2023 Mulgrave by-election - 18 November 2023

Sustainable Australia Party is an independent community movement with a science and evidence-based policy platform. We  are the only political party to put our environment first - and therefore our health, economy and quality of life.

Celeste Ackerly for Mulgrave

Celeste is a passionate, honest, hardworking, down-to-earth woman originally from Tasmania. She has a BA with a major in geography. She is undertaking graduate studies in environment and climate emergency at Curtin University. The main focus of her research has been Indigenous sustainability methods because this links back to her Aboriginal ancestry and her passion and love for Aboriginal culture. She’s proud of her Trawlwoolway ancestry, which has driven her quest to mitigate environmental damage through sustainable practices by utilising scientific and Indigenous thinking.

In particular, Celeste believes Sustainable Australia Party’s 'environment first' mantra aligns with Indigenous thinking around ‘Caring for Country’.

Celeste does have experience in many other elements of sustainability and geography and utilises this knowledge in her full-time job in corporate sustainability in the food sector. She admits it was never easy to get to this point and she spent most of her life struggling to get ahead. As a child, she was exposed to the real-world damage of intergenerational traumas. Her father struggled as a single parent, which meant that Celeste and her sister went without on many occasions, but growing up within nature made up for it. Her childhood comprised the many beauties of the Australian environment, from flora and fauna to breathtaking physical geographies. Her father imparted practical skills that she now passes on to her children, such as fishing, bush skills and foraging.

Today, you will find Celeste tending to her chickens, something she thinks all Australian homes should do! A sustainable way to feed the family and reduce household waste! She has a brumby (wild Australian horse), which she took in as a foal. She broke him in, and her children enjoy caring for and riding him. Celeste loves Australian wildlife too! Especially Brushtail Possums and she will always check the pouches of deceased marsupials for joeys. This is something she and her grandmother did for many years when she was a child. Recently, the last possum she raised, known affectionately as Chip, loved the eucalyptus leaves from Corhanwarrabul Wetlands’!

Celeste spends most of her time outside, maintaining the property she rents and tending to the orchard. She wishes future generations could have a lifestyle like this, with less over-development that creates sprawl over our farmland and diverse bioregions, less overconsumption, and the ability to use skillsets our elders utilised to be sustainable and self-sufficient.

During adolescence, Celeste lived on her own and became a single mum. Learning how to find the best deals, buying second-hand (did someone say sustainable?), meal prepping, and never having any disposable income was, and is, how she lives. Trying to scrape enough money together to pay for rent and everyday expenses is challenging. The cycle of being stuck in the rental trap continues today. Although, she now has three children and a supportive partner.

Having a young family in this economy, along with the housing crisis and the cost of living only worsening yearly, Celeste can fully appreciate and understand how other families feel in Mulgrave and the rest of Australia. Celeste, her partner and her children moved to Mulgrave during the pandemic. She stayed for well over two years in her partner’s father's home because they could not continue paying rent and paying for necessities. Mulgrave became her home, and the community she rebuilt herself in while she recovered from the financial strain during and after the pandemic. She worked two jobs and studied full-time, racking up about $40,000 in fee-help debt, but at least she knew her family were safe, with a roof over their head. Sadly, that is not the case for some people in Australia.

The housing crisis is driven by government-engineered excessive demand for housing, including through tax concessions for property investors, foreign buyers and record high levels of immigration. If elected, Celeste would act to moderate all of these issues, as well as advocate for more public and affordable housing.

Even though Celeste has very recently moved further south-east of Mulgrave, she still spends considerable time there. It holds a special place in her heart as it’s where her partner and his family have lived for decades and where her third child lived for the first year of his life.  

Celeste’s experiences in life make her empathetic about Aussies doing it tough today. She wants nothing more than to help communities feel empowered and safe; no one should have to choose between eating a meal or paying rent.

Volunteer to help Celeste here.

Electorate of Mulgrave

See the map of Mulgrave electorate here (click to enlarge):

Campaign issues and policies

In the 2023 Mulgrave by-election, Celeste Ackerly is campaigning to put our environment first and care for Country.

Celeste is also very concerned about the cost of living crisis, the housing crisis, over-development and corruption. Local policies are outlined below:

Put our environment first

  • Preserve and enhance our beautiful outdoor spaces including our parks, bushland and river areas.
  • Take real action on climate change at a local level, including stronger laws to prevent inappropriate land and tree-clearing.
  • Adopt a biodiversity and native species program including land and marine animal habitat protection.
  • Aim for a zero waste outcome by reducing then eliminating local waste production and increasing recycling and repair capabilities, including through the establishment of local repair cafes.
  • Support sustainable transport initiatives including:
    • Better and cheaper public transport solutions. This would ease congestion and improve local travel times, as well as take car journeys off the road.
    • Better and safer bicycle networks including a fully connected network throughout the area.
    • Better and safer pedestrian infrastructure, including better lighting in parks, lanes and other walkways.

