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Media Release: Independents for Canberra Announces Registration as a Political Party

A group of Canberrans supporting community independents to contest this year’s Territory election is today announcing the formal registration of ‘Independents for Canberra’ as a political party. The party’s registration has been confirmed by the Deputy Electoral Commissioner in a notice listed on the ACT Legislation Register.

Thomas Emerson is the party’s secretary and Clare Carnell is its registered officer.

Quotes attributable to Mr Emerson:

“We’re excited to level the playing field for independents, who have been disadvantaged by an electoral system that clearly favours the major parties.

“The registration of Independents for Canberra as a party will give community independents their own column on the ballot paper. History shows it’s almost impossible to get elected in the ACT’s Hare-Clark system without your own column.

“The purpose of the party is to provide a platform for genuine community candidates, whose sole focus is delivering better outcomes for Canberrans, to get elected in October.

“It’s time to reinvigorate ACT politics, bring fresh perspectives to the Assembly and start a community-led conversation about what we want for our city’s future.”

Dozens of locals have contacted Independents for Canberra to express an interest in running as candidates on a platform of better representation for their communities. Potential candidates are emerging in every electorate.

The group will undertake a candidate endorsement process over the coming months with endorsed candidates to be announced in the middle of the year. The focus of the process will be ensuring anyone running under the Independents for Canberra banner demonstrates a genuine, ongoing commitment to the group’s ten core principles:

  1. Every voice is heard: We will strive to ensure nobody gets ignored or left behind.

  2. No vested interests: We will base our decisions solely on the needs of our communities.

  3. Empowering locals: We will support local initiatives, businesses and community organisations.

  4. Accessibility: We will be active participants in community life, prioritising direct contact with the residents of our electorates.

  5. Hard work: We will fight for the ACT with unflagging energy and a focus on delivering results.

  6. Integrity: We will follow through on our commitments, be accountable to our community and admit to any mistakes.

  7. Long-term thinking: We will look beyond the election cycle, taking actions for a better present and future.

  8. Evidence-based policy: We will ground policy in evidence and update our positions when new evidence emerges.

  9. Collaboration: We will work constructively with each other and with other MLAs whenever possible.

  10. Independence: We will operate and vote as independents, remaining free to disagree.

The group is also running regular community meetings across the ACT to canvass the concerns, priorities and aspirations of people in each electorate. Members of the public are encouraged to attend and have their voices heard.

Download PDF here.

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