Passionate Volunteers in the Pursuit for Daylight Saving Democracy
When you look at the accomplishments of the Daylight Saving for South East Queensland Party (DS4SEQ), it’s hard to believe that it has all been achieved through the hard work of very passionate volunteers. And I would like to take this opportunity to once again thank each and every one of them.
From the first meeting convened in April 2008 to present, not one individual directly involved in the activities of the Party, has ever been paid for their valuable contributions of time or services. In addition to their time, the Executive Committee members have made large personal and financial sacrifices, without expectation of reimbursement or other compensation. All of the Party’s 2009 candidates, and a number of Party members and supporters, have also donated some of their time and money to help us continue the good fight.
DS4SEQ only exists because of the passion that exists within the Executive team, and amongst our members and supporters, who all truly believe in standing up for democracy on Daylight Saving. DS4SEQ are not affiliated with any other political party, or the Government, and are completely reliant upon donations and self-funding.
As noted in my April blog entry, the founding members realised that to try to instigate change on the issue of Daylight Saving, a political party was necessary to ensure genuine political pressure was directed at both the Queensland Government and State Opposition. The people of Queensland, specifically those in the South East, are continually denied a democratic process on this issue. DS4SEQ believe that the time has come for democracy on Daylight Saving to be realised.
Ultimately, DS4SEQ are aiming to achieve Daylight Saving for South East Queensland – however, this democratic goal has proven to be a considerable challenge, although it shouldn’t have to be. The journey of nearly two and a half years, has not been an easy one, particularly since all of us in the founding group started as political novices. We knew that to establish and run a political party, let alone contest an election, was going to prove a massive task. We were always going to have our work cut out for us because, for example, none of us had any experience in drafting media releases, delivering presentations to business and community groups, or conducting media interviews.
All of these hurdles never stopped us from progressing, and in fact, we have realised some remarkable achievements:
- September 2008 – the Executive developed a viable proposed dual time zone boundary, to form the basis of the Party’s policy
- October 2008 – the application to become a Queensland Political Party was submitted to the Electoral Commission of Queensland
- December 2008 – DS4SEQ was formally registered as a Queensland Political Party
- March 2009 – the Party contested its first state election and achieved a credible result; gaining 2.5% of the primary vote across 32 electorates
- April 2010 – Daylight Saving was placed back onto the formal political agenda in Queensland, after the tabling of the Daylight Saving for South East Queensland Referendum Bill into State Parliament by Independent MP, Peter Wellington (achieved by Executive Members directly approaching Mr Wellington in February 2010)
We were hopeful that our ultimate goal would also have been realised, particularly as Premier Anna Bligh’s initial response to Mr Wellington’s Bill was to undertake a public consultation process. This consultation was an opportunity for the people to once again demonstrate that the majority are in favour of Daylight Saving – and they did!
Almost two thirds of the respondents favoured both a trial and a referendum on dual time zones for Daylight Saving in South East Queensland.
Unfortunately, Premier Bligh (being the consummate politician) blithely ignored these consultation results, and refused to proceed with a trial or referendum. Nonetheless, we would hope that when the Bill is debated later this year, the Government will have reconsidered their position on a Daylight Saving trial in South East Queensland, followed by a referendum. We would also hope that the Opposition’s negative position will similarly change. To deny Mr Wellington’s Bill to pass in Parliament, will be tantamount to a failure of democracy. We implore our elected officials not to deny a rightful democratic decision on Daylight Saving, to be made for Queenslanders, by Queenslanders.
DS4SEQ has not given up, and we will continue directly lobbying both sides of politics to vote in favour of the Bill in Parliament, and allow a trial and a referendum on Daylight Saving in South East Queensland.
Should the Bill not pass, the Party will continue lobbying this cause and contest the next state election, with the aim of achieving a much greater result than our inaugural campaign – a result that cannot be ignored. We are therefore aiming to commence a candidate endorsement process shortly, ensuring the Party is well prepared to continue the fight for democracy on Daylight Saving during the next state election.
Whilst the last two and a half years have been a lot of hard work, it has also been an enjoyable learning experience and very rewarding for us all to look back at what we have achieved to date, particularly since we have done so, as volunteers.
Come help us to achieve the ultimate and rewarding goal of having Daylight Saving in South East Queensland! This is a great opportunity for anyone who wants to expand their community involvement; or for anyone who wants to develop a broad range of skills – from political strategy, to marketing and media; or if you are simply passionate about a pursuit for democracy in having Daylight Saving introduced into South East Queensland. If you would like to become directly involved, or you are interested in becoming a candidate, drop us a line at email@example.com. Financial donations are also welcome any time.
Volunteers achieving Democracy on Daylight Saving in South East Queensland? – “It’s About Time!”