Australia needs a Development Bank

Infrastructure has been one of the most hotly disputed topics in previous Federal and State elections. Both major parties have been desperately competing to win the public with their infrastructure policies. It’s fair to say that the approach of both parties has been a bit like “whatever you can do, I can do better”.

The DLP has long supported the idea of Development Banks (State and Federal) to drive long-term investment such as that needed for infrastructure. This policy stance stems from the DLP objective to “establish the economic foundations for a self-reliant and secure Australia.”

Such a bank will greatly relieve budgetary restraints. It would be Australian owned and operated, external to the Treasury and ongoing budget requirements.


In short, a State Development Bank will:finance

  • Build ongoing revenue for infrastructure, regional development and other long-term projects
  • Engage in and benefit from its long-term projects
  • Have a positive development and stabilising effect on the Federal and State economies
  • Relieve state budgetary restraints
  • Encourage innovation
  • Not interfere with private banking, but rather free up funds used by government for infrastructure borrowing
  • Eliminate or reduce the need for governments to seek funding in foreign markets
  • Potentially buy into selected industries to protect Australia’s economic sovereignty


The finance market is bound to have a shortage of long-term capital, as savers typically look for more short-term, “liquid” investments which results in inadequate investment in sectors with potential for long-term growth. Infrastructure is a key example, as it requires long-term investment and is a prerequisite for and a facilitator of growth in other sectors.

A Development Bank would use its funds to finance public and private enterprises, mostly for infrastructure and long-term investment, but also for regional development and capital for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs).

Unlike investment banks, a development bank would give priority to the financing of projects that yield substantial social and environmental as well as economic benefits. Before financing projects, while requiring a minimum financial rate of return, a development bank would also make economic, social and environmental appraisals of those projects.

Federal and State-owned banks such as the one proposed here should not be compared to commercial banks and judged on their profitability, but judged on the basis of their development and stabilising effect.

The DLP’s aim to build strong, self-sustaining Federal and State economies draws on the successful German experience.

Germany represents an example of an advanced, high-wage economy with generous conditions for workers being able to run a profitable manufacturing sector.  

Basically the German approach is:

  • Commitment to high-end manufacturing;
  • Reputation for quality and prestige;
  • Flexibility and productivity in the workplace that allows for good wages without sacrificing competitive advantage;
  • Integrated educational and training approach to maintain a supply of well trained employees in all areas of the business and service industries;
  • Adoption of the Mittelstand approach, where vast numbers of SMEs, many based on cooperative principles, provide a shock absorber during lean times.


The DLP remains committed to the establishment of Federal and State Development Banks to ensure the long term security of Australia’s economy.

We are the pro-family party and here’s the proof

Both the Liberal Party and the ALP talk about being pro-family but the simple fact is that they are not.

They give nothing but lip service to the importance of the family.

Whether it be their leaders marching in the Sydney Gay Mardi Gras, professing their support for same-sex marriage, doing nothing to make changes to the income tax system to allow a parent to stay at home, or standing idly by and letting our children be indoctrinated in our schools with Marxist and anti-family propaganda, both the Libs and the ALP are not fair dinkum about supporting the traditional family.

The Democratic Labour Party, on the other hand, has always been pro-family and we have policies that recognise the family as the foundation of our civil society.

Using the income tax system to allow for stay-at-home parents

Courtesy of photostock at

Courtesy of photostock at

The Liberals and the ALP have done nothing to use the tax system to promote the ability for families to have one parent stay at home, not have to work and instead devote their energies to raising a family.

The DLP will introduce income tax splitting to allow the income of the working parent to be split with the stay-at-home parent for tax purposes, thereby giving them more after-tax income and removing the need for both parents to work.

Only the Democratic Labour Party is committed to changing the way the tax system unfairly and inequitably penalises families.

Maintaining the institution of traditional marriage

The Democratic Labour Party will defend and stand up for the institution of marriage being exclusively between a man and a woman. Only the DLP will make sure that the Marriage Act remains unchanged.

