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Aug 25 2013

Guide to Australian minor political parties

Australian politics has recently seen a proliferation of new minor parties, perhaps because the hung parliament has shown people how minor parties can play an influential role. I’ve been researching each of the options, in particular their attitude to climate change. Here’s what I found out!

The following is a full list of Australian minor political parties contesting the 2013 federal election (in alphabetical order) and their views and policies. Note this is intended more as a comprehensive resource than as an article to be read through in its entirety. I will assume readers are familiar with the three main parties (the Liberal/National Coalition, Australian Labor Party, and Australian Greens) and thus have excluded them.

Animal Justice Party. Founded 2009. For animal rights. Although their manifesto refers to sustainability, their policies all narrowly aim to counter cruelty to animals. Has no specific climate change policy. Preferences the Greens last in ACT because they supported a kangaroo cull.

Australia First Party. Founded 1996. Nationalist, anti-multicultural, protectionist (allegedly neo-fascist). Led by a former neo-Nazi who in 1991 was convicted of organizing the shooting of an African politician. Some of their arguments are difficult to make logical sense of. Aims to rebuild Australian manufacturing, simplify the tax system to reduce tax avoidance, protect Australian sovereignty, control foreign ownership, reduce immigration, overhaul the Family Court, introduce citizens’ initiated referenda, and unite urban and rural Australia. Has no climate change policy, though is opposed to coal seam gas.

Australian Christians. Founded 2011. Christian democrat, social conservative. A moderate offshoot of the Christian Democrats. Opposes same-sex marriage, “sexualisation of children”, prostitution, pornography, abortion, euthanasia, stem cell research, and unrestricted access to in vitro fertilization.  Supports religion-based discrimination between refugees, a zero tolerance illicit drugs policy, and assistance for disabled people. Has a vague environmental policy, and advocates alternative forms of transport.

Australian Democrats. Founded 1977. Policies determined by members through direct democracy. Centrist, social liberal, anti-neoliberal, environmentalist. Advocates abolishing mandatory detention of asylum seekers, restraining population growth by reducing economic migration and limiting government birth payments to each family’s first two children, increasing foreign aid, restricting political donations, and nuclear disarmament. Its climate and energy policies aim to reduce national greenhouse gas emissions and fossil fuel dependence “to well below current levels”. Support a higher carbon tax, a tax on exported coal, a national feed-in tariff for renewable energy, a 30% renewable energy target, mandatory fuel efficiency standards, stronger energy efficiency standards, shifting funding from roads to public transport, and a global climate agreement based on a global carbon price. Oppose ETS, fossil fuel subsidies, new coal-fired power stations, funding for carbon capture and storage, and nuclear power.

Australian First Nations Political Party. Founded 2011. For indigenous rights. The party has no website, so I am not aware if it has a climate policy.

Australian Fishing and Lifestyle Party. Founded 2006. Anti-green, libertarian. Opposes bans on recreational fishing.

Australian Independents. An umbrella organization giving financial and marketing backing to independent candidates.

Australian Motoring Enthusiast Party. Founded 2013. Their “policies” are each only one sentence long. Their ideology appears to be broadly libertarian. Opposes anti-hooning legislation.

Australian Protectionist Party. Founded 2007. Protectionist, nationalist, social conservative. Aims to protect Australia’s environment with a zero net immigration policy; protect Australia’s people by opposing asylum seekers and accepting only immigrants from “culturally compatible countries”; protect local manufacturing jobs by introducing tariffs, increasing Australian ownership, and limiting foreign labour; protect Australian farms against cheap foreign imports; protect the traditional family with welfare; protect freedom and democracy by establishing citizens’ initiated referenda; and protect “Australian society” against “Multiculturalism and Political Correctness”. Denies anthropogenic global warming and opposes carbon pricing, though would promote alternative energy sources.

Australian Sex Party. Founded 2009. Sex-positive, libertarian, social liberal. Related to a sex industry lobby group. Advocates full decriminalization and deregulation of prostitution; allowing sex workers to immigrate while preventing trafficking; overturning internet censorship; outlawing occupation-based discrimination; gay rights; greater access to abortion; legalization of voluntary euthanasia; abolishing tax exemptions for religious organizations; replacing religious instruction in public schools with ethics lessons; a national sex education curriculum; removal of tobacco and alcohol taxes; legalization of cannabis; and decriminalization of recreational drug use. Has no climate policy. Preferences One Nation ahead of the Greens in NSW.

