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Sustainable Australia Party

Sustainable Australia Party
Sustainable Australia Party –
Universal Basic Income
SpokespersonKelvin Thomson
LeaderCeleste Ackerly
FounderWilliam Bourke[1]
Founded2010 (as Sustainable Population Party)
Registered23 September 2010; 13 years ago (23 September 2010)[2]
HeadquartersCrows Nest, New South Wales, Australia
Colors    Green and navy blue
House of Representatives
0 / 151
0 / 76
North Sydney Council
2 / 10
Victoria Park Town Council
1 / 8

The Sustainable Australia Party (officially registered as Sustainable Australia Party – Universal Basic Income)[a] is an Australian political party that was formed in 2010.[8]


The party has been registered federally since 2010. It was previously named the Sustainable Population Party and later the Sustainable Australia Party – Stop Overdevelopment / Corruption, before adopting its current name. 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[9] and NSW for the 2019 state election.[10]

In 2010 the party opposed Kevin Rudd's support for a "big Australia", saying that a large population would be "disastrous",[11] is "way beyond [Australia's] long-term carrying capacity",[11] and that "population growth is not inevitable".[11] 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."[12]

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.[8] 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".[8] On 19 January 2016, the AEC approved a further name change to "#Sustainable Australia" (including a hash symbol).[13]

The party ran at least two Senate candidates in every state and territory in the 2013 Australian federal election and many local candidates also.[14] 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.[14] 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.[15][16]

The party has been involved in a preference harvesting scheme organised by Glenn Druery's Minor Party Alliance.[17][18]

In the 2016 federal election, Sustainable Australia was led temporarily by ex-Labor Minister for Sustainability, Andrew McNamara.[19] 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,[20] 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.[21][22]

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.[23][24]

At 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.[25] William Bourke was subsequently elected Deputy Mayor by a vote of all North Sydney Councillors.[26]

In 2023, SAP's Daniel Minson was elected to Victoria Park Town Council.[27]



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.[28]

Following this, Hayes also campaigned for a large environmental reserve in Melbourne's west to protect endangered species and ecosystems.[29]

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.[30]

In the 2018 Victorian state election, policies that Sustainable Australia ran on included:[31]

  • 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

  • At the Federal level of government, a policy is to reduce the country's immigration intake, from record high levels[32] of over 200,000 to 70,000 people per annum.[33][better source needed]
  • Target a population in Australia of under 30 million "through to and beyond 2050".[34]
  • 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)".[33][better source needed]
  • On the environment, the party advocates for reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 80% below year 2000 levels by 2050, or cutting further if possible.[citation needed]
  • Cut the cost of public transportation by at least half and expand train and/or bus networks.[34]
  • The establishment of a national job guarantee.[34]
  • The implementation of a universal basic income (UBI) or citizen's dividend of "$500+ per week ($26,000 per annum, indexed from 2021)" to all Australians as a method of poverty prevention.[34]

Electoral results


Election year House of Representatives Senate Name of party
(at time of poll)
Votes (#) Votes (%) Seats +/– Votes (#) Votes (%) Seats +/–
2013 3,954 0.03
0 / 150
Increase 12,671[35] 0.09 (#30)
0 / 76
Increase Stable Population Party
2014 special N/A [b] 3,063 0.24 (#25)
0 / 76
Increase Sustainable Population Party
2016 606 0.00
0 / 150
Decrease 26,341[36] 0.19 (#30)
0 / 76
Increase Sustainable Australia Party
2019 35,618 0.25
0 / 151
Increase 59,265 0.41 (#16)
0 / 76
Increase Sustainable Australia Party
2022 3,866 0.03
0 / 151
Decrease 78,181 0.52 (#11)
0 / 76
Increase Sustainable Australia Party


Election year Lower House Upper House
Votes (#) Votes (%) Seats +/– Votes (#) Votes (%) Seats +/–
2018 Victoria 8,183 0.23
0 / 88
Increase 29,866 0.83
1 / 40
Increase 1
2022 Victoria
0 / 88
17,537 0.47
0 / 40
Decrease 1
2019 NSW 69,831 1.53
0 / 93
Increase 65,102 1.46
0 / 42
2023 NSW 103,710 2.10
0 / 93
Increase 42,902 0.85
0 / 42
2020 ACT 4,593 1.71
0 / 25
Increase N/A [c]
2021 WA 1,356 0.1
0 / 59
Increase 4,405 0.31
0 / 36
2022 SA N/A [d]
0 / 47
Steady 4,003 0.36
0 / 22

