ASAP Oceania‘s first project is to conduct and disseminate a ‘poverty audit’ on the policy platforms of the three major political parties in Australia, as part of the build-up to the Australian federal election on September 14. In order to collect the data for this audit, we are seeking two kinds of input.
1. We are seeking input from academics in Australia and beyond concerning what their research shows about the poverty implications of the policies of the Labour Party, the Coalition, and the Greens. Policy areas might include (but are not limited to):
- Indigenous policy
- Welfare policy (parenting benefits, child benefits, unemployment benefits, disability benefits, old age pensions)
- Labour policy (unions, conditions, pay)
- Housing policy and homelessness
- Health policy
- Education policy
- Refugee/asylum policy
- International aid and development
- International trade (e.g. extractive industries, free trade agreements)
- Intellectual property law
- Environmental policy (e.g. forestry certification standards, environmental safeguards on international development projects)
- Climate change
- Illicit financial flows
- International labour standards
We are inviting you to send us a summary, of up to one page, of what you see as the implications for their impact on poverty of a policy position (in your area of expertise) of the three parties. It may be that they have no policy, or no stated policy and it would also be good to know this, as well as any indication from previous policies.
The deadline for these submissions is May 6.
2. We also wish to ask the three major 15 ‘litmus test’ questions that will provide us with indications of how their policies will impact poverty.
To this end, we are inviting you to send us one or two questions that you would like to ask each party to test how their policies will impact poverty.
Examples of such questions might be:
- Do you support Australia’s foreign aid being raised to the UN target of 0.7% of GDP by 2020?
- Do you have policy ideas for how to ensure that the production of goods imported into Australia meet fair labour and environmental standards?
The deadline for sending responses is May 1, so that we can send out the survey and get answers back in time.
In addition, it would be helpful if you could suggest to us any colleagues or people in your field who you think could be interested in being members of ASAP Oceania and/or contributing to this project. If you send us names, we can add them to our database if we have not already contacted them. You might also make personal contact with them (always better) but please do put us in touch with them also.
At the same time as collecting this data, we will be working on a dissemination plan. One key question here is who is our target audience? The executive thinks that it is both political parties (to put them on notice) and the general public (so that they can be alive to this dimension of policy promises).
We are thinking about an event one month before the election where we will ask a few prominent people to speak and attract some media attention. We will also use the ASAP Oceania website to get the findings on the web and we hope that our members will write op-eds and do other media. If you have good ideas for dissemination please do let us know.
If you would like to join ASAP Oceania or receive updates about our activities please contact Reyilai Maimaiti (email@example.com).