Australian Smokers Rights Party. Founded 2013. Libertarian. Advocates reducing cigarette taxes, repealing smoking bans and restoring the right of private property owners to choose whether to allow smoking on their property, allowing retailers to decide whether to sell tobacco products and how to display them, and abolishing plain packaging.

Australian Sovereignty Party. Founded 2011. For sovereignty. Advocates protecting Australia’s sovereignty against international institutions and corporations; opposing any treaty not in the interests of the citizens of Australia (particularly trade treaties); a monetary system in which all money is created by the government (not banks) and spent into circulation; national self-sufficiency in food and energy; supporting local manufacturing; increasing defence capacity; recalling troops from present wars; no wars without a referendum; ending all foreign aid; replacing almost all existing taxes with a flat 1% debit tax applied to everyone; adjusting customs and excise duties to prevent outsourcing; increasing pensions; improving aged and disability care; a bill of rights; recall elections; protection of whistleblowers; opposing surveillance of citizens unless there is probable criminal conduct; opposing internet censorship; opposing political correctness; legalization of marijuana for medical use; and cutting “red tape”. Opposes the carbon tax (because it was not supported by the majority of citizens) and has no other climate policy.

Australian Sports Party. Founded 2013. Aims to get every Australian involved in sport. Has no climate policy.

Australian Voice Party. Founded 2013. Claims its representatives would vote according to the views of their electorate, yet has policies. Advocates replacing existing politicians’ benefits with a fixed allowance; prohibiting donations from vested interests; authorizing the Australian Electoral Commission to conduct broadcast election debates involving all parties with seats; a government that “only seeks the public ear when it needs a vote”; removing “influence of party politics and large corporations”; phasing out elements of Fringe Benefits Tax; a levy on imports; include a “Small Business Impact Statement” in each policy; legislating against anti-competitive behaviour; returning outsourced jobs to Australia; banning sale of farms to international buyers; establishing a Federal Development Bank to lower funding costs for farmers; opposing further expansion of coal seam gas until there is complete confidence of no negative environmental impacts; strengthening farmers’ land rights; allowing households to access superannuation for mortgage payments; increasing the aged pension; requiring migrants to adopt Australian cultural values; investigating the banking industry; inbound medical treatment tourism; protection of whistleblowers; reviewing corporate welfare and tax breaks; and simplifying the tax system. Its climate policy is to abolish the carbon tax or ETS in favour of “practical and effective steps” including emerging renewable fuel technologies and a high-speed rail line from Brisbane to Melbourne.

Bank Reform Party. Founded 2013. For greater regulation of banks. Advocates forcing banks to follow RBA interest rate movements, enforcing stronger anti-predatory lending laws, enforcing greater transparency on fees and charges, capping bank bonuses and executive salaries, reviewing the imbalance between obligations on banks and borrowers, and investigating greater competition. Has no climate policy.

Building Australia Party. Founded 2010. Pro-building-industry. Aims to create an Independent Building Commission reduce regulation of the building industry, reduce planning delays for new homes, review workers’ compensation, reform vocational licensing so it recognizes an individual’s skills instead of “just” protecting consumers, reduce the cost of land, review home insurance, improve the nurse-to-patient ratio in hospitals, invest in public transport, and increase water efficiency. Has no specific climate policy.

Bullet Train for Australia Party. Founded 2013. For high speed rail. Aims to build a rail network with a sustained speed over 200 km/h. Will abstain from voting on all other issues. Preferences various right-wing parties ahead of the Greens.

Carers Alliance. Founded 2007. For supporting carers and the disabled. Advocates funding for family carers; national health assessments at prescribed stages of childhood; immediate support for children with disabilities; improving healthcare for disabled people; allocating 12% of the health budget to mental health; rights to mental health treatment; recognizing the intergenerational mental health impacts of military service, and individualized service for disabilities, aged care, and mental health. Has no climate policy.

Christian Democratic Party. Founded 1977. Christian democrat, social conservative. Argues Australia was founded on Christian principles. Their Charter is filled with Bible quotes. Opposes homosexuality, pornography, in vitro fertilization, stem cell research, abortion, euthanasia, multiculturalism, secularism, and Islamism. Supports mandatory detention of asylum seekers, religion-based discrimination between refugees, rights to discriminate based on religious beliefs, a zero-tolerance illicit drugs policy, and economic deregulation. Wants schools to present Christian doctrine including creationism, climate change denialism, and the “dangers” of homosexuality. Argues the environment was created to serve humankind and denies anthropogenic global warming. Opposes an ETS, the Kyoto Protocol, and federal takeover of water resources. Supports “clean coal” technology.

