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Australian People

Australian People's Party Constitution

1 July 2017

 

Part I

Principles & Objects of the Party

The object of the Australian People’s Party is to promote the election of candidates to the Senate and/or House of Representatives of the Australian Parliament.  Other objectives of Australian People’s Party also include:

·         To promote democracy, the importance of public enrolments to vote and participation in the nation; and

·         To restore a vision of government of the people, by the people, for the people.

·         To encourage through educative means the principles and objects stated in this part

The Australian People’s Party is an inclusive party which commits to put the Australian People first.  The party endeavours to implement an 8-point plan which relates to improving the tax system,  school and hospital system; adopting a Bill of Rights; promoting public asset protection; encouraging pollution prevention; promoting Australian owned and providing where possible capital for country areas.

An elected representative of the party should endeavour not to compromise on any legislation that is put through Parliament that is contrary to these stated principles and objects.

Part II

Definitions

Establishment period:  the initial three month period commencing immediately after Australian Electoral Commission registration and stipulates that all incumbent executives and political candidates, who all currently hold their positions as volunteers, remain in their roles throughout this period unless they choose to step down .

Full membership: The only category of membership in the party recognised by this constitution and which enables Full Members entitlement to be selected into a formal position within the party and where eligible, and approved by the nomination processes within this constitution, stand as a candidate in any election the party chooses to contest;  they  may also communicate and submit policy amendment proposals and constitutional amendment proposals and participate in policy and issue discussion, debate and partake in the decision making process in accordance with this constitution. Full members, where eligible, may participate in working groups defined by the National Executive or any other forum of the Party.

Consensus: is a type of meeting decision making process where the members reach general agreement to accept an outcome in the best interests of the party

Dispute: refers to an on-going dispute between members of the party and appears to be occurring for some time usually beyond 14 days has an impact on others or the functioning of the party and which has not been resolved.

Majority voting:  Half or two thirds of the members entitled to vote as stipulated in the relevant clause plus 1 with those abstaining not counted.

Optional preferential voting:  A type of voting where the voter may opt to fill in as few as none and as many as all of the fields provided, with numbering relevant to the voting system being used.

Policy Meeting: A meeting of the National Executive pertaining to the party platform and held when deemed required by the National Executive.

Part III

Articles of the Constitution

A.     Name and Structure

1.      The name of the party will be “Australian People’s Party”, also abbreviated as the “APP”. From hereinafter in this document, Australian People’s Party shall be referred to as “the Federal Party” or “the Party”. The principles and objects of the Party Australia are stated in Part I, and are fundamental to the purpose of the Party. All party documents, members and policies are subject and subordinate to this constitution.

2.      The party is a non-profit organisation. The assets and income of the organisation shall be applied solely in furtherance of its above-mentioned objects and no portion shall be distributed directly or indirectly to the members of the organisation except as bona fide compensation for services rendered or expenses incurred on behalf of the organisation.

3.      The Party shall be governed at a Federal level by a body titled the “National Executive”. The National Executive may create additional structures and subordinate organisations, such as committees, working groups or branches, as it sees fit.

4.      The National Executive shall be comprised of those persons merit selected to positions elaborated on within this constitution.

5.      Those members who form the National Executive are to be merit selected from those eligible persons as elaborated within this constitution.

6.      The National Executive, as the paramount governing body of the Party, has the authority to overrule or amend any policy or decision of any subordinate organisation (except the Dispute Resolution Committee), if it deems those things to be inconsistent with or repugnant to the values, ideals or policies of the Party.

7.      A majority vote of the National Executive is required for any action from paragraph (4) to be taken against a subordinate organisation or their decisions.

B.     State and Territory Branches

1.      The National Executive may, at its discretion, decide to allow the formation a state or territory branch of a given state/territory and appoint a state/territory director.

2.      A State or Territory Branch is considered a subordinate to the Federal Party and the Federal Executive for the purposes of this Constitution.

3.      The state/territory director of a branch will coordinate the contesting state/territory elections, and relevant local elections of their region.

4.      A State or Territory Branch may not contradict a Federal policy, but may expand their policy set beyond the scope of the Federal Party.

5.      It is mandatory that members of the Federal Party are members of their local State or Territory Branch, and vice versa.

6.      No State or Territory Branch may enact or enforce policies that contradict this Constitution.

C.     The National Executive

1.      Members of the National Executive shall be referred to as the Leadership Team or individually as an Executive.

2.      Members of the National Executive will include the President, Federal Leader, and Party Secretary.

3.      Members of the National Executive hold all positions as volunteers and attract no remuneration unless expressly stated in a written agreement.

