Sustainable Australia

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Sustainable Australia Party
PresidentCr William Bourke[1][2]
Founded2010; 12 years ago (2010)
HeadquartersSydney, New South Wales[3]
IdeologyPopulation planning
Sustainable development
Political positionCentre[5]
SloganRedefining growth
Victorian Legislative
1 / 40

The Sustainable Australia Party (officially registered as Sustainable Australia Party – Stop Overdevelopment / Corruption), formerly the Sustainable Population Party, is an Australian political party.[3] Formed in 2010, it describes itself as being "from the political centre".[6]



Sustainable Australia's Victorian MP Clifford Hayes has campaigned for a sustainable environment and called for a container deposit scheme to be introduced in Victoria to reduce waste and stop rubbish going into landfill.[7]

Following this, Hayes also campaigned for a large environmental reserve in Melbourne's west to protect endangered species and ecosystems.[8]

Hayes also spoke strongly in favour of boosting Victoria's legislated renewable energy target, or VRET, to 50 per cent by 2030 in that state parliament's upper house, saying we have been in the middle of a climate crisis for a long term and we need to take action across all sectors from energy to transport, construction and more.[9]

In the 2018 Victorian state election, policies that Sustainable Australia ran on included:[10]

  • Campaigning against rapid population growth
  • Campaigning for tighter residential planning laws
  • Scaling back Australia's migration rate to about 70,000 people a year, while preserving refugee intakes at 14,000 to 20,000.
  • Giving "real power to local communities in planning decisions"
  • Increasing charges to developers when land is rezoned for housing.

Federal and state policies[edit]

  • At the Federal level of government, a policy is to reduce the country's immigration intake, from record high levels[11] of over 200,000 to 70,000 people per annum.[12]
  • On housing affordability, Sustainable Australia bases its solutions on restricting foreign ownership of residential property, cutting immigration, and on taxation measures (such as phasing out the 50% Capital Gains Tax discount on residential investment property and abolishing negative gearing on residential investment property). The party believes that "with a sustainable environment and much more stable population, you can simultaneously achieve affordable housing (due to less buyer demand) and better planning (to stop over-development)".[12]
  • On the environment, the party advocates for reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 80% below year 2000 levels by 2050, or cutting further if possible.


The party has been registered federally since 2010. In 2016 it also registered in the Australian Capital Territory, and contested the 2016 Australian Capital Election. In 2018 it also registered in Victoria for the 2018 state election[13] and NSW for the 2019 state election.[14]

In 2010 the party opposed Kevin Rudd's support for a "big Australia", saying that a large population would be "disastrous",[15] is "way beyond [Australia's] long-term carrying capacity",[15] and that "population growth is not inevitable".[15] The party claims that "'stable population' policies would mean a more sustainable 26 million at 2050, not the Labor/Liberal 'big Australia' plan for 36 million and rising."[16]

Sustainable Australia used to be called the Sustainable Population Party. Its current name was registered with the Australian Electoral Commission on 18 January 2016. The party missed out on registration for the 2010 federal election by several days, but leader William Bourke ran unsuccessfully for the Senate in New South Wales on an independent ticket with poet Mark O'Connor. The party was registered shortly after the election, on 23 September 2010.[3] The party was registered as "Stable Population Party of Australia", but on 28 February 2014 the Australian Electoral Commission approved a name-change to the "Sustainable Population Party".[3] On 19 January 2016, the AEC approved a further name change to "#Sustainable Australia" (including a hash symbol).[17]

The party ran at least two Senate candidates in every state and territory in the 2013 Australian federal election and many local candidates also.[18] Timothy Lawrence was the candidate for Australian Stable Population Party in the 2014 Griffith by-election, arising from the resignation of Kevin Rudd. Lawrence received 666 votes, 0.86% of the primary vote. The party also contested the April 2014 re-run in Western Australia of the 2013 federal Senate elections.[18] The party endorsed Angela Smith, an environmental scientist and a local candidate, for the 2015 Canning by-election. In September 2015 the party campaigned on a number of issues including education, paid jobs, infrastructure, health care, renewable energy and housing affordability.

In the 2015 North Sydney by-election its candidate and founder William Bourke received 2,189 votes, representing 2.88% of the primary votes.[19][20]

The party has been involved in a preference harvesting scheme organised by Glenn Druery's Minor Party Alliance.[21][22]

In the 2016 federal election, Sustainable Australia was led temporarily by ex-Labor Minister for Sustainability, Andrew McNamara.[23] The party fielded two senate candidates in each of the Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria, as well as a candidate in the Division of Sydney for the House of Representatives,[24] where Kris Spike received 605 votes, 0.69% of the votes.

The party received media attention in 2017 when Australian entrepreneur Dick Smith joined the party.[25][26]

Sustainable Australia won its first parliamentary seat in the 2018 Victorian state election. The party received 1.32% of the primary vote in the Southern Metropolitan Region. However, after favourable preference deals with other parties Clifford Hayes won the 5th Legislative Council seat in Southern Metropolitan Region for the party.

