About the NCC
NCC President Patrick J Byrne says that in the 21st Century, our first task is to present comprehensive post-Covid19 economic policies, based on the NCC’s five primacies.
These policies are to build industries that strategically strengthen Australia, reduce Australia’s reliance on China and provide well-paid jobs that rebuild the struggling middle class, nourish the family and make families independent of the welfare state.
Second, the NCC’s task is to expose and counter four key hostile ideologies in defence of human life and the family, inherent human rights and Australia as an independent, free nation:
- Libertarianism, in its cultural, economic and legal forms, that undermine the natural family;
- Chinese communism, the ideology behind Beijing’s aggressive extension of power into the Asia Pacific region, and beyond;
- Fluid gender ideology that is weaponising laws that attack the foundations of a tolerant democracy – freedom of speech, association and religion; and
- Radical environmentalism that goes beyond protecting the environment to undermining both the energy needs of the nation and the development of important industries.
The NCC’s job is to strengthen the economy to protect Australia’s sovereignty and to expose and defeat four hostile ideologies that undermine the Australian way of life.
Patrick J Byrne, NCC President
The NCC’s 5 Defining Principles
The NCC sees and analyses the world and formulates policy according to 5 universal principles:
- The natural family as the basic unit of society, as it is the most effective provider of welfare to children, the sick or disabled, and the aged, and creates the concentric rings of family relationships that tie a society together. We aim for a family wage that makes the family independent of the welfare state.
- Decentralisation of population, economic power (giving preference to the family farm and small/family business over larger corporations) and political power (federal government should not do what states can do, states should not do what local government can do). These policies give people the maximum control over their own lives, providing the best protection against authoritarian forces. (This is also known as the principle of Subsidiarity, the idea that governments are there to serve others and that a larger organisation should never do what a smaller organisation can do just as efficiently.)
- The integrity of the individual, including full legal protection of the right to life for all human beings from natural conception to natural death, and economic structures that ensure a just worker’s wage.
- Patriotism (as opposed to nationalism): An independent foreign policy based on the national interest, self-reliance in defence industries, support for economic and strategic alliances that further Australia’s national interest, policies that preserve Australia’s economic sovereignty and that ensure Australia is a property owning, tolerant democracy.
- Judeo-Christian virtues that provide the moral cement to hold society together, as opposed to relativism and hedonistic individualism that undermine familial ties and dissolve the ties that bind a society together.
A Grassroots Organisation
Research: We operate on the principle, “if you can’t win the intellectual argument, you can’t win new policies and defeat hostile ideologies”. For 80 years the NCC has had a strong reputation for sound research to deal with major issues of our times.
Media: Based on our detailed research and analysis, our commentary in News Weekly, email Action Alerts, books and research papers reach a wide audience in print and online, including through social media with our print publications, videos and podcasts.
Electorate group activism: We are far more than a “think tank”. Our “head and hand” operating principle means we support electorate-based activist groups that meet monthly, and specialist groups of experts working on our major issues. It’s a two-way communication channel. We help groups campaign, and they feed us important issues and knowledge. Local groups are best located to deal with local politicians and local campaigns. National organisation is needed to help collectively address national issues.
Advocacy: We contribute to public debate and major government inquiries, lobbying politicians and forming specialist groups on the major policy and ideological issues of our time.
Training: We run national, state and regional conferences, EQUIP online-streaming programs, youth training camps, and regular online briefings for our groups and for a wider audience on important current issues. We hold fundraising events, public meetings and much more.
Offices: We have offices in Melbourne (National Office), Sydney, Brisbane and Perth.
Our history, since 1941
The NCC was commissioned to take on the growing power of the Communist Party in the trade unions, which gave them increasing influence in the Australian Labor Party (ALP).
At the same time, the NCC was given a wider brief, to apply five primacies from Christian Social Teaching to building a just and equitable society:
- the integrity of the human person;
- the family (not the individual) as the basic unit of society;
- patriotism (not nationalism);
- decentralisation of population, economic and political power;
- Judeo-Christian virtues as the moral cement of society.
In the 1960s, the Cultural Revolution saw both Marxism and Libertarianism (radical individualism) challenge the Judeo-Christian foundations of Western society. In his prophetic 1973 paper, Philosophies in Collision, Santamaria warned that society would be shaped by whichever of these opposing philosophies triumphed.
By the 1990s, the Libertarian idea that “I have a right to do as I please” became society’s dominant philosophy of the age. It fails to grasp that the human person is not an island, but is born, nurtured, educated and supported from conception to death by their nuclear and extended families. It failed to grasp that the family, not the individual, is the basic unit of society. Libertarianism has undermined the family, the cultural and the political and economic systems.
