BY CHRISTOPHER HARRIS
While Clover Moore announced her ticket with a splash last Sunday, Angela Vithoulkas’s Sydney Matters Party has been quietly dipping its toe into the pool of candidates for the City’s upcoming election.
The small business owner now has five candidates. Similarly to the Clover Moore team, the field displays a diversity of experience. It ranges from an owner of a CBD based migration law firm, to the founder of Startup Daily, a newsletter for startup companies in the City of Sydney.
Ms Vithoulkas said that she has learnt a lot since entering local politics four years ago, including juggling the workload of running a small business with the role of Council.
According to Vithoulkas, residents and business owners in the have become cumulatively annoyed with how Council decisions has affected them.
She said the Council has not thought properly and reacted quickly to the fallout of bad decisions.
“There is a new government language of unintended consequences,” Ms Vithoulkas told City Hub. She said that people are annoyed with how things have been handled and that the fallout of decisions hasn’t been minimized.
She cites the example of parking in Paddington as totemic of Council’s inaction.
“Paddington is a great example of where people are unhappy most of the time.”
“Residents support the local economy—people who have businesses there need locals to support them – it is Council’s job to make sure they are addressing concerns on both sides.”
“We need to be less clunky, more proactive, more concerned with our residents, than political goal scoring,” Ms Vithoulkas said. She said that for everyday people, notions of conceptual art should come second to the three Rs of local council – roads, rates, and recycling.
“The people have a right to be angry, when the council’s immediate concern should be roads rates and rubbish. When those immediate concerns aren’t addressed, and council has lost its way and focus on the everyday amenity, of the people it serves and it is self-indulgent on projects that most people aren’t going to benefit from immediately, and you’ve got three kids trying to get out of the car and into the house, you’re not happy and not going to care where the milk crate goes.”
Vithoulkas is critical of Clover Moore’s Party’s inaction on many issues.
“Because I don’t have big party affiliations, I am free to work with all levels of government and all parties to get the right outcomes. That is the greatest difference, I am a new true independent. I don’t have baggage,” she said.
“I am all about common sense, good fast decisions to make strong difference to get positive outcomes. I don’t do a blame game, I don’t blame another level of government and walk away.”
She said she was hopeful about the prospect of being Lord Mayor.
“Thankfully being a small business owner, I can shift my responsibilities, I am looking forward to running a successful lord mayor campaign.”