A Brief History of the Health Australia Party
2015 marked the establishment of the Health Australia Party, and the beginning of a new paradigm.
A growing concern for the health of the Australian nation began to surface from a range of individuals across Australia. Their voices came together in various forums to discuss their common goal for a Healthy Australia, from its citizens through to local councils, to state and territory governments and finally to national government and international alliances.
These individuals included environmentalists, natural therapists, pharmacists, GPs, parents, peace workers, economists, business executives, small businesses and a broad spectrum of other citizens all sharing the same concern for the health of Australia.
Common goals were identified with the Natural Medicine Party, and four individuals together with the two founders of the NMP agreed to form the Health Australia Party in July 2015. The HAP was not a simple re-badging of the NMP, although its AEC structure was continued, it was the formation of an entirely new entity with a new constitution, policies and people.
The Health Australia Party was formed to take on a true centre party position, committed to promoting open and transparent Government decision making, balance and honesty of information, and stimulating individual freedom of choice and thought – to ensure we have a genuinely Healthy Australia.
The Health Australia Party is history in the making. We are reaching out to and resonating with more and more citizens of Australia everyday who share the same concerns, and who want to be a part of the paradigm that will reignite the Health of Australia.
What We Have Achieved So Far (December, 2018)
Formed a national executive including a broad selection of experienced individuals across Australia.
Formed a Board of Advisors from a selection of experts across Australia.
Established State networks in Victoria, NSW, South Australia, Western Australia and Queensland. The aim is to establish formal branches in every State and Territory and then register as a Party in all States. Our application to register as a State party in Victoria has been successful, and negotiations with a WA Party with a view to registering the Health Australia Party in WA in 2019 are well progressed.
Created a brand platform for the Health Australia Party.
Created a strong Preamble and the Constitution to ensure that the Party is seen as a true, non-partisan, centre Party, where the rights of Australians are valued, and in particular our right to choose preferred methods of health care.
Totally revised the Policies of the Party, which remains an ongoing task today.
Developed a new website to create a common platform for communication from the Health Australia Party and a place to engage our members.
Stood 2 Senate candidates in the 4 active States in the 2016 federal election campaign.
Passed the AEC membership audit of the HAP in 2017 with flying colours, which means we are accredited to run in the 2019 Federal election.
Became registered as a State Party in Victoria, which allowed the Health Australia Party to run two candidates in each of the 8 Upper House seats in the 2018 Victorian State election.
The 2016 Federal Election Results
It appears as though the HAP achieved around a 0.5% 1st preference vote, after excluding the so-called “donkey vote” which came with drawing the #1 spot in NSW. This means about 50,000 people in the 4 contested States gave their 1st preference vote to the HAP. This was despite a relentless media campaign which depicted the HAP as an “anti-vaccination” Party – something which was simply untrue as clearly shown by our policies.
However we have created a base on which to build the future. Following the 2016 election the national executive of the Party was restructured and new members replaced some retiring members. The work of revalidating the membership base was commenced and expressions of interest sought from members wishing to join State executives.
The 2018 Victorian State Election Results
It appears as though HAP gained close to 0.8% of 1st preference votes. This is a 70% increase in the Victorian vote from the 2016 result, but still well short of gaining a seat. This time the anti-vacc allegations were limited, and the campaign saw some excellent candidates who ran active and productive campaigns. Due to excellent preferencing we came close to a win in one seat.
The Next Phase
Policy development has continued, including creation of a specific web page which will help ensure that the invalid “anti-vacc” tag is no longer used, at least by honest and responsible media and individuals. A formal complaint was lodged with the Press Council of Australia against the Age newspaper who labelled the HAP as anti-vaccination in the 2018 Victorian State election. A formal hearing has occurred and we are awaiting their conclusions.
The ongoing attacks on the integrity and evidence base of all natural therapies, led by the scientifically flawed NHMRC 2015-17 reports which are regularly quoted by some other political parties as well as sceptic groups such as the Friends of Science in Medicine, shows that the need for the Health Australia Party remains as strong as ever.
The next challenge will be to stand candidates in the 2019 Federal election, and to keep working on forming formal State branches in other States and territories to add to Victoria and a soon to be established WA branch.