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The Great Australian Party

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The Great Australian Party
LeaderRod Culleton
Founded7 April 2019 (2019-04-07) (registration)
Split fromOne Nation
IdeologyConstitutional conspiracy[1][2][3][4]
Populism
Political positionRight-wing[5][6]
Website
thegreataustralianparty.com.au

The Great Australian Party is a political party in Australia. The party was formally registered by the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) on 7 April: 2019[7] and is associated with former senator Rod Culleton who had been elected in the 2016 Australian federal election as a senator for Western Australia, but subsequently found to have been ineligible and was disqualified.[8]

Policies and philosophy

Policies of the party include the removal of personal income tax, nationalisation of the Commonwealth Bank and abolishment of the Family Court of Australia.[9]

The Party also proposes to implement trials by jury only in criminal matters, naming of young criminals who are serial offenders and the restoration of the "true" Constitution of Australia.[10][11] This is despite numerous recent Court decisions confirming the validity of the Australian Constitution.[12][13][14]

Party Leader Culleton has on numerous occasions declared the Australian Constitution is invalid and thus so are Australian Courts.[15][16] However in 2018 in complete contradiction whilst representing himself in recent Bankruptcy proceedings being heard in the Federal Court of Australia, Culleton commenced his opening address by confirming the authority of the Federal Court of Australia by stating: "This Honourable Court has the power delegated to it by the Parliament of the Commonwealth under S 39B(1A) (b) and (c) Judiciary Act 1903 and by S 34AB (c) Acts Interpretation Act 1901..."[17]

The Party further proposes a policy that criminal offenders would have sale of their property used as a possible deterrent.[10] This policy contradicts the actions of Party candidate for the Senate in Western Australia, Wayne Glew's previous attempts to prevent the seizure and sale of his own residential property due to outstanding rates and levies owed by him to the City of Greater Geraldton.[18] Glew had refused to pay Council rates and levies since as early as 2005.[19] This lead Glew to mount repeated failed applications in the Magistrates' Court and High Court in Western Australia.[20] Glew's residential property was subsequently seized and transferred to the City of Greater Geraldton.[19]

History

Culleton continued to refer to himself as a "senator-in-exile" and sought to appeal his disqualification to the Privy Council of the United Kingdom, a theoretical appeal path that had been used only once, in 1912, and for all practical purposes was abolished by the Australia Act of 1986.

In 2018, Culleton initiated the process to establish a new political party, The Great Australian Party, to stand candidates for the Senate at the 2019 Australian federal election. The AEC registered the party on 7 April 2019.[7] The party fielded two Senate candidates in New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Victoria and Western Australia.

Controversy

Culleton has been refusing to co-operate on numerous occasions by refusing to hand over documents or attend public examinations.[21] Creditors were advised there was no prospect of recovering any of their money.[8][21][when?]

On 24 April 2019, the AEC referred Culleton's Senate nomination form to the Australian Federal Police "to examine if a false declaration has been made under provisions of the Criminal Code Act 1995, relating to his status as an undischarged bankrupt and the prima facie disqualification of such persons to be chosen or to sit as a Senator or Member of the House of Representatives under section 44(iii) of the Constitution". The AEC stated that, while it did not have power to reject a fully completed nomination form or to make its own assessment of a candidate's eligibility, it had been aware from a High Court judgment that Culleton had been a declared bankrupt and, upon checking the National Personal Insolvency Index, had found that he was currently listed as an undischarged bankrupt.[22][23]

On 2 May 2019, the AEC confirmed that Culleton's Party controversially may be eligible for public funding just for appearing on the ballot paper. This is despite a bankrupt being "incapable of being chosen" as a member of parliament.[8] The AEC also stated they did not have the power to decide if a candidate is ineligible.[24]

The Party's other Senate candidate in Western Australia is Wayne Glew, a former police officer who is a "self-proclaimed expert of the constitution". Glew has been a claimant, defendant or appellant in at least 16 Court proceedings in which he has argued against the validity of the Australian Constitution. Glew has not been successful in a single proceeding to date.[14][25] This resulted in Glew being declared a vexatious litigant by the Supreme Court of Western Australia and being prevented from initiating any further Court proceedings in Western Australia.[22][26]

On 23 December 2011 Glew was convicted in the Geraldton Magistrates' Court of one offence of assaulting a public officer and one offence of obstructing an officer in the execution of his duty.[27]

Glew provided legal advice to Heather Glendinning, who killed herself and her two daughters in a murder–suicide in 2011. He subsequently told The West Australian that she had been murdered, and that "I spent 17 years in the police and you can make anything look like anything".[28] In 2012, Glew was ordered to pay $2 million in damages to an investor in his fuel vaporiser system. The Supreme Court found that his invention "offered no benefit over existing fuel systems" and that he had engaged in "deceptive and misleading conduct".[29]

On 8 May 2019 a group of intoxicated Great Australian Party supporters campaigning outside a polling booth in Cockburn, WA verbally abused a 70 year old woman and her husband. One of the group of approximately eight Great Australian Party supporters, wearing a high-visibility vest displaying a Great Australian Party logo, was observed being drunk and aggressive and taunting voters to fight him. Police were required to attend to intervene. In a later statement Culleton denied the supporters were registered with the Party. This contradicts the reported statements of bystanders, voters and members of other parties who had observed Great Australian Party supporters spruiking AEC approved materials and wearing high-visibility vests displaying Great Australian Party logos.[30]

