A Queensland senate ballot paper from a previous year.
A Queensland senate ballot paper from a previous year.

Who are these people? Senate parties explained

WHEN you go and vote this week you will be presented a dauntingly long piece of paper with a list of Queensland Senate hopefuls.

Don't let the size of the ballot paper get to you.

You have a two ways of voting - above or below the line.

When voting above the line, you have to number at least six parties you wish to be voted into the Senate.

If you decide to vote below the line, you must number at least 12 individual candidates.

Here's a few things you should know about the dozens of parties vying for your vote in the Senate.


GROUP A: Rise Up Australia

  • Party position: Extreme right
  • Values: Protect Aussie jobs, Aussie ownership of land, Aussie way of life and Aussie customs. The party was started in 2010 by Daniel Nalliah, who is from Sri Lanka, and a major voice against multiculturalism and "Islamisation" of the West.
  • Verdict: Ironic or confused, this party may get a few votes but don't count on it picking up a seat. Unconfirmed if the party is named after the classic 2003 Australian Idol Top 12 song.


GROUP B: Pauline Hanson's One Nation

  • Party position: Far, far right
  • Values: The party, launched by Pauline Hanson, dares to challenge the entrenched bureaucracy and the vested interests of the political ruling elite and speak out on controversial issues.
  • Verdict: Pauline Hanson has had a tough campaign, embroiled in controversy thanks to her staffers partying it up in America. Trust may be waning with this party.


GROUP C: United Australia Party

  • Party position: Right of centre
  • Values: Clive Palmer's United Australia Party wants to make Australia great. There's no doubt you have seen or heard his political ads. The party wants to save tax payers dollars, protect Australia's borders, create mineral wealth and system to share that wealth around the community.
  • Verdict: Clive Palmer's big advertising campaign has certainly made people aware his party is in the running but it is hard to overlook the Townsville nickel refinery debacle. Not likely to move the dial a great deal in Herbert.


GROUP D: Liberal National Party of Queensland

  • Party position: Right of centre
  • Values: The party claims it wants to work towards a lean government that minimises interference in our daily lives. The party believes in "a just and humane society", "equal opportunity", "preserving Australia's natural beauty" and maintaining world peace.
  • Verdict: The LNP dumped relegated 'Father of the Senate' Ian Macdonald to the unwinnable spot on the LNP's senate ticket. That's not the way to treat North Queensland.


GROUP E: Involuntary Medication Objectors (Vaccination/Fluoride) Party

  • Party position: Extreme left
  • Values: The party believes medical freedoms of Australians are at risk "like never before in history". It wants to protect the rights of Australians to refuse any medical product or procedure, including vaccinations and fluoride in water.
  • Verdict: Going against medical advice of professionals will make it hard to win over conservatives or those who want to look after their health.


GROUP F: Climate Action! Immigration Action! Accountable Politicians!

  • Party position: Far, far left
  • Values: The former Online Direct Democracy Party has a new name, to reflect its values. The party said it was committed to ensuring the majority of Australians had an independent voice in parliament, free from party or lobbyist persuasions.
  • Verdict: Protecting the environment is a good thing but a party with too many exclamation marks in its title might be a little too mad in the Senate.


Who wouldn’t want justice for this cute fluff ball? Photo: Adam Head
Who wouldn’t want justice for this cute fluff ball? Photo: Adam Head


GROUP G: Animal Justice Party

  • Party position: Far left
  • Values: This party values kindness to animals and wants to work towards minimising the suffering and pain of all. It claims it will fight for animals, rescuers, carers and "the powerless in society".
  • Verdict: All for the protection of animals but wanting to shift our focus "towards healthy plant-based wholefoods" is a step too far in politicising personal choice.


GROUP H: The Greens

  • Party position: Far left
  • Values: The Greens champion "evidence-driven" solutions to environmental deconstruction, climate change and increased cost of living. The Greens party claims it does not take donations from big corporations.
  • Verdict: Not backing mining does not fly well in North Queensland. Don't like their chances up here.


GROUP I: Fraser Anning's Conservative National Party

  • Party position: Extreme right
  • Values: This party wants Australia to be the "vision of Sir Henry Parkes" when the country was "originally described in 1901". The nationalistic party is against immigration and gay marriage.
  • Verdict: Some may egg this party on but times have changed since 1901, and that's a good thing.


GROUP J: Australian Labor Party

  • Party position: Left of centre
  • Values: The ALP claims is stands up for middle and working Australia. Its policies include fighting for better hospitals, cheaper childcare, fair funding for school. It also wants Australia to use renewable energy to protect our environment.
  • Verdict: Yeah, these policies all sound good but we've heard them all before.


GROUP K: Independents For Climate Action Now

  • Party position: Left
  • Values: It's all the name of the party. The Independents For Climate Action Now is a party of independents from across the "political spectrum bound by a commitment" to address climate change.
  • Verdict: They make their intentions clear but appears they align with the Greens.


GROUP L: Australian Workers Party

  • Party position: Left
  • Values: The Australian Workers Party claims it will stand up for working people by creating "decent local jobs", making housing more affordable and ensuring workers are paid a decent wage.
  • Verdict: Jobs. Yes please - Townsville needs those. Although it appears this party may have a few union ideals in its pockets.