Citizens Electoral Council. Founded 1988. LaRouche movement. Subscribes to an elaborate conspiracy theory which is difficult to make logical sense of, involving such varied forces as fascism, international banks, the counterculture, neoliberalism, the US and Australian governments, right-wing populism, environmentalism, and violent video games. Its policies are a weird mixture: reorganize the global financial system; establish an Australian republic; establish a national bank and state banks; repeal all “anti-terror”, anti-union, and racial vilification laws; reverse privatizations; immediately implement a moratorium on foreclosures of family homes and farms; abolish the National Competition Policy; abolish the Goods and Services Tax; nationalize oil, gas, and other mineral resources and expand domestic use; dramatically increase health investment; dramatically upgrade infrastructure and launch an Australian space program; “wage a real war on drugs”; and establish generous immigration quotas but oppose multiculturalism. Believes climate change science is a conspiracy to create a world government, opposes all climate policies, and its energy policy is “save people, industries from climate change hoax” and to support nuclear power.

Coke in the Bubblers Party. Founded 2013. The name is intended to satirize existing political parties. Their website currently redirects to an error message. Its climate policy apparently involves cutting Australian emissions by 20% in ten years through carbon productivity (GDP per emissions).

Country Alliance. Founded 2004. Anti-green, libertarian. Opposes the carbon tax, closing coal-fired generators, new national and marine parks, fluoridation, and sale of public assets. Supports developing Victoria’s brown coal deposits; promoting ”clean coal” technology; removing restrictions on collection of fallen timber for firewood; allowing logging in water catchment areas; upholding existing water entitlements; allowing construction of dams; restricting and penalizing environmental protest; promoting fire refuges; re-establishing waste services in camping grounds; improving pest species management; limiting poker machines to existing casinos and racing venues; decentralizing government agencies; improving rural services; and promoting recreational boating, fishing, shooting, motorbike riding, and four-wheel driving.

Democratic Labour Party. Founded 1955. Christian democrat, social conservative, distributist, anti-socialist, anti-neoliberal. Supports promoting population growth, building up national defence capacity, onshore processing of asylum seekers, justice for indigenous Australians, building new dams, developing regional Australia, decentralization, introducing citizens’ initiated referenda, allowing Australia to revoke international agreements, protection of Australian manufacturing and farming, discouraging foreign ownership, deregulation of small business, overhauling the Family Court, increasing disability support, and establishing a Federal Development Bank to fund infrastructure spending. Opposes abortion, euthanasia, and same-sex marriage. Denies anthropogenic global warming and opposes the carbon tax and wind power, but supports an immediate moratorium on coal seam gas mining. Would reserve some natural gas for domestic use, maintain domestic oil refineries, and invest in nuclear fusion research.

Drug Law Reform Australia. Founded 2013. Anti-drug-prohibition. Advocates a Royal Commission into the costs of drug prohibition. Conscience votes for other issues.

Family First Party. Founded 2001. Social conservative, economic liberal. Advocates promoting stay-at-home parents; increasing paid parental leave; promoting relationship counselling aimed at constructive resolution; promoting home ownership; supporting family carers; rights for support for disabilities; opposing water restrictions; defending the water interests of South Australia; compensation for any limitation on property use; deregulation of industrial relations; deregulation for small business; a flat 20% tax on companies and incomes over $20,000; abolishing the mining tax and payroll taxes; doubling foreign aid; and participating in the War on Terror. Opposes abortion, euthanasia, and same-sex marriage. Denies anthropogenic global warming, wants a Royal Commission into climate science, and opposes a carbon tax or ETS.

