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Paul Keyworth, Senate candidate for Online Direct Democracy Party

Online Direct Democracy Party puts legislative proposals in the hands of its’ members. Ergo, it is up to them to suggest which legislation they desire their representatives to support or block.

However, having worked in the Community sector for the past 16 years, my personal values have been shaped by the most disadvantaged and disenfranchised individuals in our society. Here is what I propose to redress the immoral and unethical stripping of funds from the Legal Aid services:

  1. An Independent panel of 4 be established Federally, containing 1 eminent jurist, 1 Indigenous/ATSI legal academic, 1 lay person with extensive Community experience and 1 practising lawyer from the Legal Aid sector on a 12 month rotational basis.
  2. That a levy be placed on ALL Legal firms who are commissioned to do Government funded work of 5% of their total fee, to be put back into the Legal Aid sector via a controlled trust overseen by the above Independent panel/commission. A levy of 2.5% to be placed on ALL Legal firms whose annual earnings are more than $1.5 m. to be placed in the above trust and operate similarly to the Medicare levy.
  3. Each State to be allocated a sum of $1m+ p.a. (dependent on the amount available in the trust account) for construction of ‘Safe Havens’ for those fleeing violence in the homes. Management costs will also be drawn from the account.
  4. A sum of 30% of Trust monies to be allocated specifically to ATSI clients legal representation on an annual basis.
  5. Monies to be allocated towards a “Transition to Freedom’ program which provides intensive support to those exiting the corrections system, to secure housing, employment and counselling as required as a ‘wrap around’ and holistic program, not bits and pieces and left to the mercy of the inadequate Centrelink regime.

I hope that this has gone some way to addressing what I, as a candidate for the Senate, would push for in terms of social justice.