It is easy for people in Australia to be pessimistic about the prospects for liberty in Australia. Government taxes and spending are still out of control, our economy and living standards are declining thanks to mad climate change policies, free speech and civil liberties are constantly being eroded, our immigration program is business as usual and the far left is on the march throughout all of our national institutions.
This is not a trend the Australian people are pleased about, in multiple opinion polls they have expressed the view they want immigration better controlled and support strong maritime border protection. They want cheaper and reliable power, they want to find ways to keep our industries in Australia. They also take pride in our nation as expressed by their support for Australia Day and keeping our colonial statues.
But many Australians are scared to express such opinions openly, let alone be active lobbyists for such causes. This is thanks to the leftist media and cultural institutions that beat down anyone with a dissenting opinion. But the masses are awakening, at least in the online world where Australians don’t take kindly to various regressives promoting destructive ideas and values.
But how to turn that into action? One way to do this is through having like-minded people meet in person. This was the aim of the inaugural LibertyFest Conference in Brisbane on Saturday 14th October hosted by libertarian activist group LibertyWorks. Organising an event is no easy feat, having a stellar line up of speakers is difficult to arrange, getting the word out is crucial, convincing people to take the step from online activism to attending an event is more difficult than most would think.
But the organisers of LibertyFest pulled it off with a sell-out inaugural conference which. The big hitters of the cause of liberty were in attendance. The Outsiders Mark Latham and Ross Cameron as always did not disappoint, Mark relaunched his new book ‘Outsiders’ while Ross gave a more philosophical speech on Lessons for Today from Marcus Aurelius.
The energy crisis was addressed with contributions by environmental policy expert Dr Jennifer Marohasy who has just edited the Institute of Public Affairs’ ‘Climate Change: The Facts 2017’ which provides an updated expose of the real state of climate change. Also present was geologist Professor Ian Plimer also with a new book addressing the consequences of climate change policies ‘Climate change delusion and the great electricity rip off’.
The culture wars and the destructiveness of identity politics was explored with two of Australia’s most courageous indigenous activists Alice Springs Councillor Jacinta Price and academic Dr Anthony Dillion speaking on how we need to move on from the victimhood and white racism mentality and look objectively at indigenous policy solutions. Corrine Barraclough and Daisy Cousens spoke about their journey out of feminism and how destructive the movement has now become.
Restoring free speech was also another key focus of the conference. We heard from Calum Thwaites who was one of the QUT 18C students who were denied due process from the Australian Human Rights Commission and endured a lengthy and expensive legal battle to clear their names. We also heard from Tony Morris QC the barrister who won the case for the students and was the recipient of the inaugural Liberty Award.
The day wrapped up with a panel discussion on implementing libertarian ideas with policy experts Tim Andrews from the Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance, John Humphries from the Australian Libertarian Society, Graham Young from the Australian Institute for Progress and Daniel Mitchell from the Cato Institute.
Also speaking were two of Australia’s most outspoken politicians Senator David Leyonhjelm from the Liberal Democrats and Senator Malcolm Roberts from One Nation opening up to the attendees about the battles they have faced in the Senate and taking questions from an audience eager to learn more.
The conference was also a success for the Unshackled itself, it was pleasing to meet many of our fans and supporters in person as well as spread the word about us to new people. We caught up with many fellow alt-media figures such as Independent Man, James Fox Higgins from the Rational Rise and Dave Pellowe from Church and State.
Knowing that there are many likeminded people out there, broadening your political network and discussing idea for future activism is one of the great benefits of such conferences. Andrew Cooper President of LibertyWorks is eager to roll out the conference to other cities around Australia as well as make LibertyFest Brisbane even bigger and better next year. LibertyWorks has already brought may people on the right together in Queensland through their successful forums.
The public is now alert to the problems our nation is facing, and it is now beginning to migrate into political action. Our politicians, media and cultural elites will not be able to rely on the masses to be submissive much longer. LibertyFest’s success was an outstanding achievement and there will be many more to come.
Stay tuned for our video conference which includes an interview with Calum Thwaites and Tony Morris QC and catch-up chats with Andrew Cooper and Mark Latham.