Daylight Saving – let’s ‘Move South East Queensland Forward’…by an hour!
With the Federal election campaign now in full swing, we have received a few enquiries in relation to our Party’s intentions during the campaign. In short, the Daylight Saving for South East Queensland Party will not be formally contesting this Federal election.
The Party Executive continually discuss strategies, a number of which have been put into practice achieving some degree of success – like having Daylight Saving returned onto the Queensland political agenda. However, we have not pursued all of these tactics – such as the idea to run a candidate for the senate in the Federal election.
Not long after the March 2009 state election, the possibility of running for a Federal Senate seat in Queensland was discussed – at length. While this idea has some merit, testing the Daylight Saving issue at a Federal level brings with it a lot more complexities.
Firstly, during a Federal campaign, localised issues that are not funded or administered by the Commonwealth Government, do not gain much attention, if any at all, and if they do they are usually short-lived.
Secondly, the Party is currently registered as a Queensland state political party with the Electoral Commission of Queensland (ECQ). In order to run at a Federal level, it is a requirement to formally register with the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC), which has a separate registration process to that of the ECQ. Having undertaken a similar course of action to establish the existing Party, we understand how much time and effort is required to register at a Federal level.
However, the main reason we chose not to pursue this avenue, is because the responsibility for setting time zones lies with the states. Commonwealth power over weights and measures is documented in the Constitution, however it extends only to the measurement of time, and is not clear on whether the Federal Government has the power to legislate time zones. In other words, to determine whether the Commonwealth could have the power to administer time zones, it may be necessary to test Constitutional Law in the High Court of Australia. To do this, would require the services of an expert in Constitutional Law (it is more than just “the vibe of the thing”…).
While campaigning at the Federal level might have the potential upside of increased exposure for the Daylight Saving issue, given the uncertainty of Commonwealth jurisdiction, we felt our resources could be utilised more effectively, solely within the state. For example, the Party’s direct lobbying of Queensland state MPs, including Peter Wellington (who tabled the Daylight Saving Bill in Queensland Parliament).
It is worth noting that there have been a couple of previous attempts at changing Commonwealth legislation, relating to time zones. The first was in 1991/92, by the then Federal Government, however this was withdrawn after the February 1992 Queensland Referendum on Daylight Saving was unsuccessful.
Another to have taken up the challenge to push for Federal legislation to be introduced, was Ipswich City Councillor Paul Tully. Cr Tully drafted the Standard Time Bill 2005 which would allow the Commonwealth to become responsible for setting time zones and Daylight Saving times for all of Australia. Unfortunately, it does not appear to have been progressed by the Federal Government.
However, one thing is certain, the Daylight Saving for South East Queensland Party continues to ‘move forward’ on the issue of Daylight Saving – tackling it at a state level.
‘Moving Forward’ to Daylight Saving for South East Queensland? – “It’s About Time!”