A new political party has been established with one of its founding members hailing from our very own backyard.
Mark Ptolemy, from Winmalee, is one of three individuals who officially registered the Australian Workers Party earlier this year with the Australian Electoral Commission.
As a former Labor supporter, who even ran for the seat of Macquarie in the 2004 Federal Election against Kerry Bartlett, Mr Ptolemy said he started the new party because he was frustrated.
“It got to a point where I didn’t think Labor was sticking to their fundamental beliefs of looking after the underdog and the disadvantaged people in society,” he said.
“The Australian Workers Party is passionate and we want to make sure that vulnerable people are looked after.
“We want social and economic justice and we want people to know that there is another alternative party that actually wants to help.”
At present the new party has almost 3,000 members across the country, with around 200 of them living in the Blue Mountains.
The party has a strong stance on generating employment and ending discrimination of welfare recipients, free education that all citizens have access to and equal rights for all Australians, whether it is in relation to equal pay for men and women or same sex marriage.
Mr Ptolemy said the Government is run too much like a business these days.
“Privatisation has failed,” he said.
“Look at electricity prices, people can’t even afford to pay their bills.
“In the workplace there’s no security and housing is insane, I don’t know how young people will ever buy a home.”
With the new party now registered, over the next few weeks the executive committee will start to largely promote who they are and what they are about.
“We are looking to reach out to people who hold similar values to our party,” Mr Ptolemy said.
“We are also looking for people who would consider running for candidacy at all levels, if their values align with ours.”
To find out more information about the new party, visit australianworkersparty.org.
Membership is free.