You can download a PDF copy of the full NSW Freedom Manifesto here.
Five C's for More Freedom
British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was correct when she said,
Capitalism is a system that brings wealth to the many, not just the few.
Since the Industrial Revolution capitalism has lifted billions out of poverty by encouraging individuals to maximise their potential. We make the case not only for the efficiency of capitalism, but also its inherent morality.
Free markets are the product of peaceful human action, cooperation and voluntary exchange. We reject big businesses teaming up with government to distort the free market as a form of cronyism rather than capitalism.
Coal & Nuclear Energy
We are sceptical of the global warming orthodoxy.
"Renewables" are more accurately termed "unreliables". That may well change with time, but until then we must reverse policies discouraging coal and gas based energy. We should not copy the mistakes of other governments who have self-harmed by going too hard, too fast, with unreliables.
NSW is coal-rich. We can drive energy prices down and recharge the private sector if we flick the coal industry switch back to 'ON'. The only hope for a thriving renewable energy industry is if these new innovations compete in a free market energy sector where the state does not intervene.
Legalising nuclear is also well overdue, especially in uranium-rich Australia. All the nuclear energy industry wants is for the government to get out of their way - they know their product can compete in a free market. Thriving coal, gas and nuclear industries will compete against each other, making all three more efficient, and driving down energy prices.
We do not want the most bizarre, inhumane and pointless example of government over-reach in NSW history swept under the carpet. The risk of any "amnesty" is that we fail to learn the lessons when the next state-sponsored fear campaign comes along.
Using police and military, our leaders locked us down for months. They said they’d kindly release us when 80% were vaccinated. That morphed into 90% and then 95%. Almost everyone got vaccinated and most still caught COVID.
For months NSW Health has shown that hospital admissions, ICU and death rates for the unvaccinated, are very similar (if not lower) than those who’ve had COVID shots. There is still no explanation, and no inquiry, into the 19% increase in “all cause mortality.”
The NSW Liberal Democrats support a Parliamentary Inquiry into everything to do with the COVID response, including the extent of vaccine injuries.
At some point we’ll need a more powerful Royal Commission, but currently the major parties would only appoint their mates and set terms of reference to skew findings to say our COVID response was brilliant. Once the COVID fog has lifted we support a Royal Commission chaired by a commissioner who early on called out the hysteria (such as Dr Gigi Foster).
Colour Blind Society
Governments should be race blind. Martin Luther King settled this when he taught us to judge others by their character and not their skin colour.
The proponents of 'positive racism' have good intentions but their strategy doesn’t work. Encouraging individuals to believe their destiny is determined by their ancestry is a curse.
- ‘Acknowledgement of Country’ and ‘Welcome to Country’ should cease on government property.
- We do not support race-based flags displayed on government property (including the Sydney Harbour Bridge).
- We oppose the 'Voice to Parliament' in any form, including the proposed referendum and any legislated equivalents in state parliament.
Cut Spending & Taxes
THE NSW GOVERNMENT IS ADDICTED TO DEBT
In 2011 this Liberal-National government inherited $7.9 bililon in debt. After twelve years the NSW government debt is up ten-fold to $78 billion! What's worse, it's set to balloon to $114 billion by 2026. No non-Labor government in NSW history has had a cabinet with less private sector experience than this one... and it shows.
Debt is just a promise of future taxation - stealing from our grandchildren to prop up wasteful current spending. The NSW budget is morbidly obese and we'd put a stop to it be ending pork barrelling, virtue-signalling grants and special favours. There are plenty of examples of politically-motivated wasteful spending, including:
- $800 million promised to build and renovate professional sporting stadiums in Sydney for multi-billion dollar sporting bodies. There is no reason big stadiums cannot be funded by the private sector organisations that benefit directly from them.
- $500 million promised to 'fix potholes' on roads (coincidentally often in marginal seats), while ratepayers' money in the councils in question was regularly spent on 'covid art' and 'rebranding'.
- $12 million granted to the 'Carla Zampatti Fund' to 'help female-led business startups'. We'd have a thriving private sector if politicians didn't get such a kick out of throwing around taxpayers' money on waste.
