NSW Election, March 28th 2015
The Outdoor Recreation Party ran for the Legislative Council (upper house) and in two Legislative Assembly (lower house) seats.
Lead candidate for the Legislative Council was Peter Whelan.
Peter has a background in electrical engineering, F.I.E. Aust, CPEng (ret.) and history as a successful businessman.
For 25 years he was Founding Managing Director of electrical engineering company Uniserve Pty Ltd and for three years, Chairman of CSE-Uniserve Pty Ltd and director of several related companies with interests in the power utility and mining industries.
In 2007 he resigned those positions and retired to concentrate on his investments and interests in beef cattle farming, boating, 4 wheel touring and deer hunting.
He also spent 7 years as Treasurer of Glenorie RSL Club.
Peter is passionate about the creeping "nanny state" in Australia, of over-government and excessive intrusion. In 2005 he joined the Liberal Democratic Party where he served six years as National President.
He worked on the 2013 federal election campaign which saw the election of Senator David Leyonhjelm. Peter is currently on the National Executive of the Liberal Democrats and is also President of the Outdoor Recreation Party.
Peter lives with his wife Susanne in The Hills district of Sydney.
The Outdoor Recreation Party has contested every NSW state election since and including 1999.
2011 NSW State Election
The Outdoor Recreation Party ran candidates in three Legislative Assembly (lower house) seats as well as a ticket for the Legislative Council (upper house).
In Penrith its candidate (Joaquim de Lima) gained 5.0% of the vote.
In Wollondilly, its candidate (Clinton Mead) gained 4.6% of the vote.
In Ku-ring-gai its candidate Alexander Gutman (aka Austen Tayshus) gained 1.2% of the vote.
In the Legislative Council the ORP team gained 31,270 votes, or 0.77%.
Press Releases issued during the 2011 election campaign.
Media release 14 Mar 2011
The Outdoor Recreation Party is calling on the Liberal and National parties in NSW to reject a federal government proposal to add hundreds of plants to a prohibited list because they may contain minute amounts of illegal drugs.
If implemented, the proposal could expose garden lovers to prosecution for drug possession, while cultivating, propagating or selling the plants may result in nurseries, gardeners, farmers and others facing charges as dealers.
“The proposals seem to have been developed by a few public servants with a basic chemistry book and no knowledge of botany,” said David Leyonhjelm, Outdoor Recreation Party spokesman
“They are seeking to apply a ban to all plants that contain mescaline or DMT, no matter how minute the quantity or remote the possibility that it can be extracted, without knowing which plants are affected or how practical a ban might be.
“They apparently think this will somehow help in the fight against organised crime, on the very questionable assumption that the existing ban on cannabis has been effective in that regard.
“We believe its only effect will be to create a whole new group of offences that catches innocent gardeners.”
The plants caught by the proposal include many common cacti, Australian native wattles, many common lawn and pasture grasses and the highly admired ornamentals Angels Trumpets.
Up to 10% of the entire cactus family contains mescaline in trace amounts, but it would take over a tonne of plant material to extract a single dose for intoxication. However, businesses would probably be unable to grow or sell any species due to uncertainty about whether they contain mescaline. There are too many species and varieties for each one to be analysed.
DMT is also very prevalent in nature. Among the plants containing DMT are various native wattle varieties, Common Reed (the main grass used to control erosion), Evodia species (required for rainforest regeneration), and Phalaris, a major pasture grass in Victoria and southern NSW. The iconic Sturts Desert Pea (the state flower of South Australia) would also be banned under these proposals.
The chemical DMT is already illegal under all state and federal drug schedules.
“We call on the federal government to abandon this proposal and leave innocent gardeners alone. We also call on the NSW Liberal/National parties to let the federal Labor government know that an incoming NSW government will not cooperate to implement it. There are already too many regulations limiting the freedom of individuals and we do not need any more,” Mr Leyonhjelm said
Media release 28 Feb 2011
Greens criticism of the Coalition policy to review speed limits is based on authoritiarian reasoning, says Outdoor Recreation Party candidate David Leyonhjelm
"The Coalition's policy is timid and merely promises a review with no definite outcomes. Yet still the Greens complain that speed limits should be determined by "experts" rather than politicians," he said.
"If the Greens were democratic instead of autocratic, they would endorse the Outdoor Recreation Party's policy of asking the community to determine speed limits."
Commonly used overseas, this is achieved by application of the 85th percentile formula. It involves monitoring speeds in the absence of speed limits, then reimposing limits based on the 85th percentile. The method results in at least 85 percent of the population supporting the limits and approving of enforcement measures, in contrast to the current situation where 85 percent disapprove of both the limits and enforcement.
