The Australian Greens believe that:
- The contribution of a diverse range of groups and perspectives to the political process is inherently valuable.
- Active, engaged citizenship should be encouraged to assist ongoing community participation in the making of laws and policy.
- Marginalised groups must be enabled and encouraged to participate in law-making and policy debates.
- Community participation requires citizens and groups to be fully informed on how to participate, with transparent and fair mechanisms utilised to translate community views into changes in policy and law.
- Community participation in planning should be enshrined in law and be an ongoing process.
- Community groups and individuals must be provided with sufficient information in plain language to enable meaningful participation in all levels of government.
- Non-government organisations provide a vital democratic role as advocates and as providers of services.
- People have a right to peaceful assembly, non-violent protest, freedom of association, and freedom of expression.
The Australian Greens want:
- Community organisations to be able to participate in public debate without fear of adverse consequences.
- Marginalised groups to be provided with support and resources enabling them to participate in consultation and deliberation processes.
- To enable comprehensive participation by community groups in consultation and deliberative processes. Government should provide such groups adequate time and financial assistance where required.
- Consultation and deliberation processes to be open to independent review to evaluate their effectiveness and recommend improvement to such processes.
- Governments to provide free and timely information to citizens.
- Strong Freedom of Information (FOI) laws that exempt community groups and individuals from fees for material gained under FOI.
- A well-resourced, independent statutory agency to oversee freedom of information requests and appeals.
- Strong whistle-blower protection legislation.
- Stronger parliamentary and public scrutiny of government funded programs to enhance transparency and accountability
- Support for participatory deliberative methods or processes, where appropriate, that increase levels of interaction between decision makers and the public.