Australia Party

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The Australia Party was a minor political party in Australia (not to be confused with the Australian Party, which was set up by Billy Hughes in 1930).

The Australia Party grew out of the Liberal Reform Group,[1] a group of members of the Liberal Party of Australia who opposed the party's policy of conscription and military involvement in the Vietnam War. The leading figure in this group was a businessman, Gordon Barton.

The "Australia Party" name was adopted in 1969 by which time it was also attracting disaffected Australian Labor Party (ALP) supporters. The party contested state and federal elections, achieving its best results in 1972, but failing to win any seats. Its poll performance declined in 1974 and again in the 1975 federal election. Subsequently, the party allied itself with the New Liberal Movement in the formation of the Australian Democrats for the 1977 federal election. Significant figures in the Australia Party were Senator Reg Turnbull (elected as an independent but Australia Party leader from 1969–1970), and journalist Alan Fitzgerald, then a member of the elected Australian Capital Territory Advisory Council.

Australia Party members who later entered federal parliament as Australian Democrats senators included Colin Mason (NSW), John Siddons (Vic), Sid Spindler (Vic)[2] and Jean Jenkins (WA).


  1. ^ ABC PM report 2005: The life and death of Gordon Barton
  2. ^ Spindler S Gordon Barton—electoral impacts (Speech at Sydney University, 3 Sep 2005)

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