4.      Members of the National Executive throughout the establishment period remain in their roles unless they choose to step down in order to maintain the stability and continued growth of the Party.

5.      Members of the National Executive will be required to attend National Executive and Member Conventions and other meetings in person or via video or teleconferencing.

6.      Members of the National Executive will be required to promote themselves and the party.

7.      All resolutions, motions or decisions at a meeting require all three (3) members of the National Executive to be present.

8.      All motions must be carried by a majority of the National Executive present.

9.      All Executives absent from a meeting may still provide input on a motion.

D.     Appointment to National Executive

1.      National Executive positions after the establishment period will be appointed on merit by the remaining executive, and will be for a period as agreed, except where otherwise provided for in this Constitution.

2.      The members who are appointed to positions on the National Executive will take up those positions seven (7) days after the decision is announced.

3.      The outgoing members of the National Executive must hand over and communicate as much relevant knowledge as is feasible.

4.      Those members that nominate themselves, or are nominated, for a position on the National Executive or working group must consent in writing to their nomination.

5.      No more than one National Executive position may be filled by one member, except in cases where a position is subject to a temporary vacancy and pending a permanent appointment. In any case, no member of the National Executive may cast more than one vote in any motion before the National Executive.

6.      In the event a member of the National Executive is unable or unwilling to perform their duties or has tendered their resignation in writing, the remaining members of the National Executive may declare the position vacant and appoint an interim replacement by two-thirds majority vote of the remaining members of the National Executive.

E.     National Executive Overall Functions, Titles and Duties

1.      The National Executive has the authority to enact, amend or revoke by-laws; and must keep a register of all such by-laws which shall be available to members on request.

2.      A three-quarters majority of the National Executive is empowered to make alterations to the constitution where circumstances of urgency dictate, or where it is necessary for party operation.

3.      Such alterations are temporary, and are considered proposed amendments and as such must be voted upon by Members at the next Members Convention, where (if approved) they shall become amendments; and

4.      If such an amendment does not receive the necessary majority, then such a proposed amendment will lapse and the National Executive may not use their powers to resurrect the provisions again without an amendment proposal being put to the Members Convention.

F.      National Executive Titles and Duties

1.      President

a.       Leads the Party.

b.      Chairs the Members Convention, policy meetings and other meetings of the National Executive.

c.       Co-ordinates the activities of the National Executive.

d.      Acts as the Registered Officer fulfilling the requirements and obligations of the position of the same name defined in the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 (Cth) and obligations of the Party Agent as defined in the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 (Cth).

e.       Corresponds with the Australian Electoral Commission as stipulated by the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 (Cth).

2.      Federal Leader

a.       Assists the President with their duties in accordance with this constitution.

b.      If the President is unable (on a temporary basis) to conduct their obligations under the constitution, the Federal Leader is to substitute and fulfill those obligations.

c.       Organises party meeting agendas, venues and ballots as set out in this constitution.

​d.       Promotes the party to the wider community.

3.      Party Secretary & Treasurer

a.       The Party Secretary fulfils the requirements and obligations of the position of the same name defined in the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918(Cth).

b.      Provides notice in advance to members of all official meetings.

c.       Prepares schedules, agenda, and correspondence from members for submission to the National Executive and record attendance of persons present, and arrange for minutes or logs to be recorded.

d.      Co-ordinates official correspondence of the National Executive.

e.       Maintains the party register in accordance with Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918(Cth).

f.       Maintains custody of all documents, statements and records of the Party, and except for those documents that are otherwise accounted for in this constitution, by other officers.

g.       Briefly minutes, or delegate responsibility for the minutes, listing the decisions of meetings and ensure publication at the earliest possible convenience.

h.       The receipt of all monies paid to the Party, the issuing of all receipts and the deposit of such monies into accounts determined by the National Executive.

i.       Develops and ensures security and accountability measures for all receipts and payments are followed.

j.       Submits an Annual Financial Report to the National Executive, detailing balance sheets, financial statements and relevant particulars.

k.      Maintains adequate controls over Party finances and all financial records, documents, securities ensuring smooth transition when position is transferred.

l.       Ensures that all bookkeeping is conducted by an appropriately skilled person, and all documents conform to relevant legislation and regulations and this Constitution.

m.       Monitors the party’s financial period ending 30 June of the following year.

