The following article from Spectator Australia
First up, we can all agree that the Australian Conservative Political Action Conference held last weekend at Sydney’s International Convention Centre in Darling Harbour was an outstanding success. The event, over two days, and including a wonderful gala dinner at the Sheraton on the Park, brought together an extraordinary array of conservative talent that should not only fill any common-sense, traditionally minded Australian with pride and optimism, but put to shame all those other conferences – predominantly of the Left – that purport to canvass ‘dangerous’ or indeed any ideas.
The highlights of the conference are almost too numerous to choose between, but it is impossible to not immediately mention the extraordinary Battleground Melbourne Live. In what felt more like avant-garde theatre than a conference set-piece, four individuals from Melbourne standing in harsh spotlights told their individual and at times heart-breaking experiences of defying the Andrews government during Covid lockdowns. This was punctuated with footage from the outstanding film, Battleground Melbourne (which can be viewed for free at battlegroundmelbourne.com), made by anti-lockdown activist Topher Field. Accompanying Topher on the CPAC stage were Krystle Mitchell, the brave policewoman who stepped down during Covid because of her opposition to Victoria Police’s excessively authoritarian and increasingly brutal tactics; Carly Soderstrom, who was subject to the most vile death and rape threats for her opposition to lockdown; and Matt Lawson, who was severely injured by rubber bullets and is now working with VicPol to try and prevent such outrages occurring again.
Suffice to say that at the end of the 45-minute performance, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house.
The theatrics returned unintentionally in a more ad hoc fashion later in the day with a rather silly stoush between former Howard minister Nick Minchin, Liberal Vice-President Teena McQueen, the Menzies Centre’s Nick Cater (all on the stage) and some disgruntled yahoos in the audience. More on that in a second.
Other stellar performances were delivered by former Liberal senator Amanda Stoker, Matt Canavan, Alex Antic, former prime minister Tony Abbott, Nigel Farage, Ross Cameron and Mark Latham and, most notably, Jacinta Price solo and then with Warren Mundine and Anthony Dillon. Ian Plimer, James Allan, the rapper Zuby, Alan Jones, nuclear advocates Michael Shellenberger and Zion Lights and many others all provided a rich and nutritious diet of red meat aka conservatism.
The key themes that emerged as a guide to modern Australian conservatism were a desire to restore to national prominence the rights and freedoms of the individual, and the need for every individual in their own way to be brave enough to stand up to the ever-increasing tyranny of the leftist collective. As Mark Latham pointed out, it is no longer good enough for conservatives to resist change, they must actively fight in whatever way they can to re-capture those institutions that have been decimated by the Left. Resistance to the Voice, challenging climate change and the abandonment of net zero – or the adoption of nuclear power as the only way to achieve it – were also key themes.
Battlefield Melbourne CPAC Performance: