The development boom in Bennelong has sent land prices out of control, Greens candidate Justin Alick has told UniPollWatch.
Mr Alick says local MP John Alexander has been talking up the economic growth happening in the electorate but it’s a housing bubble. Not just house renters, but also small business owners are distraught.
The 31-year-old challenger says the Turnbull Government is out of touch with the real needs of local businesses. Sky-high land values, rezoning, fraud protection and competition from big multinationals were their biggest concerns, he says, not tax and penalty rates.
A social media adept, Mr Alick wrote on his Facebook page: “In a last ditch effort to save his job, Turnbull plays the 'stability' card, using Brexit [as] his bogeyman.
"The problem is that the LNP favours the same recipe of austerity economics … and ultra-nationalist politics … that got Britain into this mess in the first place.”
Rents for housing and business properties in Bennelong have increased 78% over the past three years, Mr Alick said.
A Ryde Council survey conducted more than a year ago found less than 2% of rental properties in Bennelong were affordable. Mr Alick said there has been a 28% increase in land prices since then.
He told Steven Deare of the Northern District Times that housing is a human right. The Greens want to reform the Liberal government’s negative gearing policy and use the savings to support affordable housing.
Mr Alick has been working in Vietnam for an overseas aid organisation and says he entered politics because he is determined to ensure action is taken to remedy climate change.
He has seen first-hand the devastating effects of drought and flooding, not just in Vietnam but also on the family property where he grew up in southwest Queensland.
“Millions of people like the farmers standing with me … are already suffering from the impacts of the climate change our political leaders refuse to believe is happening -- floods, droughts, increasing soil saltiness and seawater levels.”
Mr Alick said he was spurred on by former Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s announcement that “Australia was open for business”. Mr Alick says he knew what this would mean for the environment.
“Business as usual under the LNP is morally bankrupt, and it’s going to break our planet.”
Alick is also committed to tackling poverty, fighting corruption through the establishment of a Federal ICAC, defending human rights, including asylum seekers and minority groups, and advocating marriage equality.
He told UniPollWatch there is no requirement from any level of government to incorporate renewable energy in the new developments in Bennelong and he believes this is a missed opportunity.
There have been massive development particularly in Macquarie Business Park, with very large flat rooftops and large server farms that have not installed solar panels. Bennelong ranks 135th out of 150 electorates for solar production.
Alick says he is running for Bennelong, not to gain a cushy seat in Parliament but to change the conversation, and, he says, The Greens are doing this.
The Greens’ main aim for Bennelong is to provide an “ideological opposition” to what he calls the Coles and Woolworths of politics.
“There’s more to winning than seats in Parliament,” Alick said.