My name is Chris Schmidt. I am running for TNL in the safe Liberal electorate of Sturt, in SA. It is a blue ribbon seat, but it is one that the Liberals are worried they could lose. If they do, the SA Liberals will regard it as catastrophic. It would be quite the feat, discussed in another article about my campaign.
We seemed to be gaining some traction in our seat and the word was getting out about me. However the theft of election material (corflutes, brochures and t-shirts) from my shed, put a brake on our campaign. This was compounded by my becoming seriously ill with COVID and being hospitalised. The election was actually announced while I was in hospital.
After coming out of hospital, I was determined that I would still run and do my best. Even if we don’t win, its making a start on getting my name out there so we can win the seat in 2025.
One thing that really impressed me about TNL when I first became involved, was how much their policies fit together as a whole. Even our ICAC policy links in with our climate change policies.
The reason we don’t get effective and fast action on climate change, is because both major parties receive large donations from the fossil fuel industry. What is happening in return for those donations, needs to be investigated to break the stranglehold the fossil fuel industry has on this country.
We need real action on climate change. The IPCC states that to avoid long-term irreversible damage we need to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees. To do this, the IPCC report said we must reduce global emissions by 75% by 2030. This 75% reduction is still allowing some warming to happen which will have adverse effects, but hopefully won’t be permanent.
However, some scientists are saying we have reached the tipping point already, others have suggested Australia is already at 1.5 degrees. Most reading I do suggest we are at 1.1. degrees and already the impact of climate change is hitting us hard, perhaps more severely than in any other country.
This is why at TNL we have committed to a rapid timeline of net zero by 2030. “I feel strongly that then we will have to keep going and do what we can to go beyond that”. That exceeds the Greens target of 2035, and of course, is exponentially faster than Labor or Liberal. We simply don’t have decades. As far as I am aware, some other minor parties might share our target but I am not aware of any that do better.
Our climate policies are unique in several ways: we have a plan that 100% of vehicles sold in Australia will be EVs by 2030. Not just that, but to make EVs cheaper we will recommence car manufacturing in South Australia. There are numerous steps to this policy: including starting with more component and battery manufacturing.
Steady State economy
Another unique part of our climate change policy is that we address over-consumption. “We are the only party in Australia to address this factor.” We support the steady state economy movement (https://steadystate.org).
This movement recognizes that GDP is not necessarily a good measure of well-being in the economy. It also recognises that you cannot combat global warming and have exponential growth, because over-consumption is a factor in global warming. So the steady state movement seeks to bring the economy into equilibrium where its environmental impact is neutral and social justice issues are considered, including addressing inequality and poverty.
Initially, this will mean degrowth. The major parties and even the Greens are unwilling to talk about this because both the majors and the Greens (to a lesser extent) are trapped in a neoliberal mindset. However, saving the beauty of the wonderful world and giving our grandchildren a future is worth some temporary disadvantages.
People ask, won’t this cause massive unemployment?
This is where, once again, our policies form such a cohesive whole. Under our voluntary job guarantee, anyone who loses their job because of action on climate change will be give a new one at no less than a minimum wage in a skill area that suits them, and this job will be paid for by the government. They can also receive up to twelve months retraining paid for by the government and receive the minimum wage while retraining. Thus, no one will be disadvantaged.
In the meantime, our ICAC will get to the root of the corruption. This would lead to all parties supporting climate action, which means our goals and policies would be implemented more rapidly
Our ICAC will consist of a board of Australians beyond repute who will employ their own investigators bypassing the police. If there is sufficient evidence there will be a separate ICAC court only hearing ICAC matters, with its own prosecutors. All trials will be jury trials and not just before a judge. Thus our ICAC will investigate and fully prosecute any offenders. This process is completely separate from the parliament.
Also, our model covers all public servants, statutory bodies, parliamentarians, federal judges and the AFP. This is why it is important it is not only separate from the parliament but separate from existing police and court apparatus, so it can be seen to be unbiased. Even the appearance of corruption should be avoided.
Once again, exposing the corruption is not enough, and prevention is better than cure. Here, to prevent corruption from occurring we have a suite of policies, that will ensure corruption does not become as entrenched as it is now again.
1. Decreasing parliamentary salaries by 20%
2. Reviewing and reforming all parliamentary perks and expenses
3.Adopting all 28 recommendations of the Jenkins Report (https://tnl.net.au/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/Jenkins-Report.pdf).
4. Limited parliamentary terms of twelve years
5. We would ban all advertising during an election campaign forcing parties to use old fashioned methods. This does two things: it makes it less attractive for companies to donate to political parties as they can’t influence a campaign and it creates a level playing field where all parties and candidates can compete and not just those with money
6. Real time declaration of all political donations
7. Our media laws will break up large conglomerates like Murdoch’s empire, prevent foreign ownership of the media and restrengthen our media cross ownership laws
8. Under our laws, every political programme, or article will have to be clearly identified as fact and opinion and the two separated.
9. The deliberate publication of fake news will be an offense.
With a free and diverse media this will automatically lead to less corruption and with the ABC funding restored they will set the tone in investigative journalism.
The two major issues in this election are climate change and corruption. Due to an ICAC with teeth addressing corruption, our media laws will break up large conglomerates like Murdoch’s empire, while preventing foreign ownership. Our cross media ownership laws will also be strengthened. These policies when implemented, will lead to Australia moving from being one of the worst offenders to being a world leader in climate change action as we should be.
If you want to check out TNL please go to www.tnl.net.au.
I am running in Sturt.
If you wish to make a donation (I might get it soon enough to get a few more brochures or corflutes out) – please go to https://schmidt4sturt.live/fundraiser. That will redirect to a Chuffed fundraiser.
If there is anything left over after Saturday, it will go into our 2025 election fund.
My email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am happy for people to call me on 0459 573 941.