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Canning on a knife's edge

The Canning by-election in WA is our chance to send a powerful message: Australians are sick of a government that puts the vested interests of big business and polluters at the expense of the sick and the vulnerable, our kids and our futures, our Reef and a clean energy economy.

Will you pledge now to send the Coalition Government a message and put the Liberal Party last at the ballot box on 19 September?
This won't be the first time that GetUp members used their electoral power to send a strong message about the issues we care about. In the Queensland state election earlier this year, GetUp asked people to vote for the Reef and, in doing so, helped secure a change in government.

Polling shows the Coalition Government's attacks on clean energy and cuts to schools and hospitals are serious vote-shifters in Canning. That's why thousands of GetUp members are piling in to help make the Canning by-election a day of reckoning for the government's conservative right-wing agenda. Will you join them?

By-elections can send a message to the government of the day – this is certainly the case in the electorate of Canning. With the federal election just around the corner, we have a unique opportunity to demonstrate that the Coalition Government's radically conservative agenda is out of step with mainstream Australia. Furthermore, if they don't retreat, they will face a loss of government at the 2016 election.

The Coalition Government's current position in the polls, disastrous political run, and the massive swing in the seat of Canning, have magnified the power of the Canning by-election. The former Prime Minister Tony Abbott himself has said that Canning will be the 'real' test for how people feel about his government. That's why this by-election is our chance to send a strong message on the issues we care about.
While the rest of the world is making a rapid transition to a clean energy economy, the Coalition Government's loyalty to big mining corporations is keeping Australia back.

Since the 2013 election, the Coalition Government has:
  • abolished a carbon price
  • abolished the Climate Commission, set up in 2011 to communicate "reliable and authoritative information" about climate change in Australia
  • forced thousands of experts out of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)
  • pushed for the abolishment of the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, and stopped its investments in wind and small-scale solar projects
  • slashed the Renewable Energy Target, even though it passed Parliament in 2009 with bipartisan support
  • tried to remove laws that allow concerned citizens to challenge environmentally damaging projects in court
  • proposed one of the weakest pollution reduction targets in the OECD for the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference
  • supported dredging the Great Barrier Reef at Abbot Point, and the development of Australia's biggest coal mine in the Galilee Basin (scientists, economists and the community do not)
  • tried to open up 74,000 hectares of Tasmania's World Heritage-listed old growth forest for logging
  • cut funds to the Environmental Defenders Office, a national network of environmental lawyers who help people to use the law to protect the environment
  • approved construction of the Shenhua mine in the Liverpool Plains, Australia's most fertile agricultural land, and home to hundreds of koalas
Australia's egalitarian society has been built on a world-class social safety net and well-funded public services, which provides opportunity and support from birth to old age. The Coalition Government has attempted to dim the future for many with some of the biggest cuts to essential community services in a generation, from assaults on our universal health system to a cynical campaign waged against young people.

Since the 2013 election, the Coalition Government has:
  • cut a massive $80 billion over ten years from our public schools and hospitals
  • attempted to impose a US-style user-pays model for Medicare, with a $7 copayment on visits to your local GP
  • pushed for university fee deregulation, which could see skyrocketing fee prices and $100,000 degrees
  • slashed $534 million over four years to Indigenous programs
  • called for raising the pension eligibility age to 70 and reducing increases to the pension payment
  • pushed for removing Family Tax Benefit B payments to families when the youngest child turns 6
  • tried to deny Newstart to jobseekers under the age of 30 for 6 months, now pushing to deny for 4 weeks
  • dumped their promise to increase paid parental leave, and instead plans to cut paid parental leave to 80,000 families a year
  • cut $235 million over four years from the National Rental Affordability scheme
  • refused to fully fund the recommendations of the Gonski review, which would help improve inequity in our education system
When the Coalition was elected in 2013, Australia was already facing major human rights issues that we needed to do better on. Tragically, the Coalition Government has taken Australia down an even darker path in the pursuit of political expediency, reaching unfathomable lows in our nation's treatment of people fleeing persecution, and falling behind countries as diverse as the US, Ireland, South Africa and Argentina by refusing to allow a free vote on marriage equality.

Since the 2013 election, the Coalition Government has:
  • reintroduced Temporary Protection Visas (TPVs), known to cause psychological distress to refugees
  • removed Australia's obligations to refugees under the United Nations Refugee Convention from domestic law
  • blocked a free vote on marriage equality
  • detained 157 people seeking asylum, including children, on the high seas for almost a month
  • seen two deaths in offshore detention under their watch
  • attempted to weaken racial vilification laws
  • cut $140,000 from the Refugee Council of Australia
  • cut Australia's foreign aid budget to a record low
  • told the Australian Human Rights Commission they "should be ashamed of themselves" for exposing sexual abuse of children in detention centres
  • described Indigenous communities living in remote areas as a "lifestyle choice"
Australia's democratic system is the envy of the world: high levels of transparency, low levels of corruption, a strong culture of civil liberties and a robust independent media. But under the shroud of 'national security', the Coalition Government has sought to divide people, hide basic information, silence dissent and avoid scrutiny.

Since the 2013 election, the Coalition Government has:
  • cut more than $300 million from our ABC and the SBS
  • introduced a mandatory data retention scheme, which will capture the data of innocent Australians and cost millions
  • passed laws that could see whistleblowers and journalists jailed for up to 10 years for exposing special intelligence operations
  • ended funding for bodies like the National Congress of Australia's First Peoples, the Alcohol and other Drugs Council, National Shelter, and the National People with Disabilities and Carer Council
  • abolished roles such as the Disability Discrimination Commissioner and the Independent National Security Legislation Monitor
  • cut $87 million over four years to the arts, and redirected $104 million from the independent Australia Council to a fund under his Ministry's direct control
  • agreed in a deal with a crossbench Senator to lift the ban on importing the Adler rapid-fire shotgun
  • considered sending Australians to join attacks on Syrian soil, with little justification of the legal or moral grounds for the action, or scrutiny of the decision making process

What's GetUp?

GetUp! is an independent movement to build a progressive Australia and bring participation back into our democracy. Our movement is made of more than 800,000 Australians seeking to build a more progressive Australia and hold politicians to account. Click here to find out more about the GetUp movement.


You can take a strong stand against the Coalition Government's radically conservative agenda by putting the Liberal Party last on your ballot paper on 19 September.

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