How coronavirus controls killed my faith in the Liberal Party
National Archives of Australia
5 January 2021
The following is my letter of resignation from the Liberal Party. It has just been presented to the Membership Coordinator of the Liberal Party of Western Australia.
I cannot in good conscience remain a member of this political party. The reasons are provided in the letter below.
From: Dr Augusto Zimmermann LLB, LLM, PhD
To: Ms Emily Foster, Membership Coordinator, Liberal Party of Western Australia
Dear Ms Foster,
I am writing this letter in order to make an important communication.
Please allow me first to explain who I am and what I have done for your party over the last few years.
I am a professor of constitutional law who was appointed a Law Reform Commissioner in Western Australia by the then State Attorney General, Christian Porter.
I have served a number of positions in the Liberty Party of Western Australia, notably the following:
- Senior Vice President, Liberal Party of Western Australia, Fremantle Division (2013 to 2017)
- Senior Vice President, Liberal Party of Western Australia, Jandakot Branch (2014 to 2017)
- Delegate, Legislative Assembly Selection Committee, Liberal Party of Western Australia, Jandakot Branch (2015 to 2017)
- Delegate, Legislative Council Selection Committee, Liberal Party of Western Australia, Jandakot Branch (2015 to 2017)
- Delegate, House of Representatives Selection Committee, Liberal Party of Western Australia, Jandakot Branch (2015 to 2017)
When I first joined your party I assumed it had a proper respect for the rule of law and individual rights.
However, measures adopted by Liberal governments, both federal and state, are arbitrary and unconstitutional. They have caused far too many of my fellow citizens to endure traumatic situations, including home confinement, job losses, financial ruin, drug and alcohol problems, family breakdown, and a host of mental and physical illnesses.
I would expect the federal leader of your party to be more concerned about the preservation of fundamental rights, not suppressing them. However, his pompously self-entitled National Cabinet has affected much of the social and economic life of this nation by enforcing prohibitions matched only by some of the world’s worst totalitarian regimes, notably North Korea and Cuba.
The Prime Minister is also supporting the authoritarian behaviour of the State Premiers. In the case of Victoria, for example, he has encouraged its notorious Premier “to ensure that there are appropriate penalties for those who do break public health notices”.
Unfortunately, the State Liberal governments in New South Wales, South Australia, and Tasmania are not much better. These Premiers are far too willing to rule by decree and impose draconian restrictions on our people’s homes, places of worship, and public gatherings.
Published by the IPA, the Legal Rights Audit 2019 reveals that the federal Liberal government has been responsible for a considerable increase in the violation of fundamental legal rights.
According to the IPA’s fellow researcher Morgan Begg, “The Coalition [i.e.; Liberal] government is trashing fundamental legal rights of all Australians, creating unprecedented challenge to individual freedom and human dignity’.
I have a name and a reputation to preserve. I cannot in good conscience remain associated with a party that has so miserably betrayed its own founder and my fellow Australian citizens.
I am sure that Sir Robert Menzies would understand. Like myself, he deeply valued freedom and would be appalled to see what has become of the party he had created.
Menzies strongly believed that the progress of our nation depends not on the security provided by government, but on the protection afforded to personal freedom.
I hereby offer my letter of resignation from the Liberal Party of Australia.
Dr Augusto Zimmermann LLB, LLM, PhD
Dr Augusto Zimmermann is Professor and Head of Law at Sheridan College, Perth/WA. He is also adjunct law professor at The University of Notre Dame Australia (Sydney campus) and President of the Western Australian Legal Theory Association (WALTA).