Future Party. Founded 2013. Technologist. Advocates increasing education investment; increasing science and technology expenditure to 5% of GDP; promoting Australian space research; establishing a university city called “Turing” between Sydney and Canberra; reducing the power of corporate monopolies; making Australia a republic; a multi-member seat electoral system for the House of Representatives; a single national electorate for the Senate; making all government communication available online; protection of whistleblowers; no funding or endorsement of religions; electronic voting; no internet censorship; requiring a warrant for investigation of online behaviour; ending “all forms of material discrimination”; same-sex marriage; simplifying marginal tax rates into three bands; removing incentives not to work; replacing stamp duty, council rates, and payroll tax with a land tax; creating an independent body to set taxes on gambling, tobacco, and alcohol; focusing on preventative health care; decriminalization of recreational drug use; continuing construction of the National Broadband Network; legalizing driverless cars as soon as is safe; improving housing affordability; increasing criminal rehabilitation programs promoting nuclear disarmament; releasing non-operationally important national secrets; and considering war as the absolute last option. Its climate policy centres on a carbon price, and other climate-related policies include: renewable energy as pivotal, smart meters, connecting eastern and western electricity grids, building high-speed rail from Brisbane to Melbourne, ending native forest logging, energy R&D including construction of two thorium nuclear reactors and nuclear fusion research, climate change adaptation research, and geoengineering research.

Help End Marijuana Prohibition (HEMP) Party. Founded 1993. For legalization of cannabis for recreational, medicinal, and industrial uses. Has no climate policy. Preferences various right-wing parties ahead of the Greens.

Katter’s Australia Party. Founded 2011 by previously independent MP Bob Katter. Protectionist, social conservative, anti-neoliberal. Advocates not signing any new free trade agreements, directing government to purchase only Australian-made goods, building 100 patrol boats for coastal security, capping the market share of a supermarket chain at 22%, establish a Supermarket Fairness Tribunal, increase funding for Queensland’s Rural Fire Service, access to industrial arbitration for farmers, a 10% per cent customs duty on imports, warning labels on imported food, opposing sale of state-owned assets, and deregulation of outdoor recreational activities (ie. shooting, fishing, etc). Denies anthropogenic global warming and opposes a carbon tax or ETS; but acknowledges ocean acidification and supports a 12-month moratorium on new coal seam gas projects, protecting agricultural land from mining, outlawing mining and exploration on a landholder’s property without consent, prohibition of drilling in the Great Artesian Basin, prohibition of fracking within three kilometres of groundwater, and mandating the use of ethanol.

Liberal Democratic Party. Founded 2001. Libertarian, neoliberal. Advocates free markets; free trade; balanced budgets; no government debt; a flat 20% tax on companies and incomes over $40,000; abolition of carbon, mining, fuel, tobacco, alcohol, and import taxes; replacing various state taxes; replacing the minimum wage and all other current welfare with a negative income tax for low-income earners; deregulation including of industrial relations, tobacco, gambling, media, and traffic; privatization of the ABC, SBS, National Broadband Network, Australia Post, Medibank Private, electricity generators, public transport, universities, schools, and hospitals; limiting the federal government to defence, immigration, basic public services, and welfare; delegating the federal government’s powers over taxation, health, and education to the states; removing powers related to international treaties from the federal government; strict limits on police power; preservation of civil liberties; citizens’ initiated referenda; voluntary voting; recall elections; protection of whistleblowers; freedom of information; unlimited freedom of speech; abolition of all affirmative action programs; constitutional protection of private property; a right to own firearms; same-sex marriage; no government intervention in private sexual activities except to prevent coercion and protect children; legalization of cannabis; no criminalization of recreational drug use, prostitution, pornography, abortion, assisted suicide, or not wearing seatbelts and bike helmets; free immigration agreements; and abolition of foreign aid. Their environment policy is to end government control over natural resources, arguing smaller government will lead to “better environmental quality”. Denies anthropogenic global warming, argues no action is warranted, and “should the evidence become compelling” favours market-based responses and adaptation to climate change. Argues government should not favour any particular energy technology.

Nick Xenophon Group. Anti-pokies independent and colleagues. Advocates restrictions on poker machines, limiting online gambling, prohibiting gambling advertising during any G-rated program or sports broadcast, giving the ACCC the power to apply to the courts to break up oligopolies, a supermarket industry code of conduct, preventing “dumping” of imports, country-of-origin labelling on food, lowering the threshold for scrutiny of foreign investment, introducing a national interest test for foreign investment, and protecting South Australia’s water interests. Xenophon’s climate policy is to replace the carbon tax with a baseline-and-credit (incentive-based) ETS, based on a 2009 Frontier Economics report he co-commissioned with Malcolm Turnbull. Opposes wind power and wants the RET redesigned to support emerging renewable energy technologies.

