Labor’s Parramatta candidate has defended being dropped in Sydney’s western seat amid criticism that he does not represent the diverse electorate.
The multimillion-dollar businessman Andrew Charlton hails from eastern Sydney and has only recently moved from his $16 million mansion to Parramatta.
Charlton, an economist and former economic adviser to Kevin Rudd when he was Prime Minister, uses his success to court the traditionally working-class, ethnically diverse residents of western Sydney.
“Many of these communities have the ambition to work hard, support their families, build better lives for their children and, in many cases, build businesses,” Charlton told reporters at a Hindu Council dinner Friday night. of Australia.
“That’s what I’ve been doing all my life.
“I understand what it takes to build a business and create jobs. And so those aspirations that many people in this community have are a good fit with my experience.”
He says the main issues raised in central Parramatta have to do with the struggle to make ends meet with the rising cost of living.
Charlton will face Maria Kovacic of the Liberals in the fringe seat, held by Labour, by a narrow margin of 3.5 percent.
With incumbent MP Julie Owens retiring, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has made frequent visits – including five since the elections were called – as Liberals aim for the seat.
Mr Charlton’s campaign suffered a setback mid-week after he was criticized in the tabloids for not being able to name three local restaurants.
But the businessman accepted that there would be ebb and flow in his election bid.
“I’ve knocked on hundreds and hundreds of doors, I’ve been to every train station and met as many people as I could,” he said.
“I can tell you what those concerns are, the cost of living. They’re talking about how hard it is to make the family budget work, they’re talking about small businesses.”
Labor leader Anthony Albanese echoed Carlton’s aspirational talk when addressing the Council, praising the hard work of the Hindu community.
“You are a growing community respected for your dedication, hard work and commitment to Australian values,” he said.
“We must continue to provide opportunities. To ensure that we move forward (and) we remain a country of ambition and a country of opportunity.”
Australian Associated Press