Tweed-based Richmond candidate for the May 21 election, Terry Sharples, has described himself as a ‘True Independent’, yet there is little online information regarding his platform, funding and professional background.
He told The Echo he is a retired accountant with a graduate diploma in financial planning.
‘I’m standing for the election, because I’m passionate about the issues affecting ratepayers and have been a keen watchdog on Council issues, working to protect the community from excessive rates and corruption’.
Mr Sharples says he is ‘Not swapping preferences’.
‘I am the only true independent running for the seat of Richmond, as the others are cross preferencing each other. In my mind, this is a sign of an affiliation with another party or group. I will not be directing any preferences to anyone.
‘We need a strong anti-corruption body at a Federal level. Freedom for Julian Assange is vital for us to have truth and transparency, and a strong economy without waste and ‘pork barrelling’.
‘The era of fossil fuels is well and truly over. We need to boost our renewable energy industries as a matter of urgency, which would be a huge shot in the arm for Australian jobs.
‘The most important platform for Richmond is honesty and free speech. Australia’s two-party system has run our country into the ground, wasted our opportunities and now we have trillion dollar debt! Voters need to make a dramatic shift away from their old voting habits because we always get what we vote for’.
Mr Sharples may have had a part in One Nation leader Pauline Hanson’s jailing for electoral fraud in 2003.
According to Margo Kingston’s 2007 book, Still Not Happy, John, former Liberal PM Tony Abbott convinced Mr Sharples, a former One Nation supporter, to seek an injunction to stop the party getting $500,000 in public funds after her Qld success.It was aimed a depriving Ms Hanson of resources for the upcoming federal campaign.
The Guardian reported at the time, ‘Prosecutors had accused Hanson and [One Nation co-founder] David Ettridge, of passing off a list of 500 supporters as genuine, paid-up members of One Nation in order to register the party and apply for electoral funding’.
Mr Sharples is first candidate on the ballot, which is known as the ‘donkey vote’, given the first candidate on the ballot attracts a percentage of voters who are disinterested in politics.
Regarding his association with One Nation, he told The Echo, ‘I have a right to have what happened 24 years ago forgotten’.
‘I was neither a One Nation party member or indeed even a candidate. I was disendorsed by Pauline within 24 hours of nominating, after they took and never gave back my $1,800’.
One Nation past
‘One Nation has nothing to do with my candidacy. And to bring it up would confuse voters.
‘Please leave it alone. And concentrate on the real story: an old aged pensioner from Tweed Heads tackling the two-party system he says has ruined our beautiful country’.
He also said, ‘There have been many cases under European Human Rights Law, in which the Right To Be Forgotten has been legally upheld. What happened to me 24 years ago would certainly fall into this category’.
‘Any publication of the words ‘One Nation’ in The Echo newspaper in relation to me or my candidacy in the seat of Richmond for the forthcoming Federal election would be regarded as defamatory, as well as deliberately unfair, and I would take immediate action’.