Protecting family values

The ALP, Greens and many Liberals support the Safe Schools program which is being used by socially radical groups as a way to indoctrinate our children into accepting ideologies and causes that are controversial and simply anti-family.

It’s not a matter of parents having a right to withdraw their child from classes dealing with such matters. Children should simply not be indoctrinated with radical social re-engineering in the first place.

The Democratic Labour Party will scrap the Safe Schools program and ensure that our schools are never again used as a platform for social engineering designed to denigrate those institutions which put the family at the centre of our society.

Instead, the DLP will promote proven anti-bullying programs that will not be used as a means to indoctrinate radical social ideology, and which will teach our children emotional intelligence, such as the RULER Program from the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence.


Investing superannuation funds in a way that most benefits Australia

The commencement of infrastructure projects is vital for Australia, yet we are hampered by debt and the lack of capital for long-term investments.

One way of providing such capital is by directing superannuation funds into infrastructure projects that are of long-term national interest.

Courtesy of dream designs at

Courtesy of dream designs at

Employers are required by law to contribute a minimum of 9 per cent of each worker’s salary to a fund – in other words a tax levied for the express purpose of self-funding retirement benefits.

These funds choose to invest the proceeds wherever, and however, they want. Much of the proceeds are invested overseas, where the risk can be much more difficult to assess and which generates no home-grown advantages.

There is no obligation to invest even part of their funds, or at least to give preference to investing part of their funds, in infrastructure projects that directly benefit the Australian economy and employment.

Further, of the many billions of dollars held by superannuation funds, very little is re-invested back into the regions.

Surely it is perfectly reasonable for people living in rural and regional Australia to desire to ensure, that the superannuation that each person contributes to, should be equitably re-invested into that part of the country that they are living and employed in?

The Democratic Labour Party believes that this is an area that merits significant consideration, and will support ways that encourage funds to invest in Australian infrastructure projects, and in regional and rural Australia.

To view the DLP’s full superannuation policy, click here.

Expand palliative care services

The DLP has a long standing commitment to supporting the most vulnerable in our community. In light of this year’s Victorian State Election, the DLP’s pledge to expand palliative care services is a core component of this commitment.

Presently in Victoria there are some outstanding palliative care services which seek to alleviate the pain and suffering of individuals who are in the last stages of their life. However, palliative care provision in Victoria is currently between 16% and 40% less than required to meet current need.

elderly handsThe DLP believes that all Victorians should have access to such services, without the fear of being a burden, the fear of being alone, or the fear of unbearable pain.

These fears, amongst a complexity of other factors, contribute to coercion to sign ‘Advanced Care Plans’ where ‘early exit’ is favoured.  If euthanasia laws are ever enacted in Victoria, coercion to euthanasia is also a very real danger, based on these fears.

The DLP believes that the only real alternative to euthanasia and assisted suicide lies in providing loving, competent and compassionate care to people with severe disabilities and/or to people who are dying.

The DLP believes that legislation of euthanasia and assisted suicide is completely unnecessary, in light of advances within medicine and alternative medicine for effective pain relief, and the development of modern methods of palliative care.

The DLP believes in offering people choices regarding end of life care, including an emphasis on identifying and treating depression.  To offer such choices, the DLP will promote:

  • greater acknowledgement of, and support for, unpaid carers (usually family members) in end of life care;
  • palliative care as a core business component in aged care services;
  • palliative care services appropriate for younger people;
  • the early identification and treatment of depression for people who are ill; and
  • widespread public access to education around the implications of advanced care directives, and the promotion of positive images of palliative care.

What we will do:

If the DLP is successful in winning a seat within the Victorian Parliament, we will:

  • in our maiden speech, promote a positive image of palliative care, including an acknowledgement of the need to expand access to services;
  • pursue the expansion of palliative care services through negotiations with the Health and Community Services portfolios;
  • speak out against advanced care directives which promote the early termination of life;
  • negotiate with the government of the day, to ensure that the expansion of palliative care, and the promotion of positive images of palliative care, receives full support.

