The ACT Electoral Commission has publicly advertised that Family First has applied for registration as a political party.

The Canberra Times picked up the story yesterday.


Despite the headline, it is not my party but yours.

Nonetheless, it is good that word of Family First’s steps forward is getting out.

Here’s what was reported:

Family First, a political party led by Lyle Shelton, is seeking to run candidates on a platform backing religious freedom in the ACT, lodging an application with the territory's electoral commission ahead of the territory election.

ACT electoral commissioner Damian Cantwell said the public had two weeks to comment or lodge a written objection to the registration.

"Parties wishing to register for ACT elections must submit a list of at least 100 members who are ACT electors and a copy of the party's constitution to the electoral commissioner," he said.

"Members of the public are entitled to object to an application for party registration if they consider that the party is not eligible to be registered."

The conservative party said it "will fight against the radical anti-family attitudes and policies of modern politics".

Mr Shelton is the former director of the Australian Christian Lobby and was one of the leaders of the "no" campaign in the same-sex marriage plebiscite.
He was appointed the national director of the Family First Party in 2022.

The party was formed in 2021 by former South Australian Labor politicians Jack Snelling and Tom Kenyon.

The party is also seeking candidates for the Queensland and federal elections.

In a media release last month, Mr Shelton said the party wanted religious freedom and parents' rights firmly on the agenda in upcoming elections.

"We aim to stand candidates who will fight for the freedom of parents to continue to educate their children in their values, not the harmful LGBTIQA+ gender-fluid and radical sexual ideologies being forced upon them by politicians doing the bidding of activists," he said.

The party also claimed there had been more attacks on Christian and religious schools since the successful same-sex marriage plebiscite in 2017.

Lyle Shelton in 2017 at the ACT Legislative Assembly. He is surrounded by supporters of Safe Schools, which he was protesting against. Picture by Rohan Thomson

The ACT had the highest "yes" vote in the plebiscite with 74 per cent of Canberrans supporting same-sex marriage. The party is planning an event next month to discuss their concerns.

"With Calvary Hospital forcibly taken form the Catholic church, religious freedom under threat like never before, drugs legalised, euthanasia planning for children plus much more anti-family policy in the offing, it's time citizens organised politically," an online page for the event says.

The ACT Legislative Assembly is considering voluntary assisted dying laws but the proposed laws would only be open to those over 18.

The government had considered allowing teenagers to access voluntary assisted dying but abandoned this saying it would be too complex for what would be an "extremely low uptake". This may be considered in a future review of the scheme.

Drugs are not legalised in the territory but the personal possession of small amounts of illicit drugs are decriminalised.

The party has spoken out against the territory government's scheme for free abortions, which was recently expanded to general practices.

"The Andrew Barr government, in coalition with the Greens, is arguably Australia's most anti-life government," a statement on the website said.