It is the idea behind radical unregulated economics (also called economic rationalism, deep globalisation, the Washington Consensus or market fundamentalism) that has caused the loss of many Australian industries and jobs, led to an over-reliance on trade with China and eroded the middle class. In its cultural, legal and economic forms, Libertarianism has damaged the integrity of normal family life, cut the birth rate and corroded the Australian way of life.
In 1980, the Australian Family Association (AFA) was formed as a sister organisation to the NCC to become a leading family lobby group.
Society will be shaped by whichever philosophy triumphs – Christianity, Marxism or Libertarianism.
BA Santamaria, 1973
OUR KEY POLICIES
A Property-Owning, Tolerant Democracy
- A tolerant democracy
- A property-owning democracy
- Accountability of governments
- Rigorous education
- Strong mediating structures
- The common good
- Traditional virtues.
- A strong independent, foreign policy
A Property-Owning, Tolerant Democracy
The NCC says that a true democracy is where the human person flourishes in an open, free and tolerant society.
Our democracy is weakened and threatened by hostile laws that give priority to “human rights” over inherent and inalienable human rights, the erosion of our education system, the economic hollowing out of the middle class, cultural undermining of human virtues, and external threats from hostile foreign powers and forces in today’s multi-polar world.
The NCC supports:
- A tolerant democracy, opposing the tyranny of any one group over another and supporting freedom of speech in the media and on university campuses against the forces of intolerance and identity politics. A tolerant democracy can only exist when there is freedom of speech, association and religion and tolerance of all beliefs.
- A property-owning democracy, with economic policies supporting families so that people can marry, buy a home, raise children, live a normal family life and have a stake in their country. This makes the family independent of the welfare state and encourages many civic virtues.
- Accountability of governments to parliaments, and parliaments to the people, and the equality of all before the law, which must respect inherent, inalienable human rights.
- Rigorous education for life and participation in democratic society:
- values the acquisition of knowledge as well as the processes of learning and promotes intellectual excellence and disciplines (such as history and philosophy) abandoned by influential educational theorists; and
- provides the knowledge and skills base necessary for Australians to participate in the fourth industrial revolution, that allows every person to find meaningful, well-paid, secure jobs and to participate as an informed and educated member of a democratic society.
- Strong mediating structures: Applying the principle of decentralisation (or “subsidiarity), the NCC opposes policies that undermine, or give governments power over, the plethora of voluntary organisations that form the mediating structures between government and the family and that are a counterweight to the abrasive, bureaucratic state.
- The common good: Policies that put the community first by supporting the common good of all and the rejection of policies based on ideologies that subvert the human bonds that hold a community and society together.
- Traditional virtues: Support for policies that reinforce human virtues (behaviour showing high moral standards) as the family and social cement of society, and opposition to policies and practices that undermine, or are hostile to, the virtues.
- A strong independent, foreign policy: In a multi-polar world, this requires not only a strong defence force, but domestic defence industries and firewalling of Australia from hostile foreign influences – from espionage, foreign ownership of strategic assets and industries, and political influence.
A Pro-Family Economy
- A development bank
- Affordable bank loans
- Strategic industry policies
- Slashing the foreign debt
- Limiting foreign ownership
- Natural monopolies in public hands
- Labour policies
- Revision of National Competition Policy
- A Family Wage
A Pro-Family Economy
The NCC recognises that the Australian economy has been “hollowed out” by four decades of radical economic policies that have resulted in the closure of many businesses and industries (like the car industry), with many more shifting offshore. In turn, this has weakened the job market to the point where many people are unemployed, underemployed or have given up looking for work, while on average young people will face the prospect of at least 5 changes of career over their working lives, a difficult if not impossible task for most.
The loss of industry has left Australia overly dependent on imports, particularly from China, making it difficult to “firewall” the country from China’s aggressive strategic push into the Asia-Pacific region, with major implications for Australia’s economic and political independence.
The NCC believes that while applying de-centralist principles to give people maximum control over their own lives, governments also have a positive interventionist role in ensuring economic growth, particularly when markets fail, as in the 2007-09 Global Financial Crisis and in the Covid-19 economic crisis. Governments have responsibility to ensure full employment of their citizens, and care for the disadvantaged, disabled and elderly, which runs counter to the unregulated market view that society is just a mass of competing individuals whose interests are best served by unbridled market competition.