G.    Membership

1.      Membership is open to all natural persons who:

a.       Have read and agreed to the terms and principles provided within this constitution;

b.       Pay an annual membership, if applicable, as set by the National Executive;

​c.       Will be deemed Financial or Non-Financial members either permitting attendance at meetings, however, only financial members can vote or are eligible to the entitlements herein. 

d.       Members can put a hold on being financial at any stage by requesting and submitting the necessary paperwork to the Secretary of the party.

e.       Are not currently members of any other registered or unregistered political party in Australia and do not join another party in Australia while a member of the Party; and

f.      Have not been members of another registered or unregistered political party in Australia in the previous twelve (12) months, unless this is disclosed in the membership application by the applicant.

g.       Provide their full name, date of birth, address as it appears on the Australian Electoral Commission roll and a contact telephone number or email.

2.      A Member’s Party membership will not lapse unless the Member resigns from the Party in writing to the National Executive, or an applicable membership fee is failed to be paid more than ninety (90) days after their membership period has expired.

3.      A Member must be sent an email to inform them that their membership will lapse in 14 days before that Member’s membership may lapse.

4.      There is only one category of membership deemed herein as Full Membership of which those members are financial members deemed Full Members or for the sake of clarity Members.

5.      The inaugural 550 members to join the party will receive lifetime membership of the party.

6.      The National Executive may at its discretion opt to waive membership fees on a case-by-case or group consideration basis.

7.      The National Executive may propose to existing members in a quorum of 10% of the entire existing members the creation of additional categories of Membership of the Party which will require majority voting of those members.

8.      The National Executive may specify rules in relation to the recruitment of full members and the renewal of memberships and will be required to publish such rules.

9.      The National Executive may refuse to accept an application for membership by any individual on the grounds that the acceptance of the membership may be prejudicial to the interests or values of the Party.

10.  The National Executive also has the power to suspend or expel a member should that individual’s membership or actions whilst a member be prejudicial to the interests of the Party.

11.  Any refusal to admit a person as a member, and any suspension or expulsion of a member, shall be accompanied by a written statement of reasons for the action, and this statement is to be kept confidential (unless otherwise authorised by the member affected).

12.  A refusal of an application for membership, or the suspension or expulsion of any member may only be decided by a two-thirds majority vote of the National Executive.

H.    Policy Development and Review

1.      Policy development must occur with as much interaction with members as is feasible, the process must be as participatory as is feasible, and outcomes must be reached through consensus where feasible. New policy, unless dictated by circumstances of urgency, shall be decided by the National Executive.

2.      Where circumstance of urgency are apparent and declared, the National Executive may make policy, that shall be considered official, however that policy is subject to vote at the next National Executive AGM and is subject to the same conditions as those above.

3.      A policy will not be adopted if it is inconsistent with Part I of this constitution.

4.      All policies adopted by the National Executive will be recorded in a central register available to all Members.

5.      Every feasible effort must be taken to ensure that there is some accessible and equitable mechanism available for remote participation at a Member Convention.

6.      Where not less than 25% of Full Members petition the National Executive, a policy will come under official review by the party, where that policy will be reviewed and voted upon at the National Executive.

7.      No member of the Party may hold a position or title created outside of the scope of the Party principles, platform or policies or outside the scope provided for in this constitution.

I.       Meeting and Meeting Procedure

1.      Meetings should be structured so as to allow all members to participate, and have their opinions acknowledged.

2.      Consensus should be the focus of any proposal or decision at a meeting. However, where consensus cannot be achieved, a two-thirds majority will be sufficient to carry forward a proposal.

3.      Where there is disagreement, or members indicate that a delay in voting is required, sufficient time should be given for discussion before any voting begins.

4.      Meetings are only open to members unless a simple majority of the members present permit specified non-members to observe the meeting.

5.      The method of voting and the medium by which the meeting occurs is to be determined by the meeting facilitator, except where otherwise provided for by this Constitution.

6.      The minutes of a meeting should be distributed to the Members within seven days of the meeting. The National Executive may specify procedures for the collection and dissemination of such minutes.

7.      The National Executive may specify additional meetings procedures.

J.      Types of Meetings

1.      Members Convention

a.       The National Executive will organise the Members Convention.

b.      A quorum for the purposes of the Members Convention is not less than 20% of the members

c.       The Members Convention must be announced four (4) weeks prior to the date of the Convention.

d.      The agenda must be finalised at least seven (7) days prior to the date of the Convention.

e.       If at least 50% of the members petition the National Executive in writing expressing their lack of confidence in the National Executive, the National Executive shall organise an emergency Members Convention within thirty (30) days.

f.       The Members Convention has the exclusive right, by two-thirds majority vote, to allow the Party to merge with, affiliate with or disaffiliate with any other organisation.

g.       The Members Convention has the exclusive right, by two-thirds majority vote, to allow amendments to the Constitution.

