"WE NEED TO BE EVER VIGILANT REGARDING OUR SECURITY AND EVER CARING FOR THE VULNERABLE."
– ROD MCGARVIE, FEDERAL SENATE CANDIDATE FOR QUEENSLAND
For all the hardships of our early years and the conflicts that marked our early history, Australians rose to the occasion and formed a nation. We established an open, democratic and inclusive society in which all people are equal before the law.
Australia did not become this way by accident. We owe much of the stability and security we experience today to the systems of governance and law we inherited from the British, and the Christian heritage that was our moral compass.
Strong public institutions, a free press and the absence of corruption has provided Australians with a much greater sense of confidence and security in their lives than most others in the world experience.
- Family First believes that Australia, by virtue of its political stability, resources and influence is uniquely placed to contribute to peace and stability and to foster the development of many of the world’s poorest nations. For this reason Family First seeks to ensure that Australia sets a strong and ethical example to its neighbours and fellow members of the global family of nations by remaining corruption-free, transparent, with accountable policy-making and free & democratic elections.
- Family First supports the policy of assisting the Asia-Pacific rim in quelling civil strife and rendering humanitarian assistance.
- Family First believes that Australia, as the largest economy in the region with a size around that of Indonesia, Thailand, Papua New Guinea and Malaysia combined, is ideally placed to focus on the needs of the poorer nations in our region.
- Family First believes that free trade, open markets, deregulation, federalism, minimalist government and encouraging private innovation & entrepreneurship are the key levers to promote global peace, prosperity and security, and to diminish global and internal country resource, military & cultural conflict.
Terrorism is a direct threat to free society and must be resisted. While the relative size of the Australian Defence Force limits our capacity to make deployments on the scale our major allies have made in the Middle East, it is important that Australia makes commitments in these areas to the extent that our capacity allows.
- Family First supports the deployment of Australian defence forces in the Middle East.
- Family First supports counter-terrorism measures within Australia designed to protect the Australian public against acts of terror at home or abroad;
- Family First supports the right of the executive to determine whether or not Australia will go to war. We do not support requiring Parliament to approve whether Australia goes to war or not. The confidentiality of matters relating to such decisions can not be entrusted to a modern Parliament where partisan politics and self-promotion are too prevalent.
- Family First supports world-best support for returned service veterans. It is unconscionable not to provide for the future income and health support needs of those who Australia has asked to fight on behalf of the nation, and they have returned with physical or mental injuries – or both – that impair their ability to provide for their families.
Approximately half the 4,000 Australian troops currently deployed overseas are serving in our own region.
- Family First supports Australia’s involvement in peacemaking and peacekeeping activities in our region believing they are an important aspect of our involvement with emerging democracies helping them come to terms with the challenges of self government.
- Family First believes that the foundation of any nation rests on its capacity to effectively self- govern. If civil order cannot be guaranteed there can be no progress in commerce, infrastructure, health or education. If corruption flourishes, there is no hope of significant economic development and citizens will continue to live in poverty.
Community Aid Abroad
Many Australians participate in Community Aid Abroad teams by using their skills, experience and knowledge in assignments with Australian Volunteers and other development non-government organisations (NGO’s). Australians are good at building schools, clinics, farming and water initiatives.
- Family First believes support for teams of young Australians endeavouring to pursue ‘adventure with purpose’ should be encouraged.
Tens of thousands die each day from poverty related illness and despite summits, conferences, strategies and the commitment of vast sums of aid money little has changed for the world’s most impoverished people. And while aid and relief payments from donor countries are, and will remain, important mechanisms for funding health, education, housing and development initiatives they will not, by themselves, lead to the fundamental social and economic changes necessary to lift people out of poverty.
- Family First believes that the primary focus for Australia must be on the sustainable relief of poverty best achieved through tariff reductions, free trade agreements and stable institutions.
- Family First believes Australia should set a target of committing1% of its Gross National Income (GNI) to foreign aid.. This is almost four times our current commitment, which plummeted to 0.27% in 2014.
- Where foreign aid is provided, wherever possible Family First prefers that it is provided to non-government organisations providing relief work on the ground, rather than foreign governments.
Family First supports strong border protection. The 21st century global migration challenge is a significant one, and treaties fail to address the modern challenges. Family First supported an end to exploitation by people smugglers, an enterprise condemning asylum seekers to death by drowning at sea. Australia must support andinvest in a safer migration system that ensures, in particular, that two types of migrant are accepted into Australia in increasing number:
- Economic migrants who can provide the skills Australia needs to meet its future challenges; and
- Persecuted people who, beyond reasonable doubt, face death or serious harm if they return to their home countries, but who are also people who will integrate into Australian society and respect & support Australia’s Christian heritage and values.
Family First has supported and will continue to show support for calls to reasonably increase the annual refugee intake, subject to the two types above.