The NCC campaigns for policies to deliver full employment with well-paid full-time jobs, and that build strategic industries:
- A development bank to build strategic industries and infrastructure – telecommunications, roads, reservoirs, transport etc. – needed for the expansion and technological modernisation of private sector industries and to reduce reliance on foreign borrowing and imports.
- Affordable bank loans for capable small businesses, primary producers and home buyers, and reducing reliance on foreign borrowing.
- Strategic industry policies: Federal, state and local government policies to build advanced, modern hard industries, new technology industries and to strengthen agriculture and its support industries in order to reduce the nation’s heavy dependence on imports.
- Slashing the foreign debt. The above policies are important to cutting Australia’s foreign debt to ensure independence from foreign financial and political influence and to reduce the nation’s vulnerability to economic shocks like the 2007-08 Global Financial Crisis.
- Limiting foreign ownership. To help maintain Australia as an independent nation, the NCC opposes “selling off the farm” and supports keeping key strategic industries – farming and manufacturing businesses, communications companies, high tech companies, public utilities, residential property and strategically important assets – in Australian hands.
- Natural monopolies should be in public hands, not owned privately.
The NCC opposes the privatisation and regulation of public monopolies.
- Labour policies that ensure just wages and adequate secure, full-time jobs.
- Revision of National Competition Policy to prioritise the building of strategic industries, advancement of agriculture and to put natural monopolies in public hands.
- A Family Wage: To strengthen the economic foundation of families so they can provide for their needs independently of the welfare state, the above policies should be complemented with wages, tax and family policies that:
- ensure secure full-time jobs so that every family can have a full-time breadwinner;
- provide a just worker’s wage;
- replace individual taxation with family-based taxation, that allows a family’s income to be split between parents and children for tax purposes;
- restore the family payments that have been progressively axed since the Howard government era;
- make equally-assessed childcare payments to all families, to allow parents to choose between home care and institutional care of their children;
- include tax-advantaged savings schemes for buying a home, paying for education, health and independence in retirement;
- include tax-free savings accounts.
- New marketing agencies
- Strong quarantine rules
- Water only owned by water users
- Revise the Murray-Darling Basin Plan
- Build new reservoirs
- A rural reconstruction bank
The NCC believes in:
- New marketing agencies: The farm sector should be exempt from National Competition to allow farmers to increase their market bargaining power with collective marketing agencies.
- Strong quarantine rules must be applied to protect farmers from incursion of alien diseases and pathogens that would compromise Australia’s clean, green agriculture.
- Water only owned by water users: Oppose water barons owning water by making water entitlements available only to water users (farmers, councils and industries), and where possible irrigation water entitlements should be attached to farm property title.
- Revise the Murray-Darling Basin Plan: Based on simplistic assumptions about water allocations, the Plan urgently needs to be revised before there is a major collapse of agriculture in Australia’s major food bowl.
- Build new reservoirs: There is an urgent need to build new reservoirs as the Australian population has grown 70 per cent since the early 1980s, but new major reservoir capacity for cities, agriculture and industries has only increased by 9.5 per cent.
- A rural reconstruction bank: As farmers cannot control the seasons, pestilence, global market fluctuations and many pests and diseases, specialised finance is needed in the form of a reconstruction bank to help farmers readjust to adverse conditions.
Jointly with its sister organisation the AFA, the NCC’s basic family policies include:
- Pro-family cultural policies
- Marriage preparation, not easy divorce
- Pro-family economic policies, especially the family wage
- Affordable education
- Respecting parental rights in health and education
- Respecting children’s rights while protecting them as minors
- Opposing toxic sex/transgender education programs
- A pro-family culture
- Safe internet access for families
- Respecting human life from natural conception until natural death
- Affordable healthcare
- Strong support for the disadvantaged, disabled and elderly
- Zero tolerance on drugs
The NCC, together with the AFA, pursues the following family policies.
The NCC believes that not only must our democracy protect and our economic system support and bolster the family, but laws and culture must respect and support family life, and especially support the weak and vulnerable.
- Pro-family cultural policies: Support for policies which enhance intact families, rejection of policies and lifestyles that undermine family values.
- Marriage preparation, not easy divorce – help people prepare for marriage and avoid unnecessary divorce, and oppose easy divorce.
- Pro-family economic policies that ensure a family wage for all, so that families can have and raise the number of children they choose independent of the welfare state.
- Affordable education at primary, secondary, TAFE and university education levels and strong support for independent schools in order to respect the right of parents to educate their children in accordance with their moral, religious and cultural beliefs.
- Parental rights: Oppose the growing use of laws and bureaucratic regulations, including the invented concept of “child agency”, to interfere in the right of parents to raise their children in accordance with their religion and beliefs.