GROUP M: Australian Better Families

  • Party position: Left
  • Values: The party believes in the welfare of all races, orientations and creeds. It wants to ensure children have access to both parents regardless of marital status and backs up campaigns against domestic violence.
  • Verdict: Wanting to increase domestic aid funding and establish a regulator to deliver safer music events, this party is looking closely at current issues.


GROUP N: Help End Marijuana Prohibition (HEMP) Party

  • Party position: Left with some libertarian
  • Values: The party wants to legalise cannabis for personal, medical and industrial use in all states and territories in Australia. It also wants to release those imprisoned for cannabis offences alone and remove all records of previous cannabis convictions.
  • Verdict: This party has to be commended for the well thought out acronym behind its name. Many people argue for the legalisation of cannabis, so they may win some traction.


GROUP O: Australian Conservatives

  • Party position: Far right
  • Values: Australian Conservatives believes pillars of conservatism to build a prosperous economy and maintain a civil society. It is against gay marriage and wants to reduce immigration levels.
  • Verdict: Very conservative. In a Trump era could get some backers but is up against Hanson and Anning.


GROUP P: Democratic Labour Party

  • Party position: Centre-to-mid right
  • Values: This party sits between Labor and the LNP. It claims it is unlike Labor because it is not dictate by unions and unlike the LNP because it did not serve the interests of big business. The party believes in social and economic justice and the need Australia to be self-reliant.
  • Verdict: This party claims to sit on the fence between the left and right. Is sitting on the fence a good thing?


GROUP Q: Katter's Australian Party

  • Party position: Swinging left and right
  • Values: Besides from wearing Akubra hats. KAP believes in Christian values and that Australian society and government should be based upon these principles. It wants to protect Australia's sovereignty and independence.
  • Verdict: Katter's name is synonymous with North Queensland. Certainly a wildcard in politics but advocates for the regions.


GROUP R: Hetty Johnston/Sue Mureau (Independents)

  • Party position: Who knows
  • Values: Hetty Johnston is the founder of Bravehearts Foundation and has pledged to strengthen child protection. Sue Mureau wants to dismantle and rebuild the Federal Circuit Court to respect the "rights and wellbeing of our families and children".
  • Verdict: Children are vulnerable but is appears support for Ms Mureau is thin. She launched a crowd fundraiser wanting to raise $5000. She received just five donations, reaching $70.


GROUP S: The Great Australian Party

  • Party position: Right wing
  • Values: Standing for the "restoration of the Commonwealth" the party believes is the home of "true change for Australians". It wants to eliminate the Family Court and ensure there is no forced medication.
  • Verdict: Getting rid of the Family Court does not sound like a good idea. Townsville was without a Federal Circuit Judge for weeks and it caused outrage.


GROUP T: Pirate Party

  • Party position: Far left
  • Values: This party believes politics is broken yet wants to get into it. It wants to provide leadership on issues such as digital activism, human rights, economic responsibility and transparency of government.
  • Verdict: Why are they called the Pirate Party, you ask? They just arghhhhhhhhhhh. And no, it's not a party focused on immigration laws or those with a penchant for dress-ups - but actually, the pirates inside your computer.

GROUP U: Sustainable Australia

  • Party position: Centre
  • Values: Sustainable Australia claims it sits on the "sensible centre" of the political spectrum, wanting to protect the environment by reducing population growth pressures and making housing affordable.
  • Verdict: Fence-sitting party could provide some sense, offering ideals from both sides of politics.


GROUP V: Love Australia or Leave

  • Party position: Extreme right
  • Values: Love Australia or Leave Party claims it will create jobs by putting into place mechanisms, supporting Aussie businesses. It wants to reintroduce National Service, allow people to carry guns and revise immigration policy to stop "Islamisation".
  • Verdict: This is not a bumper sticker but an actual political party.


Shootin’. Fishin’. Farmin’. Votin’.
Shootin’. Fishin’. Farmin’. Votin’.


GROUP W: Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party

  • Party position: Right wing
  • Values: These bushies back shooters, fishers and farmers and want to ensure people can continue to "enjoy" the outdoors when hunting or fishing. They have a very strong fondness for firearms.
  • Verdict: Some people go fishing or hunting to escape politics but somehow this party has combined all three.


GROUP X: Tony and Cartia Moore

  • Party position: Centre
  • Values: This father and daughter duo are campaigning on a "sensible-centre" conservative platform of strengthening border protection and child protection. They are campaigning for honourable defence and "fortification" of households.
  • Verdict: This family is heavily embedded with religion. They reject the notion of same-sex marriage going against the majority of Australians.


GROUP Y: Liberal Democrats

  • Party position: Well to the right
  • Values: Mix of left and right philosophies including free trade, drug legislation, cutting taxes and defending civil liberties. This party is pro-choice on assisted suicide, cannabis, firearms and smoking.
  • Verdict: Vote for them? Sure, why not. Don't vote for them? Sure, why not.


GROUP Z: Citizens Electoral Council

  • Party position: Right wing
  • Values: This party is inspired by the policies of old Labor, especially former prime ministers Ben Chifley and John Curtin. It wants to raise living standards through infrastructure, education, free health care and cultural progress.
  • Verdict: Ah, the good ol' days. Are they still any good?


UNGROUPED Here is a list of the ungrouped independent Senate candidates: Debby Lo-Dean, Gary Sharpe, Paul Larcombe, Jane Hasler, John Woodward, Nicholas McArthur-Williams, Hassan Ghulam, Wayne Wharton, Amanda Humphrey and Paul Stevenson.