Australian Country Party (2004)
The Australian Country Party (ACP), previously known as the Country Alliance and the Australian Country Alliance, is a political party that was founded in the Australian state of Victoria. The Party is committed to growing an alliance of Independent MPs and Candidates at Federal, State and Territory and Local Council levels, who are committed to representing the people of their electorate first and offer strong policies before politics.
The party was formed in 2004, and, registering with the Victorian Electoral Commission (VEC) the following year, has contested every Victorian state election since its formation. It was registered with the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) in July 2011, and contested the Senate in South Australia, Tasmania, and Victoria (and several Victorian lower house seats) at the 2013 federal election. The party's best result occurred in the electoral district of Shepparton at the 2010 state election, when its candidate polled 39.5% of the two-candidate-preferred vote (20.5% on first preferences) to finish second to the National Party candidate.
In February 2014, it was reported by The Weekly Times (and subsequently confirmed by the party) that the Victorian branch of Katter's Australian Party (KAP) would merge with the Country Alliance for the upcoming 2014 Victorian state election. Under this proposal, members of the Victorian branch of the KAP joined the Country Alliance, with the combined parties to contest the election as the Australian Country Alliance. The name change was completed on 1 May 2014, although the party remained registered federally as "Country Alliance". In August 2015, the VEC approved a further name change for the party, which took on the name "Australian Country Party" (for Victorian elections). In October 2015, the Australian Electoral Commission approved the party's name change to Australian Country Party for federal elections.
In July 2018 the party changed its direction and focus to the whole of Australia. It also introduced the 2 catchphrases - "The Party for the Country of Australia" and "My Country, My Party, the Party for the Country of Australia" The Party also commenced the process of establishing and registering the party in every State and Territory in Australia.
In August 2018, the party lodged a change of name application with the AEC. It has applied to change its name to the Australia Party/Give it Back (abbreviated to Australia Party). In September 2018, the VEC approved the same name for Victorian election, but with the abbreviation Australian Country Party.
It was founded in early 2004 by six rural Victorians concerned with the policies of the existing parties. It contested its first election at the 2006 state election. It was registered on 15 August 2005, and now has over 1500 members.
The party was launched in August 2005, after which Russell Bate, one of the party founders, stated that "The thing that first caused us to gather around the kitchen table and say, 'We'd better do something', was the prospect of the Greens holding the balance of power. At this stage that's the saga we're trying to avoid."
The party has a growing number of Federal policies, as well as developing policies on a State by State and Territories basis. Its elected representatives are expected to act independently in their constituents interests as a first priority. Additionally, elected members are to focus on policy before politics.
2006 Victorian election
In the 2006 state election the party contested three rural upper-house regions (out of a total of eight regions), but did not contest any lower house seats. In the three regions it contested, the CA received over 2% of the vote in Northern Victoria: less in the Western and Eastern Victoria Regions.
However its preferences in Western Victoria were critical in supporting the Democratic Labour Party's Peter Kavanagh who picked up ALP preferences ahead of the Greens' Marcus Ward, and thus the fifth seat in that region.
2010 Victorian election
The Country Alliance party nominated 37 candidates for the 2010 state election, standing in four upper house seats (Western Victoria, Eastern Victoria, Northern Victoria and Northern Metropolitan) and most of the lower house seats in regional Victoria.
At the election, the party's best result in the lower house was in the district of Shepparton where it polled 20.5% of the primary vote and 39.8% of the two party preferred vote after preferences. The party polled a total of 42,938 primary votes in the lower house.
In the upper house, the party was in the running for the final spot in the three country regions. In Northern Victoria Region, Country Alliance polled 6.8% of the primary vote and fell short by approximately 1900 votes on the final count after the distribution of preferences. In the Eastern Victoria and Western Regions, the party did not poll as well. In the Western Victoria Region, Country Alliance's preferences stopped the Greens' candidate Marcus Ward from winning the fifth spot for the second successive time.
The party held a review of its operations on 5 February 2011 and made changes to its internal allocation of functions and roles.
2013 Federal election
The party applied for registration as a federal political party with the Australian Electoral Commission on 2 May 2011. The application was approved and party entered on the Commission's register as "Country Alliance" on 26 July 2011. The party polled 0.05% of the national senate vote running in three states.
2014 Victorian election
The party achieved 1.28% of the vote in the lower house and 0.68% in the upper house in the 2014 Victorian Election
2016 Federal election
- About Us: History Archived 4 October 2013 at the Wayback Machine. – Country Alliance. Retrieved 11 February 2014.
- "Victorian Electoral Commission: Currently registered parties". Archived from the original on 1 May 2007. Retrieved 2007-06-03.
- "Australian Country Party - Australian Country Party". Wayback Machine. 2018-10-19. Retrieved 2018-11-23.
- "About Us - My Country, My Party". Australian Country Party Website. Retrieved 2018-11-23.
- Cimara Pearce (2014). "Katter's Australian Party set to merge with Country Alliance in bid for rural seats" – Weekly Times Now. Published 10 February 2014. Retrieved 11 February 2014.
- "Weekly Times story on CA / Katter Vic merger" Archived 7 October 2015 at the Wayback Machine. – Country Alliance. Published 10 February 2014. Retrieved 11 February 2014.
- "We've changed our name!" Archived 7 October 2015 at the Wayback Machine. – Australian Country Alliance. Published 1 May 2014. Retrieved 6 May 2014.
- Country Alliance – Australian Electoral Commission. Retrieved 6 May 2014.
- "Notice under s.134(6A) of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 – Country Alliance". Australian Electoral Commission. Retrieved 31 October 2015.
- "Notice of change of party name" (PDF). Australian Electoral Commission. 2018.
- "Change of Australian Country Party to Australian Country Party/Give it Back - Victorian Electoral Commission". Victorian Electoral Commission. Retrieved 6 October 2018.
- "Stateline Victoria". abc.net.au.
- "Party Core Values - My Country, My Party - Australian Country Party". Wayback Machine. 2018-11-23. Retrieved 2018-11-23.
- "Australian Country Party - My Country, My Party. A Party for the Country of Australia". Australian Country Party. Retrieved 2018-11-23.
- "State Election 2006: Northern Victoria Region results summary - Victorian Electoral Commission". vec.vic.gov.au.
- "Shepparton". abc.net.au.
- "State Election 2010 results". vec.vic.gov.au.
- "State Election 2010: Northern Victoria Region results summary - Victorian Electoral Commission". vec.vic.gov.au.
- "Senate State First Preferences By Group". Results.aec.gov.au. 2013-11-01. Retrieved 2016-08-10.
- "State Election 2014 - Summary". Vec.vic.gov.au. 2015-07-17. Retrieved 2016-08-10.
- "Candidates for the 2016 federal election". Australian Electoral Commission. 11 June 2016. Retrieved 11 June 2016.