No Carbon Tax Climate Sceptics. Founded 2009. Climate change denialist, anti-green. Associated with Christopher Monckton, who believes climate change science is a conspiracy to create a world government. Opposes a carbon tax, ETS, or any other climate policy. Opposes the Murray-Darling Basin Plan because it assumes climate change is occurring. Supports incentive-based environmental policies that reward landcare, diverting northern rivers into the Murray-Darling Basin, fuel reduction burns, directing fuel tax revenue to transport infrastructure, deregulation, extension of property rights, broadband infrastructure, linking pension increases to cost of living, and citizens’ initiated referenda. Wants a Royal Commission into climate science. In perhaps the strangest preference decision, preferences Labor ahead of Liberal in NSW, Tasmania, and Victoria.

Non-Custodial Parents Party. Founded 1998. Mens’ rights activist. Aims to minimize government interference in and maximize the initiative of individual parents to make decisions about the lives of families. Supports equal-time shared parenting unless it is proven to be not in the children’s interests, repealing existing child support legislation, replacing the Family Court with a non-confrontational Family Tribunal, joint-owned property to be split 50-50 and pre-relationship property remaining with its original owner; abolishing incentives for custodial parents to deny access to children, population growth through controlled immigration, funding for public transport, reducing the cost of housing, limiting military operations to the protection of Australia, protection of manufacturing industries, same-sex marriage, and deregulation. Supports coal-fired power stations as the main source of Australia’s electricity generation, arguing wind and solar power are not viable in Australia.

One Nation. Founded 1997. Nationalist, anti-multiculturalist, social conservative, protectionist, anti-neoliberal. Has been highly influential on the refugee policies of Liberal and Labor. Some of their policies are written in the form of incoherent rants, and recently one candidate made a series of basic errors about Islam. Advocates reducing unemployment through re-industrialization; an apprenticeship scheme that pays businesses to employ and train young Australians; rebuilding manufacturing and primary industries by reversing free trade policies and deregulation; labelling products according to country of origin; a rebate for Australian-made cars; no majority foreign ownership of Australian land or resources; food marketing boards and tariffs; requiring property purchases by temporary residents to be approved by the Foreign Investment Review Board; replacing the Racial Discrimination Act with a policy of assimilation; zero net immigration; denying entry to Australia to anyone arriving without identification; temporary protection visas for “genuine refugees”; diverting northern rivers inland; allowing young home buyers to access superannuation; increasing the aged pension; voluntary euthanasia; introducing citizens’ initiated referenda; withdrawing from treaties on the environment, free trade, and refugees; not recognizing any treaty which breaches the constitution; requiring fingerprint identification for access to government services; and a voter identification card to counter electoral fraud. Believes climate change science is a conspiracy to create a world government. Its energy policy involves “low-cost power generation”, abolishing the carbon tax/ETS and Renewable Energy Target, an immediate halt to all wind turbine installations and an investigation into “Wind Turbine Syndrome”, cutting “green tape”, cancelling all international climate funding, a Royal Commission into climate science, and include climate change denial in the school curriculum.

Outdoor Recreation Party (Stop the Greens). Founded 1996. Anti-green, libertarian. Related to the Liberal Democratic Party. Opposes restrictions on fishing, shooting, four-wheel drives, motorcycles, cars, hiking, land clearing, assisted suicide, and property rights. Supports voluntary voting, recall elections, sunset clauses on legislation, reducing income tax, reducing company tax, greater police accountability, and deregulation. Has no climate policy.

Palmer’s United Party. Founded 2013 by coal mining billionaire and global warming denier Clive Palmer, who recently split from the Liberal National Party. Economic neoliberal, social conservative. Generally supports the ideology and policies of the Coalition, with the following exceptions. Advocates forbidding lobbyists from being political party officials, retroactively abolishing the carbon tax, setting up a national commission to “investigate the Carbon issue”, establishing a system in which 25% of the wealth generated in a region is returned to that region, and allowing asylum seekers to board a plane to an Australian airport so they do not need to resort to people smugglers. Denies anthropogenic global warming.

