City of Sydney councillor Angela Vithoulkas has resigned from the Living Sydney political party citing its links to the liquor and gaming industry.
“I have been advised that close relatives of the party’s founding member now have involvement in the liquor industry and I do not believe that it is appropriate for me to have that association,” she told City News.
Cr Vithoulkas declined to name the person involved, but said the founding members of the party’s current incarnation do not include previous candidates such as Frank Sartor or Lucy Turnbull, who served as Lord Mayors between 1991 and 2004.
“They have not been involved with Living Sydney since it has been reformed,” she said.
In that era, the party had been backed by developers including Mirvac, Meriton and Multiplex. In 2004, the party donated its remaining $30,000 to Clover Moore’s campaign.
Cr Vithoulkas was elected in 2012 on a campaign financed only by personal funds. At present, she is the only point of contact listed on the Living Sydney web site, and is the main substance of the site’s “About Us” page.
She said her decision to leave the party “has nothing to do with any of the incidents in Kings Cross” and denied there had been conflict over party policy and direction.
“This is strictly a decision on my part as to the right thing to do. I have very strong views on alcohol-fuelled violence,” she said.
Cr Vithoulkas said she will continue to lobby for the rights of residents and small business owners in the area.