We live at a crucial time in history. Never before have we had so many answers to the problems that have dogged our developing world.
Solutions now exist that could greatly decrease the poverty, hunger and ill health of our fellow humans and we now have technologies to reduce and repair much of the ecological damage on our planet wrought by our industrial and agricultural activities. Clean air, clean water and ecological sustainability are possible. Yet this is not being done.
World-wide, governments lack the political will to make the necessary adjustments that will bring an end to the conflict, pollution, poor health and social inequity that characterise our time. The Greens have evolved in this climate to show a new way forward.
A Green response to the ecological crisis proceeds on the basis of a respect for all life, both human and non-human. We recognise the mutual interdependence between humanity and the rest of nature and we seek to move toward an ecologically sustainable path. We seek to eradicate poverty, oppression and discrimination and to build a society underpinned by values of participatory democracy, social justice, and the respect for cultural and ecological diversity. We aim to transform the political, social and economic structures that disempower and oppress people and to develop a rich, participatory cultural life that enables the flourishing of new democratic movements for progressive change.
We believe that contesting elections is a necessary step towards the building of an ecologically sustainable and socially just society, but that it is by no means the only step. We recognise and seek to facilitate grassroots movements and community initiatives that are working towards ecological responsibility, social justice, affirmative action on behalf of groups who are discriminated against, Aboriginal land rights, peace, and Third World development.
We seek to avoid parochialism and to cultivate a global, ecological consciousness and long-range perspective in order to safeguard the interests of both existing and future generations and non-human species. We believe Australia should play an active role in building a more co-operative and ecologically sustainable world that is capable of addressing the glaring disparities in energy and resource consumption and quality of life between the rich and poor. We aim to extend recognition and assistance to progressive social movements in Australia and other countries and to international institutions that are working towards these ends.
Reflecting an awareness of the interrelatedness of all ecological, social and economic processes, the general principles of The Greens are:
- To ensure that human activity respects the integrity of ecosystems and does not impair biodiversity and ecological resilience of life-supporting systems.
- To encourage the development of a consciousness that respects the value of all life.
- To increase opportunities for public participation in political, social and economic decision making.
- To break down inequalities of wealth and power which inhibit participatory democracy.
- To eradicate poverty by developing initiatives that address the causes as well as the symptoms of poverty.
- To provide affirmative action to eliminate discrimination based on gender, age, race, ethnicity, class, religion, disability, sexuality, or membership of a minority group.
- To introduce measures that redress the imbalance of wealth between rich and poor.
- To adopt and promote the nonviolent resolution of conflict.
- To develop an independent, nonaligned foreign policy.
- To develop a self-reliant, defensive, non-nuclear defence policy.
An ecologically sustainable economy
- To develop economic policies which will ensure greater resource and energy efficiency as well as development and use of environmentally sustainable technologies.
- To reduce dependence on non-renewable resources and ensure sustainable use of renewable resources.
- To adopt more comprehensive social, environmental and technology assessment practices.
- To facilitate socially and ecologically responsible investment.
- To encourage, develop and assist work that is safe, fairly paid, socially useful, personally fulfilling and not harmful to the environment.
- To encourage and facilitate more flexible work arrangements, on-going education.
- To respect and protect ethnic, religious, racial diversity.
- To recognise the cultural requirements of the original Australians.
- To assist in ensuring the achievements of Aboriginal land rights and self-determination.
- To facilitate a free flow of information between citizens and all tiers of government.
- To ensure that Australians have the benefit of a locally responsible, diverse, democratically controlled and independent mass media.
To promote equity between nations and peoples by:
- facilitating fair trading relationships;
- providing for increased development assistance and concerted international action to abolish Third World Debt;
- providing increased green technology transfer and skills to developing countries;
- opposing human rights abuses and political oppression;
- ensuring that Australia plays an active role in promoting peace and ecological sustainability.
Long-term future focus
- To avoid action which might risk long-term or irreversible damage to the environment.
- To safeguard the planet's ecological resources and values on behalf of future generations.