Science Party AGM 2016 Minutes

Date: November 24, 2016

Meeting Opened at 6:43pm

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Video of the AGM
Treasurer's report

Leader's report

Note that both reports were accepted in their verbal form. 

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The Greens finally re-adopt Science Party's dank drugs policy

The Greens have finally reversed their blanket opposition to deciminalisation and legalisation of drugs. Decriminalisation of drugs has been a Science Party policy since 2013 when we formed. 

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Is your sugar tax policy based in evidence?

The Grattan Institute published a report yesterday that outlines the massive cost of obesity and suggest a soft-drink tax to combat it. The Greens have a policy that endorses the proposal, and it has been tried elsewhere in the world. But will it work?

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The firm that audited the NSW election also donated $123,528 to the Liberals

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) fashions itself as an independent auditor of choice, but with PWC donating $123,528 to the Liberal Party (‘Big four accounting firms political donations rise’, AFR), independence cannot be assured. This is particularly concerning, as PWC was responsible for the independent audit of the electronic voting system used in the 2015 NSW election.

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Submission to the Inquiry into the 2016 Census

Download this submission:
Submission to the Inquiry into the 2016 Census (PDF, 122 KB, 21 September 2016)

The Science Party cares about the right to privacy as well as good data collection. The 2016 Census threatened both of these ideals with the introduction of dataset matching, leaving respondents vulnerable to having their data re-identified. Download our submission to the Inquiry into the 2016 Census above and see all of our blog posts on the subject.


Submission to the 2016 National Research Infrastructure Roadmap Capability Issues Paper

Download this submission: 
Submission to the 2016 National Research Infrastructure Roadmap Capability Issues Paper (PDF, 333 KB, 9 September 2016)

The Science Party responded to the call for submissions to the 2016 National Research Infrastructure Roadmap Capability Issues Paper. The Roadmap is a periodical initiative of the Office of the Chief Scientist that aims to identify research infrastructure priorities.


Turnbull 'Angry' at ABS when he should be angry at himself

Cuts to the ABS, a failure to appoint a new head statistician in a timely manner and ministers playing musical chairs are partly to blame for the Census failure. 

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Census DDoS: if it is true, show us the statistics

OPINION

Update: the ABC this afternoon is reporting this timeline as the official sequence of events. More information, e.g. about the precise volume of hits, would be better but it is good to see more transparency around the census.

Last night, the online Census went down, and most people were unable to fill out their forms. The ABS claims that it was DDoSed. That means that it received lots of requests from computers all at once that took the service offline.

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Census 2016: why the privacy assurances from the ABS are not good enough

A concerned user of the online link aggregator Reddit recently highlighted some issues with the way the Australian Bureau of Statistics intends to link your personal data across other government databases. In addition, an article posted today by former Deputy Privacy Commissioner of NSW, Anna Johnston, outlines her reasons for boycotting the 2016 census. This led us to question some of the methods the ABS may be intending to use and how they might be of concern and in the public interest.

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Census 2016: Will collecting names result in bad data?

By Andrea Leong and James Jansson

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From 2016, the Australian Bureau of Statistics will retain all names and addresses collected in the census. The ABS quietly announced these plans in November 2015 and made the change after a 3-week consultation process. The fact that this change was made so quickly and so quietly is concerning in itself. The announcement has since spiralled into a public relations nightmare.

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