2019 Australian Federal Election

As of 20 May 2019 with 53% of votes counted, the ABC News states that the Great Australia Party will not gain a seat in parliament,[31] with the party's first preference vote in the senate ranging from 1.07% (6,971 votes) in South Australia to 0.14% (2,281 votes) in Victoria, while in Culleton's home state of Western Australia they have received 0.21% (1,789 votes),[32] less than one hundredth of the votes required for election.[31]

References

  1. ^ Whyte, Sally (24 April 2019). "Barrels and blindfolds: candidates declared". The Canberra Times.
  2. ^ Catherine (23 April 2019). "Federal Election 2019: Meet The Great Australian Party".
  3. ^ "Restoration of the Commonwealth". Great Australian Party. 26 April 2019 – via facebook.
  4. ^ "The Constitution of Australia [sic] Has Been Hijacked with Wayne Glew". Great Australian Party. 5 March 2019 – via facebook.
  5. ^ "Prime poll position isn't keeping far right micro parties out of trouble". 7NEWS.com.au. 25 April 2019.
  6. ^ "Anti-Muslim, anti-vaxxers and pro-men: Your guide to the new micro parties". SBS News.
  7. ^ a b "The Great Australian Party" (PDF). Registration of a political party. Australian Electoral Commission. Retrieved 10 April 2019.
    "Notice of Party Registration Decision. Application to Register a Non-parliamentary Party in the Register of Political Parties - Approved The Great Australian Party" (PDF). Australian Electoral Commission. Retrieved 10 April 2019.
  8. ^ a b c Blackshield, Tony. "Incapable of being chosen". AUSPUBLAW. Retrieved 10 May 2019.
  9. ^ Burrell, Andrew (18 November 2018). "Former senator Rod Culleton's plans for political comeback". The Australian. Retrieved 10 April 2019.
  10. ^ a b "Policy - Law and Justice - The Great Australian Party". Policy - Law and Justice - The Great Australian Party. Retrieved 8 May 2019.
  11. ^ "GAP Constitutional Standing". The Great Australian Party. Retrieved 8 May 2019.
  12. ^ Port Macdonnell Professional Fishermen's Association Inc v South Australia [1989] HCA 49 (26 October 1989), High Court (Australia)
  13. ^ Glew v Shire of Greenough [2007] HCATrans 520 (6 September 2007), High Court (Australia)
  14. ^ a b Glew v Frank Jasper Pty Ltd [2010] WASCA 87 (20 May 2010), Court of Appeal (WA, Australia)
    Glew v White [2012] WASCA 138 (10 July 2012), Court of Appeal (WA, Australia)
  15. ^ Koziol, Michael (29 March 2017). "'Senator in exile' Rod Culleton pens bizarre letter to PM claiming Western Australia 'not part of the Commonwealth'". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 10 May 2019.
  16. ^ "Culleton's plan to fill the GAP". www.theaustralian.com.au. Retrieved 10 May 2019.
  17. ^ Culleton v Balwyn Nominees Pty Ltd [313] FCA 2018, Federal Court (Australia)
  18. ^ Meachim, Laura; O'Connor, Cecile (19 December 2018). "Man who doesn't believe in local governments and owes $300,000 in rates has property seized". ABC News. Retrieved 8 May 2019.
  19. ^ a b "Man ejected from public gallery in Wayne Glew case". The West Australian. 22 January 2019. Retrieved 8 May 2019.
  20. ^ Glew v City of Greater Geraldton [2012] WASCA 94 (30 April 2012), Court of Appeal (WA, Australia)
  21. ^ a b "Rod Culleton's creditors have 'no prospect' of getting their money". The West Australian. 3 November 2016. Retrieved 10 May 2019.
  22. ^ a b Perpitch, Nicolas; Meachim, Laura (24 April 2019). "Former One Nation MP Rod Culleton's Senate election bid referred to police". ABC News. Retrieved 25 April 2019.
  23. ^ Crowe, David (24 April 2019). "Disqualified once, Rod Culleton referred to police over 'false declaration' for Senate". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 25 April 2019.
  24. ^ Karp, Paul (1 May 2019). "Electoral commission accused of failing to investigate Palmer candidates". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 9 May 2019.
  25. ^ In chronological order the cases not cited elsewhere are
  26. ^ Attorney General (WA) v Glew [2014] WASC 100 (25 March 2014), Supreme Court (WA, Australia)
  27. ^ Re Glew; ex parte the Hon Michael Mischin MLC, Attorney General (WA) [2014] WASC 107 at [8] (28 March 2014), Supreme Court (WA, Australia)
  28. ^ Egan, Colleen (17 December 2011). "Ex-cop helped mum fight law". The West Australian. Retrieved 25 April 2019.
  29. ^ Campbell, Kate (30 January 2012). "Inventor to pay $2m damages to investor". The West Australian. Retrieved 25 April 2019.
  30. ^ Steger, Sarah (8 May 2019). "Great Australian Party supporters hurl abuse at 70yo". The West Australian. Retrieved 13 May 2019.
  31. ^ a b "Senate Results". ABC News. Retrieved 20 May 2019.
  32. ^ "First preferences by Senate group". Australian Electoral Commission. Retrieved 20 May 2019.