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 should express our aspirations as a community and define our rights and responsibilities as individuals and as members of the community.

4. Parliament is the central authority of representative and responsible government.

5. The composition of Parliament should reflect the diversity of opinion within society.

6. Government decisions should, where appropriate, be made by the level of government that is closest to the people affected.

7. 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 Charter of Rights embodying international human rights including civil and political rights and economic, social and cultural rights.

3. Constitutional recognition of Australia’s multicultural diversity.

4. Constitutional recognition of the powers and responsibilities of local government and its entitlement to adequate sources of revenue.

5. A strong Senate that can always act as a house of review.

6. That each state and territory have at least one proportionately-elected parliamentary chamber.

7. Increased independence of the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President of the Senate.

8. Electoral reforms that would enable:

1. all Australian citizens over the age of 16 to be eligible to vote;

2. all people incarcerated, irrespective of sentence length, to be eligible to vote;

3. proportional representation in the House of Representatives and local government;

4. fixed three-year terms for the federal House of Representatives;

5. 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;

6. 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.

7. optional preferential voting in the Senate, and opposes the reintroduction of group voting tickets;

8. the removal of any requirement for voters to produce proof of identity when voting;

9. strong uniform national political donations laws;

10. the simplification of electoral enrollment, including the use of online and automatic means, and same-day enrollment at a polling place; and

11. all counting software used in Federal elections to be open source where possible and prohibited from being commercial-in-confidence.

9. For a period of at least five years following their term, Ministers and their senior staff not to be engaged in lobbying for, or undertaking any position in, a for-profit enterprise which raises a conflict or particular benefit from their role and connections developed as a Minister or senior member of staff.

10. A reduction in the deposit required to stand for election to Parliament to remove financial barriers to democratic participation.

11. Australia to be declared a republic with an Australian citizen as head of state.

12. A national independent anti-corruption commission which is protected from partisan political influence.

13. Australians to be able to trigger a parliamentary debate on petitions which receive a fixed number of signatures.

14. Australia, and state and territories, to have flags that reflect an independent Australia.

15. The salaries and allowances, including provision of offices and staffing allowances, to be determined by an independent tribunal and never to be determined by the Parliament or the Government of the day.

16. The use of participatory and deliberative democracy mechanisms to supplement parliamentary processes as a form of review and innovation.

17. To establish full legislative autonomy for a territory parliament to ensure that their democratic processes cannot be overruled by the Federal Parliament.

18. A referendum on the repeal of sections 44 and 45 of the Constitution.

19. To replace sections 44 and 45 of the Constitution with a single disqualification on the basis of proved and undischarged serious corruption or abuse of office.

20. To improve political representation of residents of Australia’s offshore territories, including Norfolk and Christmas Islands, and constitutional acknowledgement of their right to self-determination.

(Constitutional Reform and Democracy policy as amended by National Conference November 2020.)