The Australian Cyclists Party Closes (and promotes alternative broad issue party)

omar khalifa australian cyclists party

Technically the Australian Cyclists Party is deregistering as a Federal Political party and pushing members to support a new party called ‘Reason’ which is in the process of being registered. As a minor party, the Australian Cyclists Party achieve some success by quickly gathering supporter and funding from supporters  and contesting in NSW, Victorian and Federal Elections. 

As a ‘Single-Issue’ party the dream was to gain political representation while the real role was to increase the public voice for cycling issues. Typically Green Parties across the globe represent cyclists interests however in Australia, cycling advocates felt that even the Green Party ranked cycling safety too low on their political agenda.

Founded by Omah Khalifa in 2013, the Australian Cyclists Party contested in NSW and Victorian State Elections and was able to place over 50 candidates for nomination in the 2016 Federal Election. While they were not successful in getting any candidates into state or federal parliament, a deal with the ‘Science Party’ (for vote sharing) in the Federal election created some discontent among party members who felt that the Science Party did not represent their personal views (including myself, the author of this report).

The announcement from the Australian Cyclists Party focusses upon encouraging party members to support the new politicial group ‘Reason’ but also briefly outlines some of the background for this change, “We always recognised that at some point we would have to broaden our base of support in order to more seriously contest at election.  That is why over the last year we have been in discussions with other minor parties about creating one party that would push forward our agenda but also be capable of appealing to a broader base and be better resourced.  We believe that time is now and why backing Reason makes sense.”

The policies and objectives of ‘Reason’ are vague, they announce that they will challenge the ‘two-party stalemate’ however cycling topics (actually, most topics on the political agencda) are currently only addressed by a bullet-point;
• Public Transport & Infrastructure

Cyclists are still represented politically by the Australian Cycling Promotion Foundation (previously Cycling Promotion Fund) which is back by many of the Australian bike importers, wholesales and brands and focusses on Federal Government policy. Each Australian state and Territory also has one or more advocacy group such as Bicycle Network, Bicycle NSW, Bicycle Queensland, Bicycle SA and Bicycle WA. Both the national and state organisations typically engage in ongoing active dialogue and consulting with both the ruling and opposition party to represent cycling interests.

Update 4.9.2017 The NSW state chapter of the Australian Cyclists Party remains registered, which is good news as NSW is internationally known as having one of the poorest political attitudes towards cycling, so the state needs as much help as it can get. The Victorian chapter of the Australian Cyclists Party is no longer registered.

Disclosure: The author was a private member of the Australian Cyclists Party up until the collaboration with the Science Party was announced and the reports on Cycling Advocacy news on Bicycles Network Australia are intended as impartial reporting.

Photo: Omar Khalifa, founder of the Australian Cyclists Party.



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About The Author

Christopher Jones is a recreational cyclist and runs a professional design business, Signale. As the driving force behind Bicycles.net.au he has one of each 'types' of bicycles.

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