Pirate Party Australia. Founded 2009. For winding back copyright laws. Advocates unlimited freedom of speech; ending censorship; reducing copyright duration to 15 years; removing copyright from publicly funded material; create exceptions to copyright to protect non-commercial distribution, fair use, sampling, transformative use, copying for private use, and libraries; reducing patent duration to 5-10 years; abolishing patents on genes, organisms, and pharmaceuticals; accelerating digitization of library content; greater legal protection of privacy; opposing monitoring of internet use; non-discriminatory internet access; commencing negotiations on a new treaty to protect the rights of internet users; establishing by referendum a bill of rights; simplifying the welfare system; simplifying the tax system; making income tax more progressive; reducing company tax; abolishing tax exemptions for religious organizations; ending religious indoctrination in government schools; increasing university funding; reducing university fees; making all academic articles freely available; strengthening freedom of information; protection of whistleblowers; an official method to petition the federal government; greater oversight of political donations and lobbyists; an independent election debates commission; science-based environment policy; voluntary euthanasia; replacing state marriage with civil unions for all consenting couples over 18 years of age; decriminalization of recreational drug use; legalizing certain drugs but taxing and regulating them in a tobacco-like approach; creating a regional asylum seeker “queue” and abolishing mandatory detention; and opposing secrecy in negotiation of trade treaties. Its energy policy adopts Beyond Zero Emissions’ $370 billion ten-year plan to construct a 100% renewable system of electricity generation and distribution. This would be funded by partial sale of assets on completion, redirection of existing renewable funds and carbon price revenue, and replacing the Renewable Energy Target with a temporary household energy levy. Also supports a moratorium on new coal mining and exploration until such time as carbon capture and storage technology is viable and commercial, a moratorium on coal seam gas until its safety is scientifically confirmed, banning new coal-fired power stations, phasing out fossil fuel subsidies, working through COAG to introduce a uniform national solar PV tariff guaranteed for 20 years with a 15-year payback period, assisting consumers to identify reliable solar companies, setting a Renewable Fuel Target for 50% of vehicle fuel to be renewable by 2030, and the Repower Port Augusta campaign.

Republican Party of Australia. Founded 1982. Anti-monarchist. Their “policies” are each only one sentence long. Advocates an Australian republic, a charter of rights and responsibilities, abolishing one of Australia’s levels of governance for the sake of decentralization, limiting land value taxation to the federal government, a proportional voting system, recognizing indigenous Australians in the constitution, secularism, zero net migration, “water security, food security and energy security”. Opposed to an ETS and has no other climate policy.

Rise Up Australia Party. Founded 2011. Christian right, nationalist, anti-multicultural, social conservative. Led by pastor Danny Nalliah, who claims to have resurrected three dead people, claims to have learned through visions that extreme weather events are God’s revenge for pro-abortion and anti-Israel policies, aims to convert gay people to heterosexuality, opposes atheists in political positions, and was expelled from Family First. Associated with Christopher Monckton, who believes climate change science is a conspiracy to create a world government. Advocates policies influenced by “Christian values” and “Judeo-Christian heritage”, support for the state of Israel, outlawing abortion, opposing homosexuality, ending all affirmative action, allowing religious organizations to discriminate, preventing “sexualisation” of children, allowing parents and schools to “discipline” children within guidelines, a history curriculum teaching that Australia is a “Christian nation”, ensuring media “avoid gratuitous violence and socially-denigrating themes”, opposition to changing the Australian flag, developing a stronger defence force, honouring living and dead Australian soldiers, “eliminate voting fraud”, reducing the influence of international institutions on Australia, full employment, limiting foreign ownership, preventing market oligopolies, introducing tariffs for manufacturing, greater regulation of banks, a taxation system that favours producers, elimination of certain welfare payments, enhancing the right to private property, investing in transport, decentralization, and opposition to sharia law. Denies anthropogenic global warming. Its energy policy includes opposing an ETS, opposing renewable energy and solar policies, supporting coal-fired power stations, and making Australia a net exporter of all forms of energy.

Save the Planet. An unregistered new party advocating an emergency response to climate change. Aims to create a zero-emissions economy in Australia and globally within 10 years or less. Its priorities are to cease granting permits for exploration of any type of fossil fuel, cease approving new investments in fossil fuel production and use, cease approving new fossil fuel exports projects or export infrastructure, end all fossil fuel subsidies, rapidly phase out of fossil fuel production and use, increase the Renewable Energy Target to 100% by 2023, retain a carbon price to back up the aforementioned actions, establish a $50 million Community Energy Fund, work with neighbouring countries and countries that import Australian fossil fuels to speed up their transition to zero-carbon energy, and bring together an alliance of governments at all levels that support a climate emergency response. (Read more about Save the Planet here.)

