• Leonardo Puglisi

Sustainable Australia MP says minority government is 'best outcome' at Victorian election

Clifford Hayes has spoken to 6 News about what he's done in parliament since 2018, his party's immigration policy & group voting tickets.

Sustainable Australia Party MLC Clifford Hayes has told 6 News a minority government would be the "best outcome" at next month's Victorian state election, as polls continue to predict Dan Andrews will be returned as premier.


Hayes was elected in the Southern Metropolitan Region at the last election in 2018, with the area including suburbs such as Hawthorn, Camberwell and Kew.


"The odds seem to favour Labor at the moment...hopefully with a reduced majority if they get back...they would have to talk more to independents and crossbenchers to work a government."


"I think that would be the best outcome."

"I would like to see, of course, any party that gets back need(ing) the support of independents and crossbenchers in forming government policy."


The Sustainable Australia Party was formed in 2010 as the Sustainable Population Party, and Hayes was their first ever successful candidate at a state, territory or federal level.


A return to immigration levels "back to what it was before the spike of the past 15 years," is listed as one of their major policies.


The policy has been criticised by some as racist and xenophobic, but Sustainable Australia claims that those are "smears."


When asked by 6 News how exactly that policy could be achieved by a Victorian MLC, Hayes admitted that "to get direct action...we would have to get into the federal parliament."


"The infrastructure costs, the environmental costs of the way we're planning our popular policy are really quite destructive."


Hayes said the "big accomplishment (he's) proud of is getting an inquiry up into the planning system."


"There's a significant number of people...who are concerned about development issues, infrastructure issues and corruption."


Hayes was also asked by 6 News whether he supports group voting tickets, which are used in Victorian elections in the upper house and can result in preferences being ignored or replaced by a party's own ticket.


The system means you have to vote below the line to ensure your preferences stay in your control.


"I do, until we have a more democratic method of doing it," he said."


"What I like about the group voting ticket is that it helped me and 11 other crossbenchers get into the upper house...I think nearly everyone that watches upper house politics really believes that in the last term we've seen a significant improvement in the quality of debate."


Other systems like the one used in NSW or the one used in the federal Senate have been proposed as alternatives.


Hayes, who was elected with a 1.32% primary vote, said he's "happy to look at all of those systems that give a good range of opinions in the upper house."


Watch the full interview here.


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