‘Love Australia or Leave’: is this new political party the most controversial we’ve ever seen?
THE founder of Australia’s newest and arguably most controversial political party wants the country’s compassion to “end at our borders”.
The anti-Islam and anti-immigration Love Australia or Leave party — which boasts a logo of Australia containing the word “full” — was approved and registered by the Electoral Commission on Friday, seven months after it applied for registration.
Party founder Kim Vuga, 48, who unsuccessfully ran for a Queensland Senate seat in the July Federal Election, rose to prominence when she appeared on the SBS program Go Back To Where You Came From.
Her party, which supports an indefinite moratorium on Muslim immigration and a ban on all immigration until “Australia is out of debt”, will run in the next Federal Election and the Queensland State Election.
Ms Vuga told news.com.au the party has a “hard line stance on immigration policy”.
“We are standing up and saying definitely (take in) zero refugees and put a moratorium on any Islamic immigration into Australia,” Ms Vuga said.
“What we’re seeing in Europe now isn’t an immigration problem it’s an invasion.
“We need to be concerned. I don’t think for a moment anyone should be labelled just because they may have security concerns for their country.
“We’ve been lucky. We’ve seen a spate of terror attacks, foiled attacks, we’ve seen Islam on our shores.
“We believe it’s only a matter of time until we see a mass attack like we’ve seen in France and we’ll have the blood of our own men, women and children on our soil.”
Ms Vuga said she formed the party because “it’s evident that our political leaders are more concerned with the welfare of other nations at the expense of the Australian people”.
“Our country has donated billions of dollars in foreign aid — taxpayer money that you and many other Australians have worked extremely hard for and given it to other countries who wish to cause us and our nation harm,” she said.
She said Syrian refugees who have fled from their war torn towns should have camped in “safe parts of the country”.
“I’ve been to Syria at the end of 2014 and not all of Syria is under attack,” she said.
“There are some beautiful towns.”
Those who have already fled and resettled in Australia should be sent home as part of the party’s proposed “send back operation”, according to Ms Vuga.
“Once we see the refugees flee we need to look out for when it becomes better over there,” she said.
“We need to look at wanting to send them back. Because we will end up with the burden economically of keeping them here. And that’s not going to be good for Australia.
“We need a ‘send back’ operation.”
Ms Vuga said Australia shouldn’t be fulfilling humanitarian responsibilities offshore.
“I’m a strong believer at this time we need to be compassionate, but our compassion should end at our borders,” Ms Vuga said.
“We have our own people struggling here at home.
“We’ve only got to look at the indigenous. We can’t close the gap on our own people. Their services are being cut. We need to be fixing up our own backyard before we can look after other people from other countries. Australia and its people must come first.”
The AEC advertised the party’s application on its website in May to allow for submissions of objection to its registration. One of several submissions put forward described the “party and its logo imply obscene intolerance and discrimination”.
Ms Vuga said she was not racist and that criticism of the party didn’t bother her.
“Often it’s the left yelling out that we’re racist and bigots and xenophobes,” she said.
“We’re most definitely not a racist party. Islam is not a race. We believe in equal rights.
“I believe the word ‘racist’ has lost its meaning. It’s now just used to shut down free speech.”
The AEC found that the party name and/or logo was not outside the “accepted bounds of decency”.
“Based on current community standards, the party name and/or logo do not transgress the generally accepted bounds of decency,” the AEC stated.
“Although the objections to the approval of the proposed Love Australia or Leave’s name and logo were made on valid grounds ... the evidence provided by the objectors is not sufficient to cause the Electoral Commission to refuse to register the Party name and logo under s. 129(1)(a) or s. 129A (c) of the Act.”
Ms Vuga would not reveal how many members the party has but said it had received overwhelming support from the public.
”Put it this way we could register our party a few times over,” she said.
“We even have support from overseas.
“I won’t give figures because the major parties don’t put out their figures either.”
The Love Australia or Leave party is also driving a UNEXIT/LEAVE campaign — a ‘Brexit style’ campaign designed to see Australia leave the United Nations.
“We shouldn’t be held to what the UN says we can and can’t do,” Ms Vuga said.
“We need to stand on our own terms with who we let into our country.”
The party will also campaign on Halal certification, making it illegal to burn the Australian flag, child support overhaul, pro firearm policy, cost of living, job creation and education.
“We also want to see a Royal Commission into Child Safety in relation to carers,” Ms Vuga said.
While Ms Vuga concedes some of the party’s policies are controversial she says it’s all in the name of “everyday Australians”.
“Every day Australians are suffering right now,” she said.
“No longer are the politicians listening to the people. People are fed up.
“Years ago one person was the family breadwinner, going out and saving up for holidays with kids which they’d be able to do no problem.
“Today mums and dads [are] both out working and still struggling to put food on the table.”
NSW Greens MP Mehreen Faruki is the first Muslim woman elected to any parliament in Australia. She told news.com.au the Love Australia or Leave party has as much right to participate in the political discussion as any other party.
And she has a right to call their politics racist.
“If a party meets the requirements of AEC registration standards, they shouldn’t be stopped.
However, it is concerning that Love Australia or Leave is one more political party with racist and bigoted views and a hodge podge of the usual right wing conspiracy theories about the UN, Muslims and Halal certifications.
“It seems they are trying to cash in on the rising trend of racist sentiment in Australia, which has been stirred up for some time by the political dog whistling of both major parties on refugees and asylum seekers, and more recently by Pauline Hanson’s Islamophobic sentiments.
“At a time when we should be building unity in our community, we don’t need another political party trying to tear us apart.”