Secular Party. Founded 2006. Secularist, social liberal. Advocates opposing religious indoctrination of children, a secular curriculum in government schools, replacing religious instruction with ethics lessons, a comprehensive sex education curriculum including addressing gender inequality and homophobia, replacing chaplains with qualified counsellors, legislating children’s rights, same-sex marriage, equivalent legal status for secular and religious marriages and celebrants, availability of all forms of contraception and abortion, voluntary euthanasia, stem cell research, a bill of rights, prohibiting religious practices which limit women’s rights, banning burqas in public places, removing anti-discrimination exemptions for religious organizations, opposing blasphemy laws, opposing internet censorship, limiting copyright and patent laws, abolishing private health insurance, evidence-based regulation of alternative medicines, abolishing tax exemptions and subsidies for religions, strengthening the mining tax, abolishing the baby bonus, reviewing refugee policy, abolishing parliamentary prayers, opposing sharia law, making Australia a republic, promoting secularism internationally, andrecognizing the largest economic challenges are environmental problems and international inequity. Its climate policy consists of a carbon tax, a rising tax on coal exports to fund renewable and (particularly) nuclear energy and compensation for developing countries, a global carbon tax, opposing an inadequate ETS; and using Australia’s seat on the UN Security Council to urgently prioritize climate change.

Senator Online. Founded 2007.Direct democratic. Would conduct an online poll for every bill that is presented to the Senate, then vote in accordance with a majority of at least 70%, or abstain from voting.

Shooters and Fishers Party. Founded 1992. Anti-green, libertarian. Advocates a right to own and use firearms, recreational hunting, delegating federal environmental protection powers to the states, deregulation, requiring government to have parliamentary approval before signing international treaties, and obliging Senators to protect the interests of their state. Has no climate policy.

Socialist Alliance. Founded 2001. Far left, democratic socialist, eco-socialist. Associated with Green Left Weekly. Advocates nationalizing the energy, mining, and banking sectors so they can be run in the public interest; scrapping all anti-union laws; legal recognition of workers’ right to strike and organize; replacing 457 visas with full rights for migrant workers; rejecting the “PNG solution”; ending mandatory detention of asylum seekers; ending excisions of Australian territory; abolishing the Northern Territory intervention; closing the gap in Aboriginal living standards; full LGBTI rights; equal pay for women; decriminalization of abortion; stronger laws against sexual harassment; giving 16-year-olds the right to vote; ending youth wage rates; increasing health funding; free public education to tertiary level; expansion of public housing; capping rent and mortgage repayments at 20% of income; lifting all welfare payments above the poverty line; increasing single parent welfare; increasing funding for aged, child, and disability care; a bill of rights; abolition of ASIO and “anti-terror” laws; withdrawing from Afghanistan; no participation in “imperialist interventions”; ending Australia’s military alliance with the US; closing US military bases in Australia; opposing Israel’s “apartheid” anti-Palestinian policy; increasing foreign aid; and a Constituent Assembly to create a new People’s Constitution. Its climate policy acknowledges most fossil fuels must be left in the ground and proposes 100% renewable energy in 10 years, emissions reduction targets of at least 5% per year, ending fossil fuel subsidies, phaseout of existing fossil fuel exports, closure of existing fossil-fuelled power stations, no new coal mines or coal-fired power stations, an immediate moratorium on all unconventional gas exploration and production, a royal commission on the impacts of unconventional gas, expansion of public transport including intercity high speed rail, subsidizing conversion of private cars to electric; ending logging of native forests, turning coal-dependent regions into renewable energy manufacturing hubs, guaranteeing replacement jobs and retraining for affected workers, advocating a global emissions target of 90% below 1990 by 2030 prioritizing cuts in rich countries, increasing climate aid for poor countries;, and scrapping the carbon price/ETS.

Socialist Equality Party. Founded 2010. Trotskyist. Australian branch of the Fourth International. Aims to “unite the struggles of workers in every country”; split the working class from the Labor Party and trade unions; end Australia’s military alliance with the US; close US military bases in Australia; withdraw Australian forces from Iraq, Afghanistan, East Timor, and the South Pacific; disband the Australian military; end intelligence operations against citizens; reallocate military resources to housing and social infrastructure; compensate victims of Australian war crimes and put those responsible on trial; legally recognize the right of workers to organize; protect workers from unfair dismissal; repeal all laws against strikes and pickets; outlaw all discrimination based on nationality, ethnicity, religion, gender, or sexual preference; allow unrestricted access to abortion; allow same-sex marriage; repeal all “anti-terror” legislation; expropriate banks and multi-billion-dollar corporations; increase investment in health and education; and guarantee a “decent annual living wage” to all workers, tertiary students, and people who are unable to work. Has no climate policy.

