The spectrum for next year’s state election expanded considerably last week after Byron Bay resident Matthew Hartley announced his intention to stand – wheelchair and all – for the seat of Ballina.
Hartley, who also contested the previous federal election, says his goal is a statewide coalition of independents which would focus on delivering ‘The Reset Agenda’, based on a four-point agenda.
That includes: ‘eliminating political corruption, returning planning powers to local communities, direct democratic involvement and not another cent for Sydney – cancelling all public spending plans for Sydney and reallocating money to small projects in every local area.’
‘I stand for honest government and direct democracy,’ he says.
‘Our state and country are unduly influenced by crooks.
‘This is hardly big news, but it is the big problem. Corruption costs us a fortune and ruins everything. Possibly every bad decision can be traced back to a corrupt deal.
‘Direct public participation, via assemblies and citizens referenda, are the answer.
‘Giving local areas the power to say yes or no to exploitation proposals, and local populations real political power, will energise communities and promote regional identity.’
Hartley says the regions of NSW are the future, not Sydney. ‘Sydney must shrink, shed a million people, and cease to be a pit for taxpayers’ money.
‘We need small local infrastructure projects, not “hero” schemes to tunnel under Sydney and “coincidentally” pay millions to crook mates in the process. Burn the ALP, Liberal, Nationals machine.
‘Burn them all.’