"Everyone knows that reducing speed limits to 5 km/hr and placing speed limiters on cars would eliminate the road toll. Not even the Greens want to go that far, so it becomes a matter of who decides where the balance should lie.
" The Greens say it should be some unelected faceless bureaucrat. The Coalition would probably have trouble deciding. The Outdoor Recreation Party says the community should make that choice."
"The process might result in an increase in some speed limits, particularly on dual carriageways and highways. No doubt the Greens would look for a reason to disagree with the public, like they do on so many other things. They are fundamentally an authoritarian party," Mr Leyonhjelm concluded.
Media contact: David Leyonhjelm
Media release 25 Feb 2011
The Outdoor Recreation Party welcomes the decision of the federal government to abandon proposals to adopt the European standard for bullbars on vehicles.
“The idea would have kill more people than it saved,” said David Leyonhjelm, the Party’s leading candidate in the NSW election.
“The European standard is apparently intended to make it marginally safer for pedestrians, but makes it more dangerous for car occupants. Anyone who has seen the effects of hitting a kangaroo or a stray cow in a car without a bullbar knows exactly how dangerous it can be.”
The relevant European regulation puts limits on the force with which a vehicle strikes a pedestrian at certain speeds. To comply, bullbars have to be flexible so they absorb some of the impact.
Bullbars must also be no heavier than 18 kg, not rise above the bonnet or extend around the sides, be no more than 80 mm from the car surface and not tilt forwards or more than 50 mm backwards.
“In Australian conditions this will reduce their effectiveness as protection against the kind of life-threatening risks that drivers face outside the major cities,” Mr Leyonhjelm said.
“The government should now focus on keeping cars and pedestrians apart. Trying to reduce the damage caused by a vehicle hitting a pedestrian is too late.”
“However, we note that the European bullbar proposal has been incorporated into the new National Road Safety Strategy. We will be making a submission to the government to have it removed, so it cannot be reintroduced under another guise.”
Media release 25th Feb 2011
The President of the Outdoor Recreation Party, Peter Whelan, is calling on all who enjoy the great outdoors to lodge a protest vote at the March 26th NSW election.
The call has gone out to lovers of the bush that another large area of NSW is about to experience the “lock it up and leave it” approach of the NSW Dept Environment, Climate Change and Water, Parks and Wildlife Service.
Four wheel drivers, horse riders, trail bike riders etc are being alerted to the latest plan of management prepared by the P and WS for the Watagans National Park and Jilliby Conservation Area, 60 km north of Sydney.
These parks cover an area of approximately 20,000 hectares, and being so close to Sydney and Newcastle, have been used for many years for a wide range of outdoor recreation activities.
The Plan of Management, adopted on 10th December 2010, includes plans to close various tracks and restrict access on many others.
Mr Whelan has been in contact with members of 4WD clubs who expressed extreme disappointment at being locked out of yet another beautiful area.
“With so many other National Parks around NSW being closed to 4WDs and other users, this area has become increasingly popular, with visitors coming from as far away as Canberra, Orange and Nowra,” he said.
“The Plan notes that in some areas over usage has resulted in erosion, but we believe that is the fault of P and WS because other parks have been locked up, putting pressure on the few remaining publicly accessible areas.”
“In any case, erosion is a natural phenomenon. Although we would not want to initiate erosion, it should not be used as a pretext for keeping people out. National Parks belong to all the people, not a handful of bureaucrats, and we should all have access.”
“The Management Plan should be referred to as a ‘mismanagement plan’ as it will restrict many of the well known tracks to just bush walkers, bird watchers and cyclists.”
The Plan also notes that there are large numbers of foxes, wild dogs and feral cats in the area, which have contributed to the reduction or extinction of native animals and birds.
Reference is made to laying baits in an attempt to poison the introduced vermin, but not to the use of volunteer sporting shooters to assist in eradicating those foxes, dogs and cats.
“In Victoria, the newly elected Liberal National Government has wasted no time in encouraging shooters with a $10 fox and $50 wild dog bounty. The Outdoor Recreation Party would advocate a similar move in NSW,” Mr Whelan said.
“The Outdoor Recreation Party represents the interests of everyone who wants access to the bush, not just a select few. When we have a member in Parliament we will move to open up all National Parks in NSW so that all the community can enjoy them.
“We will also seek to remove the bureaucrats responsible for locking up the State’s National Parks so they are unable to repeat this kind of nonsense,” he concluded.
Media release 3 Jan 2011
As another double-demerit period comes to a close, now is a good time to acknowledg the pointlessness of enforcing laws that lack community support.
