Alison Broinowski. Another two candidates, refugee activist Gerry Georgatos and president of the National Ethnic Disability Alliance Suresh Rajan, will run for the Senate in Western Australia.

The WikiLeaks Party also released the first of its policies on climate change and asylum seekers.

The policy on climate changes says the party: “Supports Australian contributions to keep global temperatures to less than 2°C above preindustrial levels… [and] acknowledges that a significant proportion of Australia’s coal reserves will have to remain unburned if the world is to avoid further dangerous global warming.”

The party promises to “combat secrecy and corruption in the relationship between governments and fossil carbon industries … support legislative measures to encourage the development of renewable energy … [and] ensure the change from coal based industries is done responsibly with concern for communities directly involved in coal production.”

On the issue of asylum seekers the WikiLeaks party says it: “Acknowledges that both major parties have misled the Australian public about the scale of the problem facing Australia. By any international comparison, Australia sees a less than proportionate share of the global refugee problem.”

In the Senate, the party promises to fight for a: “Reversal of the Rudd government’s PNG arrangement. Processing of asylum seekers arriving in Australia by the Australian government. A cap of 45 days in immigration detention for any asylum seeker, for initial health and security checks, with any extension requiring judicial approval [and a] repeal of the excision of Australian territories from the migration zone.”

It would also “support measures to stem the flow of asylum seekers at the source, by working towards a foreign policy based on human rights and international law, averting conflict from the outset.”

Julian Assange announced the party’s media policy in a video speech played at music festival Splendour in the Grass in Byron Bay on July 26.

“We will oppose any attempts to privatise the ABC and SBS, in part or in full … We will push for measures to help non-profit media and non-profit news organisations. The print media still dominates the way political information is originated in Australia, even online.

“But with the exception of Sydney and Melbourne, no other large Australian city at present has more than a single daily newspaper. For a medium-ranking democracy, Australia’s 98% print media circulation being in the hands of just three corporations, puts it into a special category of its own, and not a good one. We badly need diversification of the Australian media.

“We will revolutionise Australian media and music innovation by establishing an Australian content innovation fund, easily accessible to all Australians.”

[For more information, visit the WikiLeaks Party website.]