The controversial political vehicle for radical Sri Lankan-born pastor Danny Nalliah — who once claimed abortions caused Black Saturday — has developed a surprisingly professional and coherent party constitution.
The insurgent Rise Up Australia party’s full and updated 37-page founding document, obtained by Crikey, reveals a thoroughly professional outfit with all sorts of voting rules and quorum requirements reminiscent of far more established outfits like the ALP.
Rise Up is registered as a company, which is not massively unusual but raises some questions about the ownership of party assets (presumably they become property of the board members if the party ceases to exist). As a limited liability company, members must pledge $20 each if the party is wound up — with 500 members this could produce a $10,000 bounty.
Thankfully, fire and brimstone won’t be allowed to dictate party direction:
“A member shall not be entitled to vote if that member is of unsound mind or is a person whose estate is liable to be dealt with in any way under the laws relating to mental health.”
Its 17-strong “aims and principles” section begins with a commitment “to maintain and promote our Christian heritage, culture and institutions as the foundations of a free, socially cohesive and democratic Australia — Keep Australia Australian.”
Others express a desire to “keep the size of government to a minimum”, “to simplify and reduce taxation to allow the aspirations of hard working individuals” and, in echoes of Julia Gillard, to “restore and reinvigorate our national manufacturing base”. And:
“… to uphold the institution of marriage and the traditional family unit” and to “promote compassionate treatment and acceptance of genuine refugees, and to discourage the arrival of illegal immigrants.”
It ends with a pledge to “support the sovereign nation of Israel with Jerusalem as its undivided religious capital”.
There is no explicit mention of previous Nalliah jihads against Bob Brown’s homos-xuality or Gillard’s unmarried personal life.
The listed members of Rise Up Australia for the purposes of registration are mostly Nalliah’s church associates:
“Daniel Chelvendran Nalliah, John Excell Shanasy, John Gerard Crock, Chandi Kroone, Estelle Mary O’Brien, Dennis Arthur Cecil O’Brien, Lynette Ann Hannie, Alexander Cornell Stewart, Wendy Ann Crook [no relation], Gary Timothy Hannie, Hendrik Bayly Kroone, and Susan Margaret Shanasy.”
At last week’s Canberra launch shindig at a room in the National Press Club, featuring kind introductory words from climate denier Christopher Monckton, Nalliah said the following about multicultural society to cheering acolytes:
“I think God created Chinese fried rice, and I love pizza … but please do not come and tell me that Sharia law should be introduced in Australia. You go back to where you came from.”
Rise Up Australia spokesperson and company director Barry Fitzsimons told Crikey the reception since the launch has been “good”. “We’ve got a lot of media coverage and a lot of good responses from people,” he said.
He explained the corporate approach thusly: “Politicians often say one thing and do another thing … so, for example having this written down means we can’t say no to the carbon tax and then come out with a carbon tax or say no to abortions and then come out with abortions.”
Rise Up Australia will run a slate of 12 Senate candidates and 52 lower house candidates around Australia. Its registration was formally affirmed by the Australian Electoral Commission last May.