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1.     NAME

1.1  The name of the organisation shall be Australian Conservatives.

1.2  All members and subordinate bodies of Australian Conservatives are bound by this Constitution.

1.3  No separate constitution may be adopted, unless required by law, by any subordinate body. If so, that constitution shall incorporate and be subject to this Constitution.

1.4  No member or part of Australian Conservatives may adopt any policy or procedure that is inconsistent with this Constitution, except as required by law.

2.     PRINCIPLES 

2.1  Australian Conservatives support the essential pillars of conservatism as a means of building a sustainable and prosperous economy, and maintaining civil society.

2.2  The following principles represent the values of Australian Conservatives:

Limited Government

A state that seeks to provide all things for its people will drain initiative from its citizens and undermine the legitimate authority of other social institutions. The rightful functions of government are to guarantee individual freedom, property rights, internal order, a strong national defence, and the administration of justice.

Australian Conservatives support the division of responsibilities between state and federal governments as prescribed in Australia’s constitution as the best means of preventing the concentration of power.

Personal Responsibility

Personal responsibility is central to the idea of a free society; each individual is morally responsible for, and should bear responsibility for their actions.

Australian Conservatives recognise that the most effective form of government is self-government which requires the development in each person of the virtues of prudence, justice, fortitude, temperance, faith, hope, and charity.

Free Enterprise

The allocation of resources through voluntary agreement between individuals and businesses is the most productive and efficient supplier of human needs and is the economic system most compatible with a free society.

In recognising that living generations are stewards of the riches, both natural and cultural, material and spiritual, Australian Conservatives acknowledge that the logic of market relations does not exhaust the common good.

Civil Society

The values, customs, conventions, and norms of the Judeo-Christian tradition are the foundation for western culture and provide the appropriate framework to inform and guide a free society. Without adherence to these enduring structures and an associated rejection of moral relativism, society induces its decay.

Central to this is recognition of the importance of the natural family as the best possible institution for the nurturing and development of future generations and its role as the foundation of society.

3.     OBJECTIVES 

3.1  The objectives of Australian Conservatives are to:

3.1.1      Promote the principles of Australian Conservatives, and

3.1.2      Support the election of endorsed candidates to Commonwealth, state and territory parliaments.

4.     ACTIVITIES 

4.1  In order to further its objectives, Australian Conservatives may:

4.1.1      Raise monies, invite and accept contributions from any legal person, within the bounds of the law

4.1.2      Publish any document it sees fit, in any format

4.1.3      Employ people to administer the day-to-day running of Australian Conservatives and to meet its legal obligations.

4.2  Income and assets of Australian Conservatives shall be used only to further the objectives of Australian Conservatives. No portion shall be distributed, directly or indirectly, to members of Australian Conservatives except as a bona fide compensation for services rendered or expenses incurred on behalf of Australian Conservatives.

4.3  In the event of the dissolution of Australian Conservatives, the amount that remains after the body is dissolved and all debts and liabilities are satisfied shall be transferred to another organisation with similar purposes to Australian Conservatives and which has rules that prohibit the distribution of its assets and income to its members.

5.     FEDERAL EXECUTIVE

5.1  The Federal Executive shall be responsible for the operations of Australian Conservatives.

5.2  The Federal Executive shall be comprised of at least two persons, one of whom shall be the Chairman.

5.3  The Federal Executive is the principal governing body of Australian Conservatives and has the authority to:

5.3.1      Promote the principles of Australian Conservatives

5.3.2      Select Australian Conservatives candidates to contest any election determined by the Federal Executive

5.3.3      Set membership fees

5.3.4      Operate a bank account

5.3.5      Form subordinate bodies or committees as required

5.3.6      Suspend or disband subordinate bodies, committees or any other means of organisation related to Australian Conservatives, as the Federal Executive deems necessary.

5.3.7      Perform all such acts that are necessary for the proper management and in the interests of Australian Conservatives

5.3.8      Exercise the powers of Australian Conservatives in pursuit of the principles and objectives of the organisation.

 

5.4  Inaugural Federal Executive

5.4.1      An inaugural Chairman will be chosen by a meeting of members.

5.4.2      Subsequent to the adoption of this Constitution, the Chairman may appoint other members to the Federal Executive. 

5.5  Terms and powers of the Federal Executive

5.5.1      Other than the Chairman, appointments of members of the Federal Executive shall run from the date of their appointment to the commencement of the subsequent Annual General Meeting, where they will be eligible to be reappointed.

5.5.2      At the Annual General Meeting that follows as soon as practicable after 1 July, the Chairman will appoint a new Federal Executive.

5.5.3      At the first meeting of this new Federal Executive, the office holder roles will be appointed, including the Chairman, Federal Director, Treasurer and Secretary.

5.6  A member of the Federal Executive may hold two or more positions. 

5.7  Responsibilities

5.7.1      The Chairman is the senior executive officer of Australian Conservatives, Chair of the Federal Executive and a member ex-officio of all committees.

