|Founded||2010 (as Sustainable Population Party)|
|Slogan||Better, not bigger|
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Sustainable Australia (originally the Sustainable Population Party and officially registered as #Sustainable Australia) is an Australian political party. Formed in 2010, it describes itself as being "from the political centre".
Campaigning against a "big Australia", the party seeks to establish an Australia that is "better, not bigger". At the Federal level of government, a policy is to reduce the country's immigration intake, from record high levels of over 200,000 to 70,000 people per annum. Despite this, the party has strongly rejected accusations of being classified as anti-immigration. At the state government level, a policy is to strengthen planning laws in order to reduce over-development.
Sustainable Australia has policies on other issues including housing affordability and the environment. 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). 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 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)".
Sustainable Australia describes itself as a centrist party with strong focus on environment, resource levels, infrastructure, and population. It criticises excessive urban densification and sprawl. It strongly supports public transport; but in the 2016 Australian Capital Territory election it opposed the proposed light rail, calling it “a Trojan horse for over-development”.
Sustainable Australia calls for a significant slowing of Australia’s population growth. Sustainable Australia says it wants to lower immigration from over 200,000 people per annum to 70,000 persons per year, which it says is closer to Australia’s long-term average intake. Australia's immigration has already reduced from that peak.
In 2010 the party opposed Kevin Rudd's support for a "big Australia", saying that a large population would be "disastrous", is "way beyond [Australia's] long-term carrying capacity" and that "population growth is not inevitable". 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."
Sustainable Australia’s Victorian MP Clifford Hayes is campaigning 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.
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 and NSW for the 2019 state election.
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. 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". On 19 January 2016, the AEC approved a further name change to "#Sustainable Australia" (including a hash symbol).
The party ran at least two Senate candidates in every state and territory in the 2013 Australian federal election and many local candidates also. 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. 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 2016 federal election, Sustainable Australia was led temporarily by ex-Labor Minister for Sustainability, Andrew McNamara. 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, where Kris Spike received 605 votes, 0.69% of the votes.
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.
|Election year||# of
|+/–||Name of party |
(at time of poll)
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|0||Stable Population Party|
|2014 special||3,063||0.24 (#25)||
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|0||Sustainable Population Party|
0 / 75
|0||Sustainable Australia Party|
|Election year||# of
lower house seats
upper house seats
|2018 Victoria (Assembly /
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