BY JOHN MOYLE
When City of Sydney councillor Angela Vithoulkas founded the Small Business Party last year she initially intended just to run for the Upper House; that is, until she found two outstanding candidates who were determined to have a tilt at the House of Representatives.
Both Fiona Douskou and Aaron Le Saux are political newbies who had their political ambitions awakened when they experienced first-hand how state issues have impacted on small businesses in their local areas.
“I have always had a passion for politics and living in Potts Point have seen a lot of things, and while I enjoy the community, I think there are improvements to be made and I can do that while being in politics,” Fiona Douskou, candidate Sydney, Small Business Party said.
“I respect the diversity from the area and would protect that.”
Ms Douskou lives in an area where small business, night clubs and bars have been decimated by the lockout laws and the seat of Sydney has seen the impact of the light rail and WestConnex construction.
“If we just had some proper planning and economic impact statements done before construction we could have prevented the devastation to small business and the community,” Fiona Douskou said.
Ms Douskou is also fighting the impost of payroll tax of 5.45 per cent on company payrolls of over $850,000.
“We see that payroll tax and avoidable red tape is what is really preventing small businesses from focussing on their core services and being able to thrive,” Fiona Douskou said.
Aaron Le Saux is a small business owner and homeowner who has been impacted first hand by both the light rail and WestConnex.
Now the party’s candidate for the seat of Newtown, Aaron, with his partner, owns a popular wine bar in Surry Hills, and until recently also called the suburb home.
That was until the light rail and WestConnex impacted on both business and home, eventually forcing them to move to Stanmore, where they found that their new house could also be under threat from the M4 and M5.
“I have a personal connection to what we are fighting for,” Aaron Le Saux, candidate Newtown, Small Business Party said.
“We found that small business didn’t have a voice and the residents didn’t, so that is why we are going with two platforms, one for small business and one for the community.”
Mr Le Saux says the lockouts have just moved a problem that is now impacting on Newtown and that a planned clearway for King Street “is going to make it even worse”.
Both Ms Douskou and Mr Le Saux are using old-fashioned door knocking and pamphleteering and a strong volunteer army, along with Instagram, to get the message to the community.
Standing against strong incumbents means that a win is unlikely, but the message that the Small Business Party means business will have been made.