- Respecting children’s rights: Support marriage as the union of one man and one woman only, to respect the right of children to be raised by their biological mother and father, wherever possible, and to protect their right to know their brothers, sisters, grandparents, genetic history and their inheritance rights.
- Opposing toxic sex/transgender education programs in schools that are institutionalising the sexualisation of children.
- Pro-family culture: Support safe internet and social media filtering of pornography, and oppose toxic sexualisation of society, particularly of children, across all media platforms.
- Respecting human life: As the test of a humanitarian state is how it treats the most vulnerable, this requires support for vulnerable pregnant women, not abortion, and care for the sick and elderly, not assisted suicide.
- Affordable health care that provides a high level of care and that respects the integrity of the human person from natural conception until natural death.
- Support the disadvantaged: Support for policies to assist those who through no fault of their own are disadvantaged, to live a dignified life and to develop their skills and talent to their potential, but opposing people taking unfair advantage of the taxpayer and policies which discourage people from developing their sense of self-worth and their skills and talents.
- Zero tolerance on drugs: Oppose the legalisation of marijuana for any reason, oppose so-called “harm minimisation” programs that leave people drug-dependent and support abstinence programs to free people from drug addiction.
Defence and Foreign Affairs
- Support the “reset” of US foreign policy
- Support the Western Alliance
- Stop Huawei accessing Australia’s 5G network
- Limit foreign ownership
- Strengthening Australia’s intelligence capabilities
- Regional development bank
- Strategic industry policies
- Boost defence capability
- Boost Australia’s technology capacity
- Campaign to remove Confucius Institutes
- Autonomy for Hong Kong
- Respect universal human rights
Defence and Foreign Affairs
Recognising that in today’s multi-polar world, there has been bipartisan support in Washington for the biggest “reset” of US foreign policy since the Cold War to handle the expansionary ambitions of both China and Russia, the NCC supports the Western Alliance and policies to “firewall Australia” from hostile foreign influence, including:
- Support for the “reset” of US foreign policy to counter expansionism of China in the Indo-Pacific region.
- Support the Western Alliance where Australia can play a pivotal role with the US and its allies.
- Stop Huawei from being part of Australia’s 5G network development.
- Limit foreign ownership: Support legislation to restrict foreign ownership of farm land, strategic and important industries, communications companies and public utilities and residential and commercial assets.
- Strengthening Australia’s intelligence capabilities to counter foreign espionage, political influence and terrorism.
- Regional development bank: The creation of a Pacific and Indian region development bank to support economic advancement of our neighbouring states and to counter China’s Belt and Road Project.
- Strategic industry policies to grow Australia’s industrial, technological and farming sectors to make Australia more self-reliant.
- Boost defence forces and ensure they can jointly operate with US and other regional forces.
- Boost Australia’s technology capacity both for its military and to protect against cyber warfare.
- Campaign to remove Confucius Institutes from Australian schools and universities.
In addition, the NCC supports
- Autonomy for Hong Kong – universal suffrage, autonomy and freedom of speech – as promised by Beijing when Hong Kong was handed back to China by Britain in 1997.
- Human rights: Full human rights for religious, ethnic and political groups in China and Tibet that are being oppressed by the Beijing regime.
Recognising that the Earth is greening, not turning to desolation, the NCC supports:
- Base load coal power and gas power
- Balancing renewables and coal
- Reducing air pollution
- Reducing plastics polluting waterways and oceans
- Low cost power for developing nations
- Locals involved in management of important environmental sites
The NCC notes that:
- NASA mapping satellites measuring leaf cover show the Earth has greened 5 per cent since 2000;
- Changes in climate, short and long term, can only be understood in terms of multiple natural climate cycles over hundreds of thousands of years, thousands of years, centuries and decades;
- Science is only in the early stages of understanding these cycles, and computerised climate models are extremely limited in their capacity to predict future climate changes;
- the Earth’s climate is driven largely by the Sun warming the oceans and land, not by heating the atmosphere;
- Over the past several thousand years, cold periods such as the Little Ice Age (from the early 14th century through to the mid-19th century, which saw many mountain glaciers expand) were times of famine, disease, mass migrations and warfare, while warm periods like the Medieval Warm Period (about AD 900-1300, when global temperatures were somewhat warmer than at present), were times of abundant crops, political stability, and human flourishing;
- CO2 is a minor greenhouse gas that makes a very small contribution to atmospheric temperatures;
- CO2 is an atmospheric fertilizer, necessary for plant growth and ultimately for life on earth, not a dangerous pollutant; and
- Excessive taxpayer resources are being put into subsidising unreliable renewable energy at the expense of measures needed to combat serious air and plastic pollution.
