Is Dick Smith getting ready to run for parliament?

Dick Smith

Dick Smith. Source: AAP/Lukas Coch.

Businessman and 1986 Australian of the Year Dick Smith has vowed to run for Bronwyn Bishop’s parliamentary seat as an independent should the former speaker win Liberal Party preselection this weekend.

Smith took out a large ad on page five of The Australian newspaper this morning to urge Liberal Party members in the seat of Mackellar, located in Sydney’s northern beaches, to choose a candidate who does not believe in “exponential growth in a finite world”.

“Please consider the future of our children and grandchildren when casting your vote to select the Liberal candidate for Mackeller,” the ad reads.

“Please reject the clearly non-democratic party machine. Don’t be manipulated by the factions.”

Speaking to SmartCompany this morning, Smith says he is concerned about politicians who keep talking about growth but never admit endless growth is unsustainable.

“I’ll definitely be running if Bronwyn is successful,” Smith says.

“I’ll be running as an independent.”

Smith would easily snatch the blue-ribbon seat from Bishop should she be given the nod of approval by Liberal Party preselectors this weekend, according to The Australian.

Smith would receive a primary vote of 54% in comparison to Bishop’s 21% at the next federal election, MediaReach polling shows.

Tax reform and slashing “ridiculous” red tape on Smith’s agenda

When asked what policies he will champion if he decides to enter politics, Smith jokes he has policies that will make him “unpopular with everyone”.

“The top 15% of taxpayers should pay more tax,” Smith says.

“At the same time, we should work to reduce the rorting in the social benefits system. So I’ve got something to offend everyone.

“My policy will be to live within our means, so not to borrow from our children’s future. I think it’s outrageous when children are born today they’ve got a debt to pay back.”

While Smith is especially passionate about red tape in the aviation industry, he says he holds similar views about red tape that affects all small businesses.

“I’d work to reduce some of the ridiculous bureaucracy for small business,” he says.

“I started my business in 1968. I couldn’t do the same today because of the ridiculous occupational health and safety rules, ridiculous paperwork required.”

Last year, Dick Smith threatened to run against Tony Abbott to raise awareness of the issues affecting the aviation industry.

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Derek Bailey
Derek Bailey
4 years ago

Lets go a step further:
Dick Smith for PM (No brainer)

Rohan
Rohan
4 years ago

So he’ll run, but only on the condition of (insert condition here). This guy is a serial gunnah. He’s gunnah do this and gunnah do that, but nowdays rarely does. In fact that would make him the perfect politician. Full of useless hot air. Just like Big Clive, but without the intense button strain.

If he were that confident that he’d make a real calculable difference for the benefit of the nation (and not simply his own ego), he’d run irrespective of the “condition”. This is purely an exercise in marketing.

Adam
Adam
4 years ago
Reply to  Rohan

If you had any idea who this guy is and what he has done for this country already you would not be such a tool.

Hamish Blair
Hamish Blair
4 years ago

I remember meeting Dick when I was a teenager on holiday with my family. Seemed like a successful and reasonable guy.

As far as how much tax the top taxpayers pay, the ATO has some statistics here:
https://www.ato.gov.au/About-ATO/Research-and-statistics/In-detail/Tax-statistics/Taxation-statistics-2012-13–100-people/

“Below we show the proportion of all net tax paid when we ranked our 100 people by their taxable incomes.

– People with the top three taxable incomes paid 27% of all net tax.
– The next six paid 20% of all net tax.
– The next 30 paid 42% of all net tax.
– The next 35 paid 11% of all net tax.
– The last 26 didn’t pay any tax.”

So 47% of tax was paid by the top 9% of income earners. Seems those with high incomes (not necessarily those who are wealthy in terms of assets) pay more than their fair share of tax.