The DLP will never support legislation which promotes euthanasia or assisted suicide.  If such legislation is introduced in Victoria, the DLP will lead a movement against this which will involve active negotiations within government as well as a broad community campaign.





Authorised by Michael Murphy, 14 Coventry Place, South Melbourne

DLP vows to reform poker machine laws

The DLP has a long history of standing up for the most disadvantaged communities in our society. This Victorian Election, the DLP remains committed to reforming poker machine laws.

As Peter Kavanagh, our most recent DLP Victorian member of parliament said in his maiden speech:

What is loosely called “addiction to gambling” is destroying the lives of some people and spurring crime. Gambling brings many millions of dollars to the government but at a catastrophic cost to some families and individuals. I believe that our present poker machine policies and practices exploit the poor, the lonely and the ignorant and should be changed. I think we have an obligation to ensure that gambling is sensibly and effectively regulated in such a way as to minimise problem gambling.

We understand that tens of millions of dollars are lost by Victorians each year in this industry.  In 2010, the Productivity Commission found that Victoria has the highest prevalence towards poker machine use in Australia.

Often, it is the people who can least afford to lose who bear the brunt of these losses.  The DLP also acknowledges the impact on families of problem gamblers, and the problems they face.
Tim Costello, a strong advocate for harm minimisation practices wrote:

Because most Australians don’t play poker machines, most are unaware of the risks involved…

Poker machine addiction affects individuals, families and communities and disproportionately affects people who are already financially vulnerable.  Poker machine venues are most strongly concentrated in poorer suburbs and areas…

The social costs of poker machine addiction are high, including relationship breakdown, mental health problems, unemployment, debt, financial hardship, theft and other crime, social isolation and all too often, suicide…

sadThere is one very simple way in which harm can be reduced at the pokies.  It is widely accepted that limiting the maximum bet on poker machines to $1 (down from up to $5 at present), and limiting losses to a maximum of $120 per hour, will reduce problem gambling.  This solution targets problem gamblers only, and would have little to no impact on recreational gamblers.

Harm could be further minimised through the identification of problem gamblers within gambling establishments.  While this is already a requirement of the Victorian Responsible Codes of Conduct, the DLP would seek to enforce this within venues – requiring staff to actively participate in harm minimisation practices.


What we will do:

If the DLP is successful in winning a seat within the Victorian Parliament, we will:

  • In our maiden speech, reaffirm our commitment to gambling reform, with an emphasis on harm minimisation for problem gamblers, which effects not only the gambler themselves, but also their families;
  • Introduce a private members bill which will: introduce $1 bets and maximum of $120 per hour losses;
  • Initiate a trial into the identification of problem gamblers within venues, and use this strategy to inform recommendations to government;
  • Negotiate with the government of the day, to ensure that these reforms receive full support.





Authorised by Michael Murphy, 14 Coventry Place, South Melbourne

Amend Victorian Abortion Laws, starting with Section 8!

Victorian abortion laws are amongst the worst in the world. They allow abortion ‘on-demand’ (without reason) up to 24 weeks, and abortion right up until birth, including partial-birth abortion, with signatures from just two doctors (which may be two abortionists and hence easy to obtain).

Other abhorrent things aside, these laws shamefully compel medical practitioners to comply. In other words, medical practitioners are not granted freedom of conscience if they have a conscientious objection to abortion. They are forced to perform an abortion or be party to it by referring a patient to another practitioner who will.


Many changes are required to the laws. However, the DLP views Section 8 as the first that needs to be redressed. Section 8 of the Abortion Law Reform Act 2008, entitled “Obligations of registered health practitioner who has conscientious objection” details the current “responsibilities” of medical practitioners, specifically doctors and nurses.

Section 8 restricts medical practitioners’ freedom of speech and of conscience. Personal beliefs about abortion aside, many people in the community support the right of medical practitioners to these important freedoms.

Indeed, hundreds of Victorian doctors have joined together in calling for changes to the Victorian Abortion Law Reform Act 2008.