Political representatives

Members of Parliament


See also


  1. ^ Formerly the Sustainable Population Party and the Sustainable Australia Party – Stop Overdevelopment / Corruption
  2. ^ This election was only for Senate candidates in Western Australia
  3. ^ The ACT has a Unicameral parliament
  4. ^ The party did not contest any seats in the House of Assembly


  1. ^ Bourke, William (25 November 2016). "The Greens drive regular Aussies into the arms of Pauline Hanson". Crikey.
  2. ^ "Registration of the Stable Population Party of Australia". Australian Electoral Commission (AEC).
  3. ^ "Your cheat sheet to every party running in the Senate this federal election". ABC News. 16 May 2019.
  4. ^ Eddie, Rachel (20 May 2022). "Socialists, separatists and splinter groups - your Victorian Senate ticket guide". The Sydney Morning Herald.
  5. ^ Kolovos, Benita (30 March 2022). "Bid to overhaul Victoria's political donation laws to target 'backdoor' funding and 'loopholes'". The Guardian.
  6. ^ Sustainable Australia Party (2015). "Sustainable Australia Party - Anti-corruption & Governance". Sustainable Australia Party.
  7. ^ "Our Party - Sustainable Australia Party". Sustainable Australia Party. Retrieved 12 June 2023.
  8. ^ a b c "Current register of political parties". Australian Electoral Commission. 22 February 2019. Retrieved 7 March 2019.
  9. ^ "Currently registered parties". Victorian Electoral Commission. Retrieved 21 February 2019.
  10. ^ "State Register of Parties". New South Wales Electoral Commission. Retrieved 21 February 2019.
  11. ^ a b c "Issue Background". Australian Stable Population Party. Retrieved 5 September 2013.
  12. ^ "POPULATION - THE EVERYTHING ISSUE". Flyer Distribution. 20 January 2013.
  13. ^ "#Sustainable Australia". Current Register of Political Parties. AEC. Archived from the original on 27 January 2016. Retrieved 19 January 2016.
  14. ^ a b "Population Party - Candidates". Australian Stable Population Party. Retrieved 7 September 2013.
  15. ^ "House of Representatives Division First Preferences". Archived from the original on 7 December 2015. Retrieved 6 November 2013.
  16. ^ "Results". ABC News.
  17. ^ Bormann, Trevor (5 September 2013). "Bitter dispute erupts over Senate preferences in Queensland". ABC News.
  18. ^ "Micro parties alliance boosts their odds". 5 September 2013.
  19. ^ "What went wrong?". My Sunshine Coast.
  20. ^ "Candidates for the 2016 federal election". Australian Electoral Commission. 12 June 2016. Retrieved 12 June 2016.
  21. ^ "Dick Smith joins lower immigration party". News. Retrieved 24 September 2017.
  22. ^ Masanauskas, John. "Businessman Dick Smith joins political party Sustainable Australia". Herald Sun. Retrieved 24 September 2017.
  23. ^ "AEC 2020 Groom by-election results". Retrieved 17 January 2021.
  24. ^ "Garth Hamilton elected new Member for Groom for the LNP at by-election". ABC News. 28 November 2020.
  25. ^ "North Sydney - Notes on the Election". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 22 January 2022.
  26. ^ "North Sydney mayor makes shock exit from mayoral contest". Retrieved 22 January 2022.
  27. ^ "Members of Parliament (MPs) & Councillors". Sustainable Australia Party.
  28. ^ "'We need solutions now': Tonnes of recycling in Victoria going into landfill". Nine News. 4 March 2019. Retrieved 10 March 2019.
  29. ^ "From grassland to wasteland: Victoria breaks promise to create environmental reserve". The Age. 12 May 2019. Retrieved 16 May 2019.
  30. ^ "Yes2Renewables". Twitter. 16 October 2019. Retrieved 25 October 2019.
  31. ^ 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.
  32. ^ "Migration numbers from Australian Parliamentary Library".
  33. ^ a b "Policy Platform". Sustainable Australia.
  34. ^ a b c d "Policies - Sustainable Australia Party". Sustainable Australia Party. Retrieved 23 March 2024.
  35. ^ "Senate 2013 First Preferences By Group". Australian Electoral Commission. Retrieved 9 April 2018.
  36. ^ "Senate 2016 First Preferences By Group". Australian Electoral Commission. Retrieved 9 April 2018.
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Sustainable Australia Party
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