Carl Halley is ready for round two as he announced this week that he will take on sitting MP Stuart Ayres at the State Election in March next year.
Representing One Nation in 2019, the Lapstone local is now the Australian Federation Party’s newest candidate for Penrith.
Coming in third with 7.2 per cent of votes for Pauline Hanson’s One Nation Party in 2019, Mr Halley told the Weekender that he still wanted to continue with a minor party but has made the switch.
“One Nation haven’t been operating anything out here since the last State Election, so I was looking for a party a little bit more active and robust which would push the issues I am interested in,” Mr Halley said.
“This party has some guiding principles, but it is very much about each MP or candidate representing the people and talking to them in each electorate before we formulate the policies.”
A small business owner for 22 years, Mr Halley said the values of freedom and democracy are important to him.
“I’m involved in human security so looking at all facets of protecting people and property and I have found when the government doesn’t get the fundamentals right like housing, the economy, medical care, education, and if people don’t have the freedom to enjoy those things, you start getting other social and security issues,” he said.
“That’s why we are against mandating vaccines. We think people should be educated but then given a choice for all different things.”
Issues specifically impacting the electorate will also be a key focus in the lead up to polling day next March.
“Flood mitigation and having a sensible game plan will be a focus but I don’t believe raising the dam wall is the answer and stopping the overdevelopment of western Sydney is a priority,” Mr Halley said.
“I want to look at putting in critical infrastructure and not just bringing more people into the area but creating permanent full-time jobs because people tell me they are most worried about economic issues with inflation.”
Wanting to represent the area and provide less bureaucracy for constituents, Mr Halley said he believes it is the “era of minor parties”.
“We saw it in the Federal Election and statistics will prove that the two major parties are on the decline because people are tired of debts being accumulated but problems not being solved,” he said.
“It is nothing personal, but I do think it is Stuart’s (Ayres) time to go, and we will be looking to provide an alternative for people in the western Sydney and Blue Mountains regions.”
A graduate of Western Sydney University, Emily covers Local, State and Federal politics for the Weekender, as well as crime and general news.