Conservative MP Andrew Rosindell and Liberals Abroad President Jason Groves
WITH the election a mere seven months away, both parties are gearing up for a tough campaign, both at home and overseas.
The UK branch of the Liberal Party, Australian Liberals Abroad, held their campaign launch on Wednesday 20 February in order to ensure they are election ready come 14 September 2013.
President of the Australian Liberals Abroad Jason Groves said the branch would be seeking to maximise the Liberal vote of Australians living in the UK in the lead up to the election.
“We can’t make any assumptions about who is going to win,” he said.
Mr Groves said they would be focussing on a broad range of issues ahead of the vote.
“Australians in London are generally young professionals, starting or advancing their careers here.
“They are concerned about issues that will affect them when they return to Australia, such as tax, the macro-economic situation, education and affordable housing.
“We want to ensure when people go back to Australia they are returning to an Australia which is still competitive in the global market.”
Mr Groves also intends to address issues he said are of concern to Australians based in the UK to ensure the campaign has a “broader local flavour”.
The Australian Liberals Abroad have thrown their support behind a private members bill submitted by UK Conservative MP Andrew Rosindell, the United Kingdom Borders Bill. Mr Rosindell was present at the launch to help kick off the campaign and promote his bill.
Noting the historic relationship between the UK and Australia, Mr Rosindell focussed on the strong links between the Conservative Party and the Liberal Party of Australia.
“These parties are two of the closest parties globally in terms of values, outlook and reasons for existing.”
Mr Rosindell suggested it was idealistic of Britain to focus on the EU at what he saw was the expense of relationships with Australia and other Commonwealth countries.
“Britain needs to be less obsessed with its future in the continent and develop ideas for closer co-operation with the rest of the world.”
Mr Rosindell identified his bill as a means through which the historic relationship between Australia and the UK could be revitalised.
The bill proposes that subjects of Her Majesty’s realms should be allowed to enter the UK at international terminals and ports through a separate channel.
“It’s a shameful situation that Australians can arrive at Heathrow and be treated as aliens,” said Mr Rosindell.
“Does history mean nothing?”
Mr Groves gave his support to the bill, and said the Australian Liberals Abroad intended to raise the temperature on this issue in the lead up to the Australian election.