Reduce the Cost of Living
Abolish Stamp Duty
Trillions of dollars in NSW are tied up in property. We need this market to be liquid to ensure our property resources are used efficiently, but people are often stuck with property that is not ideal for them because if they sell and re-buy they face a punishing stamp duty fee.
The abolition of stamp duty will also make it easier for first home buyers to buy and start to build their wealth. This is a far better way to drive down the cost of housing than endless first home buyer schemes which distort the market.
Abolish Payroll Tax
NSW has been charging payroll tax since 1971. It is a powerful ‘jobs and growth’ retardant. When an entrepreneur has success in business they look to grow their staff, but once their payroll exceeds $1.2 million a year they get whacked by the NSW government with a 5.45% tax on their staff expenses. Nothing will boost the NSW economy faster than scrapping pay roll tax.
Return Taxation Powers to the States
If the states exclusively had income and company taxation powers, there would be competition between them to be better stewards of public money. Political parties would campaign on reducing tax.
When Liberal or Labor campaign in a state election they no longer mention cutting or raising taxes and spending. This is because state governments are welfare dependents on the federal government.
NSW’s 2022 Budget Papers confirm the state government received $103.7 billion in revenue. Where did that come from? Around 70% came from the federal government in grants (the rest comes from stamp duty, land tax, gambling and pay roll tax).
At the time of Federation, the states were largely independent but united by a federal government that managed defence, foreign affairs and other matters the states could not. Initially some state governments imposed an income tax but during WWI the federal government "temporarily" granted itself income tax power to help pay for the war. Postwar, the federal government retained income taxation powers.
During WWII the federal government also took over company tax but Milton Friedman (as usual) was correct:
Nothing is so permanent as a temporary government program.
The states have now capitulated and let Canberra raise all the income and company tax (plus now GST, capital gains and more). Its woefully inefficient.
Malcolm Fraser, Malcolm Turnbull and Dominic Perrottet were all at one point public advocates of this mother-of-all-reforms... but all three chickened out.
As members of the Legislative Council, the Liberal Democrats will advocate for income and company tax powers to be exclusively returned to the states.
Slash Red Tape
NSW is drowning in red and green tape. A report commissioned by the Institute of Public Affairs in 2017 found that red tape costs the Australian economy $175 billion per year - up to 11% of GDP - and New South Wales is not immune to this regulatory bloat. This is not just a matter of personal freedom, it's a drain on our small businesses, our productivity and our prosperity.
We advocate for the one in, two out approach successfully implemented by the Trump Administration in the United States in 2017. For every new regulation, two must be identified for elimination.
We also support drastically cutting 'green tape' (environmental regulations), including emissions targets, over-classification of property as "non-urban", unnecessary restrictions on private backburning, and regulations preventing the removal of trees or other vegetation on private property.
Fund Students, Not Bureaucrats
While education spending has skyrocketed over the past 50 years, there is little to show for it other than bloated institutions that fail to innovate and fail to serve their students’ needs, while pushing their own narrow agendas. True educational reform means taking power away from bureaucracies, and decentralising decision-making towards families and individual learners.
Any government funding should go to the student through an education ‘voucher’. If an educational institution is offering a valuable service, they have nothing to worry about, as people will use their education voucher there willingly. Some parents may choose a curriculum focused on ‘gender, climate change and First Nations’ while others may choose a more traditional approach.
There has also been a substantial increase in home education as parents are uniquely positioned to cater to the unique needs and strengths of their children. Many were forced out of the school system due to draconian mandates and never want to return. Parents should be able to start co-ops and micro-schools in their homes without being forced to comply with all the regulatory burdens placed on larger institutions.
Instead of protecting the interests of outdated departments and unions, we want to see a market process where entrepreneurs can innovate and see what works. We’d have smarter, happier kids and more satisfied parents – brought to you by the invisible hand of the free market.
We believe sport, hunting and self-defence are all legitimate reasons for firearm ownership.
Licensed, law-abiding shooters are not criminals-in-waiting or a potential public safety threat. They stand as vetted and approved law-abiding owners of firearms and they should not be punished for the historical, contemporary or imagined future actioned of criminals.