5.7.2      The Federal Director is responsible for the administration and correspondence of Australian Conservatives, and for all duties that are required by legislation.

5.7.3      The Treasurer shall:

5.7.3.1  Have responsibility for administering the Australian Conservative’s finances

5.7.3.2  Ensure that all fees, donations and other monies collected by Australian Conservatives are paid into the bank account approved by the Federal Executive

5.7.3.3  Ensure that correct accounts are kept regarding the financial matters of Australian Conservatives

5.7.3.4  Ensure that all payments authorised by the Federal Executive are made

5.7.3.5  Ensure that completed accounts are presented to the Federal Executive at each Annual General Meeting

5.7.3.6  Provide to the Federal Executive at each meeting a statement of income and expenditure for the period before the date on which the meeting is held.

5.7.3.7  Ensure that Australian Conservatives complies with all financial obligations required by law

5.7.4      The Secretary is responsible for recording the minutes of Australian Conservative meetings.

6.     MEMBERSHIP 

6.1  Categories

6.1.1      The Federal Executive may establish any other categories of membership as it sees fit. 

6.2  Members

6.2.1      Membership is open to any individual who:

6.2.1.1  Is a natural person

6.2.1.2  Has paid the required membership fee

6.2.1.3  Supports the objectives of Australian Conservatives

6.2.1.4  Agrees to comply with this Constitution

6.2.1.5  Is not a member of a political party, unless approved by the Federal Executive

6.2.1.6  Has submitted a completed application form to the Federal Executive, providing their full name, residential address and any other details as set out by the Federal Executive

6.2.1.7  Has not been expressly excluded from membership

6.2.1.8  Has not been convicted of a disqualifying electoral offence or serious criminal offence in the 10 years prior to their application to become a member

6.2.2      Members are considered ‘in good standing’ if at any point in time:

6.2.2.1  They hold an up-to-date financial membership

6.2.2.2  They are not subject to any form of suspension by the Federal Executive

6.2.2.3  They are not subject to any form of restriction in regards to their membership of Australian Conservatives

6.2.3      Only members ‘in good standing’, as recognised by the Federal Executive, shall be eligible to:

6.2.3.1  Be considered for Australian Conservatives positions and candidature

6.2.3.2  Vote in relevant internal Australian Conservatives matters, as determined and required by the Federal Executive, provided that new members shall only be eligible to vote three months after the date of the approval of their membership application

6.2.4      The approval or rejection of a membership application is at the discretion of the Federal Executive.

6.2.5      The Federal Executive is not required, and cannot be compelled, to provide any reason for rejection.

6.2.6      The Chairman (or in the Chairman’s absence, their designated deputy) shall, without qualification, have the right, subject to the approval of the Federal Executive, to reject any person’s membership application. 

6.3  Friends of Australian Conservatives

6.3.1      Friends of Australian Conservatives shall include those individuals who have submitted their details to Australian Conservatives and have requested to receive communications from the organisation, but are not deemed to be members of Australian Conservatives. 

6.4  General

6.4.1      An individual ceases to be a member if that individual dies, resigns, is no longer deemed to be a member ‘in good standing’ or has their membership suspended or cancelled by the Federal Executive.

6.4.2      The Federal Executive may suspend or cancel the membership of any member if the Federal Executive deems it to be in the interests of Australian Conservatives. This decision is made at the sole discretion of the Federal Executive.

6.4.3      Members can resign by submitting a written notice to the Federal Executive.

6.4.4      The Federal Executive can cancel membership if, after becoming a member,  a person:

6.4.4.1  Joins any organisation which the Federal Executive deems to be incompatible with membership of Australian Conservatives

6.4.5      The Chairman may, in exceptional circumstances and with agreement of the Federal Executive, approve the membership of any person who may otherwise be prohibited from membership.

6.4.6      A membership does not lapse via failure to renew a membership fee until the expiration of 1 calendar month from the date upon which their membership was due to expire.

7.     MEETINGS

7.1  The Annual General Meeting of Australian Conservatives shall occur as soon as practicable after 1 July each year or as determined by the Federal Executive.

7.2  The Federal Executive may meet as often as it deems necessary; however, it must meet at least once each financial year.

7.3  Meetings may take place via teleconference or any other electronic method by which members can be heard, and which the body determines will not compromise its confidentiality.

7.4  Seven days’ notice must be given for Federal Executive meetings.

7.5  21 days’ notice must be given for Annual General Meetings.

7.6  Two members of the Federal Executive, one of who is the Chairman or the Federal Director, shall form a quorum for Federal Executive meetings.

7.7  A simple majority shall decide all matters before the Federal Executive, and the Chairman has a casting and deliberative vote.

8.     CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS

8.1  Written notice shall be given to the Federal Executive of any proposals to amend this Constitution.

8.2  A two-thirds vote of the Federal Executive, and the support of the Chairman, is required for any proposed amendment to be approved.

 

This Constitution was adopted at the first Australian Conservatives meeting, Tuesday 7 February 2017.