Conscientious Objection is a fundamental principle of the medical and nursing professions, and is enshrined in the ethical and conduct codes of the AMA, the ANF, the NHMRC and the Australian Medical Council.

Furthermore, Section 8 sets a very dangerous precedent towards coercing medical practitioners to perform other acts which may go against their conscience, such as euthanasia, the sterilisation of people with disabilities and infanticide on grounds of genetic defects or disability.

Section 8 has already been intimidating practitioners into compliance. In 2013, Dr Mark Hobart was investigated by the Medical Board of Victoria, for refusing to refer a couple who came to him requesting an abortion on the grounds of gender selection (the woman was pregnant with a girl, but the couple wanted a boy).

There have been other anecdotal stories which indicate to us that doctors and nurses are being threatened and pressured to be on rotations at hospitals where abortions are performed, and to refer under threat of physical violence or legal action.


Many changes to the Abortion Law Reform Act 2008 are needed, including:

  • introducing a two week waiting period for any abortion;
  • banning the partial-birth method of abortion;
  • banning abortions on the basis of gender selection;
  • providing pain relief to babies being aborted;
  • requiring medical practitioners to resuscitate and care for babies who survive abortion attempts;
  • ensuring informed consent for abortions and expanding the options presented to women requesting abortions, such as counselling and adoption options.


What we will do:

If the DLP is successful in winning a seat within the Victorian Parliament, we will:

  • in our maiden speech, establish our sincere commitment to abortion reform , speaking about the reforms needed to the Act overall;
  • at the earliest opportunity, introduce a private member’s bill calling for the repeal of Section 8;
  • within 6 months, launch a campaign to reform further sections of the Act, in conjunction with a broad range of supporters from pro-life and health organisations;
  • negotiate with the government of the day to ensure these reforms receive full consideration;
  • promote the expansion of ‘choice’ through counselling and adoption, and campaign for open adoptions in Victoria;
  • promote free grief counselling for women who have suffered from past abortions.





Authorised by Michael Murphy, 14 Coventry Place, South Melbourne

Revisiting the DLP “Perspective”

The Constitution of the Democratic Labour Party contains three main sections: Perspective, Objectives, and Principles. Let’s take a look at the Perspective part, articles 5 to 10 of the DLP’s Constitution, and unpack a bit of what’s contained in this DLP treasure chest. It is from such a perspective our objectives and principles follow, and ultimately our policies and understanding of politics.


5. The Democratic Labour Party shall promote the political, social and economic order of the decentralist nation-community as a preferred alternative to the authoritarian rigidities of socialist-centralist control and the libertarian extremes of the capitalist global market.

When the DLP was founded back in 1955, the  presence of Communism was rife throughout the world. Mao Zedong controlled China and the Soviet Union was dominating Eastern Europe, imposing its socialist policies wherever it could. At home, the Communist Party of Australia wielded significant influence on trade unions and social movements. On the other hand, the DLP also recognised the extremes of the capitalist global market, a system which reduced the dignity of the working person by putting economics above people, reducing people to nothing more than a mere resource used in the pursuit of profit.

The DLP has always seen both these extremes as dangerous threats to the family unit and to the “fundamental and inalienable rights of each person embodied in the common law, statute and tradition – to life, to the essential liberties of conscience, to equality and natural justice, to ownership of property and to a livelihood that enhances the dignity, status and security of the person”.

It is from such a perspective that the DLP positioned itself as a “centrist” Party, disassociated from the extremes of both “left” and “right”, as best positioned to provide what is best for families, workers, communities, the nation, life.


6. The Democratic Labour Party shall embrace principles which are distributist, or decentralist, in basic tenet and which call for practical social justice, the widest possible distribution of political, social and economic power and a decentralised society.

This statement has its foundation on the principle of subsidiarity. This principle holds that no larger unit (whether social, economic, or political) should perform a function which can be performed by a smaller unit. Thus, any activity of production (the most important part of any economy!) ought to be performed by the smallest possible unit. Smaller units, families if possible, ought to be in control of the means of production, rather than the large units typical of modern economies. This leads into the economic philosophy of Distributism, which is explained on our Distributism page.