2.      Pre-selection Meetings

a.       The National Executive may organise Pre-selection Meetings.

b.      Pre-selection Meetings may be independent meetings, or may coincide with the National Executive meeting or another meeting.

c.       Multiple Pre-selection Meetings may be held where and how deemed appropriate by the National Executive in the lead up to an election.

d.      The National Executive may determine that a separate Pre-selection Meeting may be held for each specific division or electorate.

3.      Dispute Resolution Group

a.       Members must first attempt to resolve disputes in good faith amongst themselves then may appeal to the President for assistance in resolving the dispute.

b.      Only after attempts to resolve the dispute have failed, including after petition of the President, then those members or the President on their behalf may apply to the National Executive to form a Dispute Resolution Group to resolve that dispute.

c.       Dispute Resolution Group will be comprised of three (3) members appointed by the National Executive.

d.      The tenure of a member of the Dispute Resolution Group will be for the duration of hearing and reporting to the national Executive on the findings in relation to the dispute.

e.       A member of the Dispute Resolution Group may only be removed from that position if that Member chooses to resign from the membership of the Party, or through a three-quarters majority of the National Executive.

f.       The Dispute Resolution Group will hear disputes after all feasible avenues of appeal to the President or resolution of the dispute has been exhausted.

g.       The Dispute Resolution Group will be responsible for hearing all disputes between members, where that dispute: is in relation to the Party; relates to compliance with, or interpretation of, this Constitution; or relates to any rights or obligations of members, subordinate organisation or organ of the party.

h.      The Dispute Resolution Committee must: comply with rules of procedural fairness; conduct its proceedings as expeditiously as is possible;  refer its determination in writing to the National Executive.; declare any real or apparent conflicts of interest its members may have in relation to the dispute prior to the dispute being heard.

i.        The National Executive must as expeditiously as possible implement the determinations of the Dispute Resolution Committee and published to members the result of such a determination and if an amendment is required to this constitution put a motion to the next Members Convention.

K.    Pre-selection of Candidates for Parliamentary Elections

1.      The National Executive will select candidates for election to Federal Parliament.

2.      All Members seeking to stand as candidates for election to Federal Parliament must personally nominate and seconded by another member.

3.      The National Executive may establish procedures for the selection of candidates such as a detailed and truthful statement as to their suitability for election and must publish these procedures to the Membership.

4.      As far as is practicable, candidates should be selected at least twelve (12) months before the normal time of the next election.

5.      All members wishing to run as candidates for the party must sign a declaration to the effect of:

a.       I hereby pledge to advance and adhere to the platform and ideals of the Australian People’s Party both during the election campaign and upon election to Parliament.

b.      I hereby acknowledge that my candidacy with the Australian People’s Party is an unpaid role unless otherwise negotiated with the National Executive

c.       I hereby understand that my Australian Electoral Commission nomination fee will be paid by me unless otherwise negotiated with the National Executive.

L.     Financial Structure

1.      All property and resources of the Party are to be used solely for the purposes of promoting and achieving the principles and goals stated within this constitution.

2.      All Members, upon request to the National Executive, may have access to the latest financial reports of the Party.

3.      All bank accounts of the Party will:

a.       be held separately from those of its members;

b.      require more than one signatory for the disbursement of funds; and

c.       include the wording Australian People’s Party in their title.

4.      All non-banking financial accounts (for example, PayPal) of the Party will:

a.       be held separately from those of its members;

b.      have multiple signatories/user accounts linked to the account, if possible;

c.       move all funds into the bank accounts as soon as feasible; and

d.      have all records published annually.

5.      All accounts of the Party will be audited annually and the auditor’s report published to the members at the Members Convention.

M.   Dissolving the Party

1.      The National Executive may dissolve by a vote of a two-thirds majority. Members must be given at least one months advance notice of this proposal to disband.

2.      Dissolution is effective within 30 days of the results of the National Executive vote being formally announced, or whatever date that voting outcome may specify.

3.      If, after the election to dissolve, all liabilities and debts have been satisfied, and remaining costs and fees with regards to the dissolution have been accounted for, there remains property belonging to the Party, that remainder shall be distributed to any organisation with similar goals and principles as set out in this constitution

N.     Waiver

1.      This Constitution, all constituent documents of the Party, all resolutions of the Members Convention and all resolutions of the National Executive relating to the structure and organisation of the Party shall not be enforceable in law.

2.      It is expressly intended that all disputes within the Party or between members will be resolved in accordance with the Constitution and not through recourse to legal processes.

3.      By joining the Party and remaining members, all members of the Party consent to be bound by this section.