2016 Victorian Federal Election Campaign Launch Speech

Friday 27 May 2016

Delivered at our 2016 Victorian Federal Election Campaign Launch by Bruce Poon Victorian Lead Senate Candidate. You can learn more about Bruce here 

The Animal Justice Party represents the interests of non-human animals in Australia. We represent the interests of the chicken in the battery cage, the sow in a stall too cramped to allow it to turn around, the sheep and cows in the fields, the Kangaroos in the bush and the dog beside you on your couch. We represent both the rabbit torn to pieces as ‘live bait’ for greyhounds and the dogs themselves, bred, brutalised and killed by the racing industry.

We are one of a network of parties around the world that represent animals, many of which, including us, have now achieved representation for animals in parliament.

We are a diverse party with people in every state and territory, of all backgrounds, religions, ethnic backgrounds, economic leanings and lifestyles, but united in our belief that laws to prevent animal cruelty are possible now.

We are a party that believes that kindness and non-violence are core values. As is equality amongst individuals. No one should suffer oppression simply because of their race, or colour, or religion, or sexuality…. or species. And we believe together in rationality…to look at the evidence of what works as the core of forming policy.

We are a party that is growing every day. More and more people want to join, support, volunteer for or vote to stop animal cruelty.

For our constituents, the animals, this election has been a bit of a fizzer. The major parties do not seem to care. While they pitch their trickle down economics or improved school funding, they say very little about the problem of how animals are treated.

We are here to take their place with compassionate candidates that can continue the fight for animal rights all the way into the parliament.

As well as two candidates for the Senate, we are also running 27 candidates in the seats of:

Across all of Australia, we are running about 55 candidates, maybe more. Over 65% of our candidates are women.

We will be campaigning at this election on many fronts, but we have some key campaigns.

With enough votes, we hope to achieve:

An end to factory farming

A ban on live export

An end to the slaughter of native wildlife

The establishment of a genuinely Independent Office of Animal Welfare

A better life for ALL Australians.

On our chances of winning

At our first election, just 3 years ago, about 100,000 people voted for us. At each subsequent election, our support has doubled or tripled.

Overall, we can realistically hope to poll fourth highest number of votes, behind the Coalition, Labor and the Greens.

At this ‘Double Dissolution’ election, we feel that we are a good chance of winning Senators in a number of states.

We have an even better chance of turning seats from one party to another. At the last state election we helped turn Prahran from Liberal to Green. In this election, we could easily turn a handful of seats with our preferences.

And we hope that, looking for our support, we see some great commitments from major parties to reform animal law. In recent years, we have seen a commitment to changes in laws related to puppy mills, breed specific legislation in dogs, cruel cosmetics and the regulatory arrangements for animals generally. I hope we see more of that in the coming few weeks.