Western Australia Party

The Western Australia Party is a centrist political party based in Western Australia. It currently has one member of the Western Australian Legislative Council.

Western Australia Party
LeaderJulie Matheson
SecretaryStephen Phelan
Parliamentary leaderCharles Smith
Founded2016; 4 years ago (2016)
Headquarters19/4 Ventnor Avenue, West Perth, 6005 WA
IdeologyRegionalism
Populism
WA Legislative Council
1 / 36
Website
westernaustraliaparty.org.au

The party was founded in 2016 by Julie Matheson, a councillor with the City of Subiaco as Julie Matheson for Western Australia to contest the 2017 state election.[1] In July 2017, the party's name was changed to the Western Australia Party.[2]

The party's ideological focus is a combination of centrism, populism and regionalism, drawing from the position of Matheson and John Forrest. Its core policies include reform to Local Government, WA's Family Court, and tax reform.

HistoryEdit

Matheson unsuccessfully ran for the Australian Senate at the 2016 federal election as an independent candidate. Following her defeat, Matheson registered the Julie Matheson for Western Australia party in order to contest the 2017 Western Australian state election.[3] The party received just 0.5% of first-preference votes in the Legislative Assembly, and 0.4% in the Legislative Council.[4]

Soon after the election[when?] the party was renamed to the Western Australia Party.[2] Matheson claims[citation needed] the party is the modern-day revival of the Western Australian Party, formed by John Forrest in 1906. In the 2018 Cottesloe by-election the new party polled 9% of first preference votes, and 5.8% of first preference votes in the Darling Range by-election that same year.[5]

As the party was not registered with the Australian Electoral Commission, Matheson contested the 2018 Perth by-election as an independent candidate. After the by-election, the party applied to be registered on a federal level. This registration was granted on 30 August 2018.[6]

In 2019, the party contested its first federal election, running 20 candidates across Western Australia. However, the party again fared poorly, gaining only 1.8% in the House of Representatives and 1.2% in the Senate.

On 12 May 2020, the party gained its first member of parliament when former One Nation MP and Legislative Council member for East Metropolitan, Charles Smith, joined the party.[7]

Ideology and positionsEdit

The Western Australia Party has promoted itself as a centrist alternative to the major parties. Where decisions are made based on what's in the best interests of Western Australia as opposed to party ideology. As such the party has a wide array of political ideas with members coming from many other political parties.

The party's centrist image is reinforced through preferences. The party has always used a split-ticket system of preferencing, and at the 2019 Federal Election, the party's preferences were the most evenly split of any political party in Australia.[8]

Throughout its history, the party has held policies to change taxation laws in Western Australia. Including a 100% per capita share of the G.S.T., removing payroll and capital gains tax, and the removal of fringe benefits tax. Further policies include reform to the Western Australian Family Court and Local Government Systems.[9]

Election resultsEdit

The Western Australia fielded 20 candidates in the 2019 Australian Federal Election, however none were elected.

FederalEdit

House of Representatives
Election year # of
overall votes
% of
overall vote
# of
overall seats won
# of
overall seats
+/– Notes
2019 25,298 0.18 (#18)
0 / 151
0 / 151
 
Senate
Election year # of
overall votes
% of
overall vote
# of
overall seats won
# of
overall seats
+/– Notes
2019 17,213 0.12 (#35)
0 / 40
0 / 76
 

Western AustraliaEdit

Legislative Assembly
Election year # of
overall votes
% of
overall vote
# of
overall seats won
# of
overall seats
+/– Notes
2017 6,145 0.47 (#9)
0 / 59
0 / 59
  0
Legislative Council
Election year # of
overall votes
% of
overall vote
# of
overall seats won
# of
overall seats
+/– Notes
2017 5,270 0.39 (#14)
0 / 36
0 / 36
  0

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Registered Political Parties in WA". Western Australian Electoral Commission. Retrieved 13 February 2017.
  2. ^ a b Kerslake, David (13 July 2017). "Approval of Change of Name and Abbreviated Name". Letter. Western Australian Electoral Commission.
  3. ^ No. 191, Western Australian Government Gazette, 21 October 2016, p. 4787.
  4. ^ "North Metropolitan Region". WA Election 2017. ABC Australia. Retrieved 13 February 2017.
  5. ^ Laschon, Eliza. "WA Party plans federal by-election tilt after strong Darling Range GST protest vote result". ABC News.
  6. ^ "Registration of a political party: Western Australia Party" (PDF). Notice under s 133(1A)(a) of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918. Australian Electoral Commission. 30 August 2018. Retrieved 12 September 2018.
  7. ^ "Charles Smith, former One Nation MP, turned independent, joins new party". Out in Perth. 12 May 2020.
  8. ^ Green, Antony. "Preference Flows at the 2019 Federal Election – Antony Green's Election Blog". Retrieved 8 October 2020.
  9. ^ "Our Policies". Western Australia Party. Retrieved 8 October 2020.