The race to win the Sydney by-election has expanded from a three-way tussle to a contest between five contenders.
The final ballot paper, revealed by the NSW Electoral Commission late last week, includes the three previously-known candidates – independent Alex Greenwich, Greens candidate Chris Harris and Liberal candidate Shayne Mallard – plus two new additions: Christian Democratic Party (Fred Nile Group) candidate Robyn Peebles and a second independent, Glenn Wall.
Ms Peebles, a pastor from West Ryde in suburban Sydney, is a serial candidate in State and Federal politics.
She last ran for office in the Heffron by-election two months ago, where she garnered seven per cent of the vote.
Ms Peebles did not respond to requests for comment regarding the Sydney by-election but in August said her reason for standing in Heffron was to combat marriage equality.
“I am standing for marriage between a male and a female, and to oppose same-sex marriage for homosexuals and lesbians,” she told City News.
Mr Wall, a Pyrmont resident who divides his time between inner Sydney and his wildlife sanctuary near Mudgee, said he was running to continue the work of former Member for Sydney, Clover Moore.
“I’m a big fan of Clover Moore and I see my role as continuing her work, but in my own style,” he said.
Mr Wall identified five key areas where he would seek to make a difference: public housing, police, education, youth issues and sustainable urban development.
“I’m a public housing housing tenant myself and I’m appalled at the shoddy level of maintenance Housing NSW thinks is acceptable,” he said.
“I’ve observed contractors painting over rotten timber, long delays getting things fixed, and a general attitude of not caring, and this is something I’ll work to combat, as Clover has done.”
Mr Wall said he was “very concerned” by the actions of NSW Police in recent times, opining that things were returning to “the bad old days.”
“I grew up in inner Sydney in ’80s when police were absolutely corrupt and did what they liked,” he said.
“They’re returning to the same strong-arm, unethical tactics … they’re using capsicum spray and tasers for compliance, which is not their intended use.”
Asked why he standing for office when Clover Moore had already anointed Alex Greenwich as her preferred successor, Mr Wall said: “I feel he’s too focused on gay marriage. I’m gay-friendly and support marriage equality but it’s a federal issue.”
Mr Greenwich, national convenor for Australian Marriage Equality (AME), said he was not only focused on same-sex marriage, but also planning controls, animal welfare, the environment, crime prevention and support for small business, among other issues.