The essence of subsidiarity is concisely inherent in the Chinese maxim ‘Give someone a fish and you feed him for a day; teach the person to fish and you feed him for a lifetime’.


7. Democratic Labour Party policy shall be formulated to favour the smaller unit of responsibility and decision-making, rather than the larger, in government, business and community affairs.

Follows from the above points. It is the principle that local people should make local decisions.


8. In social policy the Democratic Labour Party shall recognise that rights and responsibilities that rest with individuals, families and the local community ought not to be relegated to larger social agencies or the state.

As an example, this would mean that as much as possible, welfare should be administered through families and communities rather than government. Obviously, this would go together with a policy framework which seeks to strengthen families and communities.


9. In economic policy the Democratic Labour Party shall acknowledge that the smaller unit in industry, commerce and the farming sector deserves protection from unfair competition or takeover by larger, more capitalised concerns.

For example, protection from a Woolworths/Coles-like duopoly over the market or cheap low-quality imports (such as the dumping of Brazilian oranges in Australia putting our own farmers out of business).


10. The Democratic Labour Party shall insist that functions of federal government should be exercised without encroachment on the rightful responsibilities of state and local administrations, or the communities they serve.

Federal government shouldn’t take over matters of which the decision-making and responsibilities should be with state and local governments. For example, in recent years we have seen the areas of education policy and health policy become more and more centralised within Federal Government. This also exists as a statement expressing the DLP’s support for the sovereignty of the States in the Commonwealth of Australia.

Foreign multinational locks out Aussie workers, ALP nowhere to be seen

One would think that if there’s one thing the Australian Labor Party would do, it would be standing up for Australian workers. Apparently not so.

Let me take you on a trip to the Latrobe valley in Victoria. Just past Moe, we arrive at the Yallourn power station, which supplies the State with over 20 per cent of its power supply.

Energy Australia, a subsidiary of the Hong Kong-based China Light and Power, has locked out the unit control operators at its Yallourn power station, without pay, for the last seven weeks.

The company first locked out the 75 workers on June 21 after failed enterprise bargaining negotiations on conditions and shifts. These workers are members of the Construction Forestry Mining Energy Union (CFMEU)

Just after the lock out began, the workers were the subject of a disgraceful allegation that they had something to do with a fire in a circuit breaker. Energy Australia allowed this smear to circulate and it became front page news in the Herald Sun. However, it was later found that the fire was an accident, most likely caused by poor maintenance. The workers are yet to receive an apology.

These locked out workers are highly skilled – there is a worldwide shortage of unit control operators and these blokes could get highly paid work anywhere there are power stations in operation.

Energy Australia wants the Federal government to buy out the power station and close it down. Energy Australia is refusing to include consultation, staffing levels and job security clauses in the EBA – some of the major sticking points in the dispute with the workers.

Meanwhile, 75 workers are locked out of their workplace without pay and Energy Australia is refusing to negotiate.

These workers have families and mouths to feed.

DLP Senator John Madigan has travelled to Yallourn to where the workers have been locked out, bringing along food, supplies and even some financial aid. The workers were extremely grateful that they had the support of a politician, not just by words, but by action too.

Senator Madigan has tried hard to get the Victorian Government to have a better understanding of the situation, and even wrote a personal letter to Deputy Premier Peter Ryan. However, not only did Mr Ryan rebuff the invitation, he launched a scathing assessment of the workers’ stance in a reply that contained factual errors and oversights on key aspects of the issue.

“Mr Ryan accuses the CMFEU of militant behaviour, yet the workers are merely seeking conditions that have been taken from them over a period of time … Contrary to Mr Ryan’s claims, a case could be made that it is the employer – Energy Australia – that is acting in a militant way by locking out these workers.” Senator Madigan said.

In the midst of all this turmoil, the Australian Labor Party is nowhere to be seen. The party that claims to be the workers party has refused to stand up for the workers.