In the 2020 federal Groom by-election SAP's candidate Sandra Jephcott received 6,716 votes, representing 7.8% of the primary votes.[27][28]

In the 2021 NSW local government elections, SAP's North Sydney Council candidates William Bourke and Georgia Lamb were elected as Councillors with 13.1% and 10.7% of the primary vote in their respective wards.[29] William Bourke was subsequently elected Deputy Mayor by a vote of all North Sydney Councillors.[30]

Electoral results[edit]


Election year # of
overall votes
% of
overall vote
# of
overall seats
+/– Name of party
(at time of poll)
2013 12,671[31] 0.09 (#30)
0 / 75
Steady 0 Stable Population Party
2014 special 3,063 0.24 (#25)
0 / 75
Steady 0 Sustainable Population Party
2016 26,341[32] 0.19 (#30)
0 / 75
Steady 0 Sustainable Australia Party
2019 59,265 0.41 (#16)
0 / 75
Steady 0 Sustainable Australia Party
2022 TBD TBD TBD TBD Sustainable Australia Party


Election year # of
overall votes
% of
overall vote
# of
lower house seats
# of
upper house seats
2018 Victoria (Assembly /
0 / 88
1 / 40
Increase 1
2019 New South Wales (Assembly /
0 / 93
0 / 42
2022 South Australian state election (Council)

0 / 22

Political representatives[edit]

Current members of parliament[edit]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Bourke, William. "MEDIA: Closing the sustainability loop Posted by William Bourke". Sustainable Australia. Retrieved 24 June 2019.
  2. ^ Charlie Caruso, William Bourke (17 June 2020). How to support the Sustainable Australia Party (Online). Youtube. Retrieved 27 July 2020.
  3. ^ a b c d "Current register of political parties". Australian Electoral Commission. 22 February 2019. Retrieved 7 March 2019.
  4. ^ "Our Party". Sustainable Australia Party. Retrieved 23 September 2021.
  5. ^ "Minor parties flourish across the spectrum as new voting system faces first test". The Sydney Morning Herald. 13 May 2019. Retrieved 16 May 2019.
  6. ^ "Sustainable Australia". Sustainable Australia.
  7. ^ "'We need solutions now': Tonnes of recycling in Victoria going into landfill". Nine News. 4 March 2019. Retrieved 10 March 2019.
  8. ^ "From grassland to wasteland: Victoria breaks promise to create environmental reserve". The Age. 12 May 2019. Retrieved 16 May 2019.
  9. ^ "Yes2Renewables". Twitter. 16 October 2019. Retrieved 25 October 2019.
  10. ^ Carey, Adam (11 December 2018). "Party in the upper house: Who's who on new Victorian crossbench". The Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 9 September 2020.
  11. ^ "Migration numbers from Australian Parliamentary Library".
  12. ^ a b "Policy Platform". Sustainable Australia.
  13. ^ "Currently registered parties". Victorian Electoral Commission. Retrieved 21 February 2019.
  14. ^ "State Register of Parties". New South Wales Electoral Commission. Retrieved 21 February 2019.
  15. ^ a b c "Issue Background". Australian Stable Population Party. Retrieved 5 September 2013.
  16. ^ "POPULATION - THE EVERYTHING ISSUE". Flyer Distribution. 20 January 2013.
  17. ^ "#Sustainable Australia". Current Register of Political Parties. AEC. Archived from the original on 27 January 2016. Retrieved 19 January 2016.
  18. ^ a b "Population Party - Candidates". Australian Stable Population Party. Retrieved 7 September 2013.
  19. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 7 December 2015. Retrieved 6 November 2013.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  20. ^ "Results". ABC News.
  21. ^ Bormann, Trevor (5 September 2013). "Bitter dispute erupts over Senate preferences in Queensland". ABC News.
  22. ^ "Micro parties alliance boosts their odds". 5 September 2013.
  23. ^ "What went wrong?". My Sunshine Coast.
  24. ^ "Candidates for the 2016 federal election". Australian Electoral Commission. 12 June 2016. Retrieved 12 June 2016.
  25. ^ "Dick Smith joins lower immigration party". News. Retrieved 24 September 2017.
  26. ^ Masanauskas, John. "Businessman Dick Smith joins political party Sustainable Australia". Herald Sun. Retrieved 24 September 2017.
  27. ^ "AEC 2020 Groom by-election results". Retrieved 17 January 2021.
  28. ^ "Garth Hamilton elected new Member for Groom for the LNP at by-election". ABC News.
  29. ^ "North Sydney - Notes on the Election". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 22 January 2022.
  30. ^ "North Sydney mayor makes shock exit from mayoral contest". Retrieved 22 January 2022.
  31. ^ "Senate 2013 First Preferences By Group". Australian Electoral Commission. Retrieved 9 April 2018.
  32. ^ "Senate 2016 First Preferences By Group". Australian Electoral Commission. Retrieved 9 April 2018.

External links[edit]