Your input matters

We're committed to grassroots politics. That's why we're inviting our members to get involved in our regular policy review process.

By Rod Swift and Catherine Garner, Australian Greens Policy Coordinators
Monday, May 1, 2017

One of the unique factors that sets the Greens apart from other parties is that our members determine our policies. If you’re not a member yet, that’s a pretty compelling reason to join.

Our policies have evolved through the years, although they’re always based on our four pillars: environmental justice, social justice, peace and nonviolence and grassroots democracy.

To ensure the policies stay up to date and that the greatest number of our members have the opportunity to comment and submit new ideas, we run a National Policy Platform review process every three years.

The review checks whether the principles behind each policy still hold and whether the specific aims are still the right ones given our current circumstances. Sometimes aims are removed because we’ve achieved them; sometimes they need to be reworded because we’ve lost something we previously had; sometimes a member sees a new way of doing something in another country and everybody agrees it would be amazing to work towards implementing it here too.

Make your voice count

We know our members and supporters have passionate opinions about the direction of our policies — 3000 of you participated in our strategic direction survey and workshops late last year and told us about your priorities.

The Greens face an evolving political landscape in the leadup to the next Federal Election. We see the rise of the populist right promoting racism and division, we see the Liberal Party and Labor Party in lockstep on letting corporations like Adani run amok across our precious natural heritage like the Great Barrier Reef, and we see devastating cuts to vital services that the poorest among us rely on to survive.

Instead of commenting on yet another Facebook post about how you’d like to see things change in our society, why not contribute directly and input into this vital part of our grassroots party processes?

When, where, how?

The review commenced this month with the all-important member input phase to the process: at this time, we are seeking ideas for how our policy platform should address the emerging environmental, social and economic issues facing Australia.

The national review process aims for two-thirds of our 43 policies to be reviewed before the November 2017 National Conference, while the remaining third are set to be reviewed before May 2018.

The input phase for the first tranche of policies being reviewed runs through until early June 2017, while the second tranche runs until early August 2017.

After this, the Australian Greens Policy Coordinating Committee (AGPCC) have the painstaking task of sorting through all the submissions, identifying overlaps and clashes and working towards consensus positions on proposed changes with States and other stakeholders. Luckily, we’re all policy wonks who revel in this sort of thing!

Following this, the proposed changes are brought to National Conference, where there are workshops and discussions on issues that have not yet been agreed, and finally the amended policies are put to Plenary to be adopted formally as Australian Greens policies. At all points, members are welcome to come and observe the process — it’s a fundamental part of our commitment to participatory democracy.

More information

The AGPCC is also rolling out a series of information seminars and providing supporting materials and forms to states and territories to help individuals, branches and working groups provide input to the process.

The first of these seminars have been held in Adelaide, Brisbane and Perth, and will be coming to other locations soon.

To find out more on how to make a submission and the deadlines, contact your state or territory's appropriate policy body and/or delegates to the AGPCC, or email policy@greens.org.au.