Constitutional Reform and Democracy

Parliament should serve the best interest of all Australians, not just those who can afford to buy influence.


The Australian Greens believe that:

  1. All citizens have the right and the responsibility to participate in and to equally access the processes of government.
  2. An egalitarian democracy requires that all people are treated equally.
  3. The Constitution must recognise the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as Australia's first peoples and their rights as owners, and their enduring connections between lands, water and culture of Australia, and acknowledge the past injustices that have been done since European occupation.
  4. The Constitution should express our aspirations as a community and define our rights and responsibilities as individuals and as members of the community.
  5. Parliament is the central authority of representative and responsible government.
  6. The composition of Parliament should reflect the diversity of opinion within society.
  7. Government decisions should, where appropriate, be made by the level of government that is closest to the people affected.
  8. Australia's legislatures should be more democratic and representative of the Australian population.


The Australian Greens want:

  1. Our rights and responsibilities to be set out in, and protected by, law.
  2. The establishment of an Australian Bill of Rights, embodying international human, civil and political rights.
  3. Constitutional recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the original residents and ongoing custodians of Australia, and their rights as the Traditional Owners of the land.
  4. Constitutional recognition of Australia’s multicultural diversity.
  5. Constitutional recognition of the powers and responsibilities of local government and its entitlement to adequate sources of revenue.
  6. A strong Senate that can always act as a house of review.
  7. That each state and territory to have at least one proportionately-elected parliamentary chamber.
  8. Increased independence of the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President of the Senate.
  9. Electoral reforms that would enable:
    1. all Australian citizens over the age of 16, including those who are incarcerated, to be eligible to vote;
    2. proportional representation in the House of Representatives and local government;
    3. fixed terms of Parliament;
    4. amendment of section 44 of the Constitution to allow any public servant, and Australian citizens with dual nationality, to stand for election to Federal Parliament;
    5. electoral funding reform that provides for:
      1. public funding of political parties and candidates for election campaigns and for the administration of political parties, to be set at a level that ensures proper democratic participation by voters and reduces corporate influence on political decisions;
      2. bans on political donations from for-profit corporations;
      3. caps on individual political donations (excluding bequests) and donations from not-for-profit organisations;
      4. caps on electoral expenditure by parties and candidates and strict limits on third party expenditure; and
      5. continuous, comprehensive public disclosure of political donations and funding on a public website.
    6. optional preferential voting in the Senate, and opposes the reintroduction of group voting tickets;
    7. the removal of any requirement for voters to produce proof of identity when voting;
    8. strong uniform national political donations laws; and
    9. the simplification of electoral enrolment, including the use of online and automatic means, and same-day enrolment at a polling place.
  10. For a period of at least two years following their term, Ministers and their senior staff not to be engaged in a private enterprise which raises a conflict or particular benefit from their role and connections developed as a Minister or senior member of staff.
  11. A reduction in the deposit required to stand for election to Parliament to remove financial barriers to democratic participation.
  12. Australia to be declared a republic with an Australian citizen as head of state.
  13. Australia, and state and territories, to have flags that reflect an independent Australia.