Not one single ALP politician even attended the “A lockout is a cop out” rally in Melbourne on Friday in support of the locked out workers and their families.

The Democratic Labour Party, on the other hand, has been standing side-by-side with these workers all along.

While Senator Madigan was an apology at the rally due to being in Adelaide for an Industry Day promoting Australian manufacturing, farming and food processing, the DLP’s Victorian senate candidate Mark Farrell addressed the crowd on behalf of Senator Madigan and the DLP, to the applause and gratitude of the workers who know the DLP is out there to support them, just like any genuine labour party should.






These guys need our support

copoutEnergy Australia has locked out the unit control operators at its Yallourn W power station, without pay, for the last seven weeks.

These guys are highly skilled – there is a worldwide shortage of unit control operators and these blokes could get highly paid work anywhere there are power stations in operation.

Energy Australia wants the Federal government to buy out the power station and close it down. EA is refusing to include consultation, staffing levels and job security clauses in the EBA – some of the major sticking points in the dispute with the workers.

Given the failure of the contract for closure negotiations (part of the Clean Energy Future Plan Policy), designed supposedly to close down large polluting power stations, Energy Australia has initiated its own discussions with the Federal Government and Opposition and is holding this group of workers to ransom.

Not surprisingly, some of the blokes have told Energy Australia to get stuffed and resigned.

They are certainly not the first and won’t be the last group of workers to leave the Valley and find work elsewhere.

That could cause huge problems for Victorian power consumers, particularly if we have a hot summer and the summer peak can’t be met.

That type of scenario could black out Victoria and possibly the eastern seaboard. These guys need our support. A lockout is a cop out!

Come along to a rally in support for the 75 workers locked out by Energy Australia at the Yallourn Power station. It happens this Friday, Melbourne City Square, 11am.

Stop selling off our country

Year after year, more and more Australian land is being sold off to foreign owners.

Not only are we losing ownership over our land, but the economic prosperity that eventuates goes overseas too.

Take the Ord River for example. It’s 320 kilometres long, situated in the Kimberley region of Western Australia. In the late 1930s, work began on a massive irrigation project, which included the construction of Australia’s largest artificial lake by volume, Lake Argyle, in 1971.

The Ord River project has the potential to be a major agriculture precinct, with its proximity to Kunanurra and Wyndham providing access to airport and port facilities respectively.

By 2009 more than 60 different crops were being grown in the Ord catchment area, and the Rudd Government and WA Premier Colin Barnett announced a development plan for the area, with plans to develop the community and infrastructure including upgrading Kununurra Airport and the port at Wyndham.

What happens next is very sad indeed. Just late last year, Chinese company Shanghai Zhongfu won the bid for 15,000 hectares of prized Ord River agricultural land.

So now the Chinese will come in, grow food and ship it back to their country. Obviously, there is no problem with China feeding it’s people. But why don’t we have an Australian owned agricultural company exporting to China instead?

That’s 150 million square metres of prime agricultural land that Australia no longer owns. And another lost opportunity to grow exports and strengthen our economy.

But it’s not just in the north.

In Australia’s south-western Wheatbelt region, the Chinese are buying up land there too.

Heilongjiang Feng Agricultural is said to want to buy and lease over 100,000 hectares to grow grain for export to China, according to a report in The West Australian in November last year.

The company already spent over $52 million acquiring farmland in the Great Southern and Wheatbelt regions in October-November last year.

Farmers in the eastern states will tell you the same story, of foreign companies buying up prime agricultural land in those areas too.

How is Australia ever going to grow, flourish, and develop if our leaders can’t do much more but sell off our country?

This brings me the the Democratic Labour Party’s policy on foreign ownership. The DLP believes that:

“no majority foreign owned entity or individual may own more than 2 hectares of Australian land”

It may sound extreme. But it’s a policy Australia desperately needs.

Oh, and if you thought it’s just prime agricultural land being bought up, you’re wrong. More and more residential property is being bought by overseas investors, making it harder for Australians to own their first home…

You can read the DLP’s statement on foreign ownership here. 



By Vince Stefano