Stop corruption (and increase transparency)

  • Adopt more transparent reporting of political lobbying and all financial contributions, including the requirement for politicians to declare any non-personal time they spend with registered lobbyists and property developers.
  • Campaign to ban all property developer donations and contributions to political parties and all candidates - including at federal level, which is often used to support state or local government candidates.

Stop overdevelopment

  • Return real planning power to local communities through proper engagement, including through local community-driven citizen juries - rather than state government property industry appointees on so-called 'independent planning panels'.
  • Reject the State Government's proposed housing growth targets and determine new targets following a full audit of local infrastructure capacity and proper community consultation.
  • Deliver new community infrastructure before more housing density is approved (including new schools, hospitals, public transport, roads, recreational and sporting facilities, green space, etc).
  • Ensure that planning and zoning changes protect Mulgrave's environment, heritage and local liveability (e.g. access to direct sunlight, scenic views and open space).

Stabilise Australia's population size

  • Advocate for a return to the normal level of immigration, being around 70,000 p.a.
  • Withdraw Victorian government agencies from proactive population growth policies including:
    • Programs marketing states and territories to prospective international residents.
    • All Department of Immigration permanent and temporary visa programs including Regional Sponsored Migration Schemes, State/Territory Sponsored Business Owners and State/Territory Sponsored Investors.

And much more, including:

Affordable housing for all Australians

Housing is our biggest cost of living. See above video.

SAP's policy platform can be found here:


Get involved

> Donate

Please donate to Celeste's campaign here.

> Contact

> Social media

> Volunteering


Do you live in or near the Mulgrave electorate? If so, we can send you some flyers to letterbox.

Please volunteer here, ASAP.

Early Voting Centres / Election day Voting Centres

Important: SAP volunteer and voting centre behaviour guidelines HERE

Early voting: Wednesday 8 to Friday 17 November (closed Sunday 12).

There are two EVCs in operation. As follows:

1. Mulgrave, Suite G.02 (Ground Floor), 745 Springvale Road Mulgrave VIC 3170

2. Noble Park North EVC, 1/245-255 Browns Road, Noble Park North VIC 3174


  • 9 am - 6 pm, Wednesday 8 November
  • 8:30 am - 8 pm, Thursday 9 November
  • 8:30 am - 6 pm, Friday 10 November
  • 9 am - 5 pm, Saturday 11 November
  • 8:30 am - 6 pm, Monday 13 November
  • 8:30 am - 6 pm, Tuesday 14 November
  • 8:30 am - 6 pm, Wednesday 15 November
  • 8:30 am - 8 pm, Thursday 16 November
  • 8:30 am - 6 pm, Friday 17 November

We would like to split each day into the 'AM' and 'PM' shifts, being 8:30/9am-2pm and 1pm-6/8pm. Please turn up 5-10 minutes prior if you can.

To volunteer for early voting, choose your available location and time(s) and complete the volunteer form here. You will need to tick 'Yes, I will staff an early voting centre' and state your location and time(s) in the 'Comments' field, then 'Save volunteer info'. SAP will then be in touch!

Polling day: 18 November, 8am - 6pm.

There are 10 VCs in operation.

  1. Brandon Park Primary School 1–5 Ninevah Crescent, Wheelers Hill VIC 3150
  2. St Justin's Primary School 42 Whalley Drive, Wheelers Hill VIC 3150
  3. Wellington Reserve Community Centre 36–42 Mackie Road, Mulgrave VIC 3170
  4. Albany Rise Primary School 74–82 Albany Drive, Mulgrave VIC 3170
  5. Mulgrave Primary School 23-31 Gladeswood Drive, Mulgrave VIC 3170
  6. Whitworth Avenue Pre-School 75A Whitworth Avenue, Springvale VIC 3171
  7. St Elizabeth's Parish School 111 Bakers Road, Dandenong North VIC 3175
  8. St John's German Lutheran Parish Hall 3 Albert Avenue, Springvale VIC 3171
  9. Noble Park North Voting Centre 1/245-255 Browns Road, Noble Park North VIC 3174
  10. Heatherhill Primary School 959–973 Heatherton Road, Springvale VIC 3171

We would like to split election day into the 'AM' and 'PM' shifts, being 8am-2pm and 1pm-6pm. Please turn up 5-10 minutes prior if you can.

To volunteer for early voting, choose your available location and time(s) and complete the volunteer form here. You will need to tick 'Yes, I will staff an election day voting centre' and state your location and time(s) in the 'Comments' field, then 'Save volunteer info'. SAP will then be in touch!

Postal Voting: Click here.

How to vote SAP (Preferences)

How to vote SAP (preferences)

As an independent community movement from the political centre, after you Vote 1 for Sustainable Australia Party, we prefer that you decide where to direct your own preferences.

More here.


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