Far-right party rebrands as 'Yellow Vest Australia' for elections

The Australian Liberty Alliance chose the Yellow Vest monicker because the movement launched last year in France "represents disgruntled voters who are concerned about globalism, immigration (and) the cost of living".
The Australian Liberty Alliance chose the Yellow Vest monicker because the movement launched last year in France "represents disgruntled voters who are concerned about globalism, immigration (and) the cost of living".PHOTO: AFP

MELBOURNE (AFP) - A far-right, anti-immigrant party officially changed its name to "Yellow Vest Australia" on Tuesday (April 9) ahead of elections next month, inspired by the French anti-austerity protest movement.

The small grouping, previously known as the Australian Liberty Alliance, said the country's Electoral Commission had approved its name change just in time for the election campaign which is expected to begin next week.

Party president Debbie Robinson said they chose the Yellow Vest monicker because the movement launched last year in France "represents disgruntled voters who are concerned about globalism, immigration (and) the cost of living".

"We want to take that movement from the streets and into parliament. We'd be the first country in the world to do that," she said in a video posted on the group's website.

Ms Robinson also admitted the name change would hopefully end voter confusion between her group - which has never elected any candidate to office - and the Liberals, Australia's mainstream conservative party which controls the outgoing federal government.

France's Yellow Vest movement erupted last November when nearly 300,000 people took to the streets across the country to protest against a hike in fuel taxes.

The occasionally violent protests have continued on a smaller scale and with a broader anti-government focus.

 
 
 

Prime Minister Scott Morrison is expected to call the next election in the coming days, with the vote to be held between May 11 and 25.

Opinion polls show his Liberal party and its rural-based National coalition partners trailing well behind the main opposition, centre-left Labor party.

The Melbourne-based Liberty Alliance was founded in 2015 and garnered less than 0.2 per cent of the vote in the last federal election in 2016, though it has fared slightly better in state elections.