Hence, the NCC’s policies include:
- Base load coal power: Developing Australia’s strategic industries to provide well-paid jobs to future generations requires low-cost baseload power, which can only come from new super-critical coal-fired power stations.
- Balancing renewables and coal: A balance between new super-critical coal-fired power stations and renewables is needed, so that the viability of baseload coal power stations is not undercut by heavily taxpayer-funded renewables.
- Reduce air pollution: Australia’s emissions standards are significantly lower than Europe’s, and improvement requires investment in new oil refining capacity and a policy favouring sugarcane-produced ethanol component to fuel supplies.
- Reduce plastics polluting waterways: Research is needed to find ways to find biodegradable plastics and to biodegrade polluting plastics, and to prevent plastics entering waterways and oceans.
- Power for developing nations: The lesson of advanced nations is that lifting millions of people out of poverty in Asia is the best means to reduce pollution levels, and this requires low cost energy from coal that Australia can export to these nations.
- Locals involved in management of important environmental sites: Local communities with local knowledge should be involved in the management of important environment areas.
“Whether irrational or not, it does, unfortunately, seem plausible that, if somebody sincerely believes God is watching his every move, he might be more likely to be good.”
Judeo-Christian principles are the foundation of Western Civilisation and provide the moral and social framework of this civilisation.
The universal virtues espoused by most religions provide the moral foundations, the virtues that are the cement that help to bind together a civil society and an ordered civilisation.
The NCC supports:
- Teaching of the virtues as espoused by traditional religions.
- Human rights derived from the integrity of each and every person, as created in the image and likeness of God.
- Defending the freedom of religion as the basis of freedom of speech, both necessary conditions for a tolerant democracy.
As part of the defence of religious freedom, the NCC and AFA:
- Campaigned for man/woman marriage in the lead-up to and in the marriage postal vote debate in 2017;
- Campaigns for protection of freedom of religion and belief to in the wake of the consequences of the 2017 amendment to the definition of marriage in the Marriage Act;
- Made a major submission on the federal Religious Discrimination Bill 2019;
- Campaigns for the retention of the exemptions in the federal Sex Discrimination Act (and similar provisions in state and territory laws) which protect the right of religious institutions (most importantly faith-based schools) to preserve the ethos and beliefs of the institution/school by acts or conduct directed to such a purpose, without that conduct being treated as discrimination;
- Campaigns for the right of children and young people to be protected from unscientific gender-fluid sex education in schools, and from the use of puberty blockers or cross-sex hormones to medically transition children; and
- Campaigns for the right of parents to ensure the education of their children in accordance with their convictions and beliefs.
A Brief NCC History
Our vital role over seventy-nine years:
- Founded in 1942 by Bartholomew Augustine ‘B.A.’ Santamaria to fight the threat of a Communist takeover of Australia’s trade unions and the Australian Labor Party.
- Kept the ALP and union movement out of Communist hands right up until the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.
- Successfully campaigned against the 1967 referendum proposal to allow the number of MPs in the House of Representatives to be increased without increasing the number of Senators, and so keeping a proportionate balance between both Houses in any Joint Sitting.
- Challenged the New Left in the universities with organisation around Peace With Freedom and student Democratic Clubs.
- Successfully opposed the 1973 McKenzie-Lamb Bill, which would have legalised abortion in the Australian Capital Territory. The bill was defeated by 98 votes to 23.
- Opposed the radical liberalisation of divorce laws in the 1975 Family Law Act.
- Opposed the increasingly liberal access to pornography and the relaxation of advertising standards from the 1970s onwards.
- Founded sister organisation the Australian Family Association in 1980, with its own organisational structure and governance, to defend the family from unfair social and economic policies.
- Established the Thomas More Centre to educate and train young professionals to actively promote the interests of families and a free society. With the AFA, the NCC:
- Successfully campaigned to overturn the Northern Territory euthanasia laws in 1997, which held the line on this issue for two decades.
- Successfully campaigned in 2004 campaign for the amendment of the Marriage Act to define marriage as “the union of a man and a woman” which prevented the introduction of same-sex marriage until 2017.
- From 2010, led the debate to eliminate radical transgender sex education program Safe Schools, leading to the loss of Federal Government funding, and its withdrawal in NSW and Tasmania.
- Led the successful lobbying campaign in Victoria to stop the recognition of radical transgender identities on birth certificates.
- Led the successful lobbying campaign in Victoria to restore the ability of religious bodies and schools to employ people who shared their beliefs and values under the state’s Equal Opportunity Act.