Stop CSG Party. Founded 2013. Anti-coal-seam-gas. Advocates banning coal seam gas and other unconventional gas mining, phasing out and de-incentivizing fossil fuels, expanding and subsidizing renewable energy and energy efficiency, redesigning government subsidies to favour sustainable industries and penalize environmentally damaging ones, refusing approval to any industrial activity unless it can be shown beyond reasonable doubt to be non-harmful to human health or the environment, forcing those responsible for damaging human health or the environment to pay for the damage, managing water to preserve it for future generations, giving landholders the right to refuse entry or negotiate just terms for land access, and monitoring industry compliance and impacts. Acknowledges “Elevated levels of carbon are having an adverse impact on human wellbeing, earth systems and ecosystems and we must immediately undertake a sustained process of carbon sequestration and carbon emission reduction.” Preferences Family First and Australia First ahead of the Greens.

Stable Population Party. Founded 2010. Anti-population-growth. Advocates a zero net immigration policy; limiting government birth payments to each woman’s first two children; reviewing all permanent and temporary immigration programs including the 457 visa; allowing for an annual refugee intake of up to 20,000; rejecting racial or religious discrimination between immigrants; and tying foreign aid to sustainability with an emphasis on women’s rights, education, and access to reproductive health and family planning. Has no specific climate policy, but argues population affects all policy areas.

The 23 Million. Founded 2013. For political reform. Claims its candidates are randomly selected Australians instead of “career politicians”, will only run for a single term, will accept no donations, form no alliances, conduct all communications on record, deliberate with the community wherever possible, and vote according to their conscience. Its only policy is a review of the entire Australian political system by 150 randomly selected Australians.

Uniting Australia Party. Founded 2013. Aims to stop foreign purchases of farmland, stop the “lifelong perks” of ex-politicians, “bring back realistic penalties to deter criminals”, cut “red tape”, increase pensions, “make politicians more accountable”, make foreign aid more effective, spend more on infrastructure and job creation, increase welfare for young Australians, and decrease incentives for “illegal immigrants”. Opposes the carbon tax “in its current form”, and supports gas-fired power stations, gas-powered vehicles, and investment in solar and hydrogen energy.

Voluntary Euthanasia Party. Founded 2013. For euthanasia. Advocates allowing informed patients with an incurable illness to choose a medical procedure for painless assisted death, with legal safeguards.

WikiLeaks Party. Founded 2013. For open government. Leader Julian Assange has expressed sympathy with right-wing libertarian politicians. Aims to provide independent scrutiny of government; support internet freedom; require security and police agencies to have a warrant for digital surveillance and report on such activity; protect whistleblowers and journalists with national shield laws; expose influence of foreign powers; increase diversity of media ownership by promoting non-profit media, establishing a content innovation fund, and opposing any attempts to privatize the ABC and SBS; oppose Australia’s alliance with the US; and demand the government reverse the “PNG solution”, reverse excisions of Australian territory, process asylum seekers in Australia, cap immigration detention at 45 days, allow full media access to detention centres, and be accountable in assessment of asylum claims. Their climate policy acknowledges the need for a significant proportion of Australian coal reserves to remain unburned and proposes to: combat secrecy in the relationship between government and the fossil fuel industry, review the Climate Change Authority Caps and Targets Review to ensure it is evidence-based, ensure ETS legislation addresses criticisms of the EU scheme, reduce fossil fuel subsidies, support renewable energy and R&D, and ensure the transition from coal does not hurt communities. Preferenced Australia First and Shooters and Fishers ahead of the Greens in NSW, which the party has since claimed was an “error”, and the ensuing controversy has led to several party members resigning.

1 comment

  1. Paul Corrigan

    I scanned the above list of parties for one that promotes population moderation without reducing refugee intake. As I am left leaning and pro green, I have difficulty finding a suitable organization to support (not necessarily political party).
    If anyone can recommend a group with my moderate population values, please advise. I guess a 2 child per couple goal is my policy but without enforcement or propaganda.

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