I’m standing because families need to come first, not last. The family unit is the underlying building block of society, nurturing and developing the next generation. International human rights declarations and the Constitutions of hundreds of nations across the globe recognise the family’s need for protection by society and the State. We need policies that support marriage and hold families together, strengthen the capacity of families to care for their children and contribute to their communities.
Family First’s policies include:
Supporting and promoting important initiatives that enable families to become both socially and economically self-reliant. (e.g., home ownership, lifelong learning, vocational training, employment and health).
Encouraging the development of family support programs that seek to assist vulnerable families in their caring responsibilities, and promote saving relationships wherever safe and possible.
Affirming and supporting mums and dads who work in the home. It is often a difficult decision for parents not to re-enter the workforce when their children are young, and often a costly one at that. Family First recognises the significant contribution home working parents make to family and community life, and they should not be treated less favourably than those in the workforce.
Family First considers that parents who choose to work in the home while raising children should not be treated any less favourably than those who choose to be in the workforce. Thus, Family First will always support and promote legislation that protects such choices.
It is important that families can access affordable health care. Family First supports Medicare and, wherever possible, affordable access to private health insurance.
Family gas, electricity and water bills must be affordable. Competition is needed in deregulated utility markets to ensure that prices remain as low as possible, with reliability of supply. Forms of reducing utility dependence, such as photovoltaic (PV) solar panels, home wind turbines or rainwater tanks should be sought at the householder’s own cost and only if the householder so chooses. Subsidies for these utility dependence reduction strategies must not be compulsory and must never be borne by low-income earners who can not afford the capital cost.
Sport and recreation are important facets of family life. Physical exercise encourages good personal health and is a long-term investment in reducing a significant health budget. Amateur, community-based sport funding and infrastructure deserves due consideration when too often funding is directed at professional sport. Families should also be able to enjoy outdoor recreational pursuits such as fishing, hunting or shooting without interference from Government or the imposition of levies for access or participation.
Families should not have to put up with public billboard and news-stand advertising that is not G-rated. Unlike television – which can be switched off or the channel changed – when driving to school, waiting in the supermarket queue et cetera a family can not avoid the awkward, if not offensive, confrontation of advertisements that are sexual, graphic or violent in nature. Advertising standards for public displays must be upheld at a G-rated level to help our children be children.
Pornography demeans women and has a negative effect on family relationships. Family First believes that the current State ban on X-rated pornography should be extended to the ACT and NT. When video stores were common, in South Australia Family First succeeded in ensuring that violent or pornographic R rated videos were not put in parts of the store where they could be seen by children.
Family First stands against domestic violence and child abuse. Family First promotes love, honour and respect within families. Where domestic violence or child abuse occurs, the victims must be able to escape to safety and the perpetrators must be brought to swift justice.
Gambling addiction brings incredible harm to family life. Governments make significant revenue from gambling, particularly poker machines. The first spending of gambling revenue must be in providing support programs to enable families and individuals to seek help with their gambling addiction.
Similarly, alcohol, tobacco and other drugs addiction are destructive to both individuals and their families. Alcohol-fuelled violence and binge-drinking are a major national problem. Family First believes alcohol advertising should be banned such that equivalent restrictions to bans on tobacco promotion occur:
bans on alcohol promotion via television, radio, print, billboard, internet or other advertising; and
bans on alcohol promotion via sporting apparel, team, stadium or league sponsorship.
Plain packaging restrictions would not apply and liquor outlets would otherwise continue to trade in accordance with state, federal and local laws.
Family First supports free speech, freedom of religion, freedom of association, freedom of movement and a free press. Family First does not support laws that would diminish these freedoms by making it illegal to offend or insult someone. Public debate is best served by robust and open debate without curtailment of free speech. People of religious belief also have the right to have those freedoms respected, and the right to conscientiously object on the basis of their religious beliefs. We reject political correctness and the nanny state.
Caring for Carers
Family members who care for their sick or disabled family members or friends (eg children, parents, partners) are the essence of what it means to be a caring community.
Regrettably, despite the importance of carers in enabling those they care for to lead their lives with dignity and the enormous cost savings they make for the community through their efforts, they receive very little support and are often left to do the best they can in difficult circumstances.
Family First is absolutely committed to the support of programs and initiatives that affirm the role of carers and assist them, both economically and emotionally, to fulfil their caring roles.
At Family First we see the primary caring role of family and friends as the normal and appropriate response of a caring community. We believe that the role of government is to support carers in their caring responsibilities and to provide services that meet the needs of the sick, vulnerable and disabled when those needs are beyond the capacity of family members.
Family First South Australian Senator Bob Day says:
“As I travel across the state, I see how things are getting tougher for people. They are feeling the pressure in the two main areas – the cost of living and the cost of doing business. So while the major parties are out there making promises, breaking promises and attacking each other instead of the nation’s problems, Family First is focussing on the needs of families, farmers, business owners, retirees, people on pensions and young people who are trying to get a start in life. And it is women who are running the small businesses, running the family farms and managing the household budgets. They want to see their children have the same opportunities they had and that is to leave school or university, get a job, buy a car, travel, save up to buy a house, get married, start a family and live a healthy life.”
Articles of Interest
The Destruction of the Family
[Simon P. Kennedy, Quadrant magazine.]
The Family and the Modern Welfare State
[Dr Alan Tapper, reproduced with permission. Note: the Charts mentioned in the text appear at the end of the PDF]
Moscow Summit Demands Governments Adopt Pro-Family Policy
[Don Feder, The World Congress of Families]
Common sense, not research, nurtures our kids
[Frank Furedi, The Australian]
Drug Free Australia – Position Statement
[Drug Free Australia, reproduced with permission.]