Speed limits on highways and freeways are way out of step with community standards. This is obvious from the fact that the only time they are obeyed is when there is a high likelihood of being booked, such as a few hundred metres either side of a speed camera.
Attempts to enforce such laws are not only a waste of resources, but contrary to the principles of a free society. They create conflict between the police and community, and encourage governments to focus on raising revenue.
“Nobody denies the fact that people are injured and die in road accidents,” said Outdoor Recreation Party spokesman David Leyonhjelm.
“But if the aim of speed limits is to eliminate the road toll, they should be about 10 km/hr. Obviously there has to be a trade-off with travel times. The issue is, who should decide on that trade-off? Currently it is faceless, nameless bureaucrats in the RTA, with rare input from a politician. Pretty obviously, they are out of step with the community.”
"The Outdoor Recreation Party believes the normally careful and competent actions of a reasonable person should be considered legal. We propose that speed limits be determined by the community, through application of the 85th percentile formula."
This is an internationally recognised method, used in most of the USA and Canada, in which the speed limit is removed for a time while speeds are monitored. After a suitable period the speed limit is set at the 85th percentile. Statistically it is known that drivers who significantly exceed this level, or who travel well below it, are far more likely to cause road accidents.
“Roads are better designed and cars far safer than they were when the current range of speed limits was established many decades ago, so recalibrating speed limits may not alter the road toll. But even if there was an increase in accidents, the community shows it is willing to accept that. Public servants and politicians should not be telling the community it is wrong and they are right. That’s the Big Brother approach.”
“Far better to have 85% of the people supporting a law so enforcement can concentrate on the 15% who disregard it, than vice versa,” Mr Leyonhjelm said.
The Outdoor Recreation Party will be contesting the NSW state election based on a platform of less regulation and reduced bureaucracy.
The Party will also be participating in Canberra’s custom car and motorbike show, Summernats, on 6-9 Jan to promote its policies to car and bike enthusiasts.
How the 85th percentile is determined: http://onlinemanuals.txdot.gov/txdotmanuals/szn/determining_the_85th_percentile_speed.htm
Media release 27 December 2010
The Outdoor Recreation Party will be broadly defining its constituency in the campaign to regain its seat in the Upper House of NSW Parliament in March. Not only is it pursuing traditional issues such as recreational access to national parks, but it is seeking to link with anyone who is sick and tired of the growing intrusion of government.
“4WD users, trail bike riders, mountain bikers, horse riders, dog owners and skiers are all adversely affected by the restrictive attitudes to National Parks in NSW,” said party president Peter Whelan.
“But many others suffer from similar control-based thinking, including rural property owners, fishers, sporting shooters, motorcyclists and motoring enthusiasts.”
“A few months ago Formula 1 racing driver Lewis Hamilton was described by authorities as a dickhead for doing well-controlled burnouts in Melbourne. When Aussie driver Mark Webber responded by describing Australia as a nanny-state with ridiculous speeding and parking rules, adding ‘you need a rule book just to get out of bed', he was criticised as irresponsible.
“The Outdoor Recreation Party believes those who want to get the government off their back can become politically powerful if their concerns are marshalled into a voice that tackles the underlying cause”, he said.
The Party had a member in the NSW Upper House from 1999 to 2007. Now under new management, it is seeking to regain that seat in the March 2011 state election, most likely at the expense of the Shooters Party or Family First. The party’s leading candidate is Sydney businessman David Leyonhjelm. David is a former veterinarian and qualified in law who rides a motorbike, drives a 4WD, owns a rural property, is a sporting shooter and hates government control.
“With a change of government inevitable in March, we are committed to ensuring there is a voice for individual rights and freedom in parliament,” said Mr Leyonhjelm.
“The Coalition has a record of supporting repressive legislation from so-called terrorism and anti-bikie laws to obnoxious traffic laws, and won’t necessarily bring any change when it comes to individual rights. What we say is whether it is burnouts, vehicle modifications, enjoying our National Parks or going fishing, if you are not hurting anyone else you have a right to be left alone.”
“We are also seeking an increase in speed limits, based on the internationally recognised 85th percentile approach, with an end to revenue-based enforcement of traffic laws.”
“Although there will be a change of government, the Coalition is not likely to achieve control of the Legislative Council (Upper House). Our vote could be crucial to the government’s legislative program,” he said.
The Outdoor Recreation Party is affiliated with the federally registered Liberal Democratic Party, which equalled or beat all the other minor parties in the August 2010 federal election.
The Outdoor Recreation Party (Stop the Greens) was registered with the Australian Electoral Commission in 2013.
It ran Senate candidates in all states in the federal election in 2013, appearing on the ballot as Stop the Greens.