Picton’s Jason Bolwell is a self-described “normal bloke”, not a career politician.
Yet he has put his hand up to contest the Wollondilly state seat in the next election.
The crane supervisor has been named the candidate for the Shooters Fishers and Farmers Party.
Mr Bolwell held a launch party at the Thirlmere Greyhound Trial Track on Monday, September 3.
In the race to Parliament, Mr Bolwell is up against independent candidate and Wollondilly mayor Judith Hannan, Liberal candidate and former San Souci resident Nathaniel Smith, and Labor candidate and Bowral resident Jo-Ann Davidson.
At Monday’s announcement, Mr Bolwell had a heavy hitter in his corner – former federal Labor opposition leader turned political commentator – Mark Latham, who threw his support behind the local candidate.
Mr Bolwell said he knew the issues important to the community because he had lived in Wollondilly for 26 years with his wife and three children.
“I’m running in the election because I am sick and tired of the Liberal party pandering to the elite in Sydney rather than caring about people in south-west Sydney,” he said.
“My main focus will be advocating for more services and infrastructure for Wollondilly, including a bypass in Picton, especially if the area continues to grow.”
The candidate said he was not anti-development but wanted to ensure the shire remained semi-rural.
Mr Bolwell said to date the state government assistance for farmers had been “inadequate”.
“The government should do whatever it can to support Australian farmers rather than sending money overseas,” he said.
Mr Bolwell said he was in with a “strong chance” to win the seat.
“People are unhappy with the Liberal party,” he said. “Wollondilly deserves better.
“I am not worried about other candidates’ political experience.
“I plan to get around the shire to talk to people in shopping centres and do door-knocking.”
Mr Latham, who lives in Mount Hunter, attended the launch party to endorse Mr Bolwell because he strongly believes Wollondilly deserves a local candidate.
“Jason is a local and he represents the heart and soul of Wollondilly,” Mr Latham said. “Wollondilly is proudly parochial. It is semi-rural and doesn’t want population growth.
“The Liberal Party don’t own the seat of Wollondilly.
“Jason and Judith Hannan have a lot to offer. Wollondilly residents should reject the blow-in Nathaniel Smith.
“Local candidates do a better job.”
The Shooters Fishers and Farmers Party announced last week that it will contest all Sydney-based and regional Liberal Party seats, including the Premier’s electorate of Willoughby, unless the proposed 25 new marine parks are abandoned.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced the creation of 25 new marine parks across Newcastle, Sydney and Wollongong, effectively locking out recreational and sustainable fishing along the New South Wales coastline.
We want to hear what you think. Submit a letter to the editor or write to email@example.com