A BUSINESSMAN and motivational speaker proposing a radical overhaul of the political system has joined the fight for the seat of New England.
Jamie McIntyre yesterday announced the launch of the 21st Century Australia party.
New England will be at the centre of the party’s campaigning efforts, with the Pinkett-raised tycoon running against independent incumbent Tony Windsor.
The party’s platform will include the abolition of state governments and compulsory voting, as well as direct voting by the public on major national issues.
“The public’s more than ready for political change, and we’re going to push for changing an outdated 19th century system,” Mr McIntyre said.
The party will attempt to field candidates in all 150 lower house seats, with a focus on campaigns against Mr Windsor and fellow independent Rob Oakeshott.
Mr McIntyre has been a long time critic of Mr Windsor’s support for the Labor minority government following the 2010 election, at one point offering $250,000 for a campaign to prevent the MP’s re-election.
Websites and a Facebook page run by Mr McIntyre frequently run articles critical of the Gillard government.
Mr McIntyre said he had “no personal issue” with Barnaby Joyce’s run for preselection, but would not say whether his party would direct preferences to the Nationals.
“We haven’t had discussions about preselection, but it certainly won’t be going to Windsor or a Labor candidate,” he said.
While Mr McIntyre said he was unlikely to relocate back to New England during the campaign, he said he would be a frequent visitor to the region.
“I still visit every six to eight weeks and have spent more than half of my life in the region,” he said.
A series of town hall meetings are being planned over the next two months as the party begins its campaign in earnest.
A Young Australian of the Year nominee in 1999, Mr McIntyre advertises himself as an educator, author and mentor.
He has founded 12 companies worth a combined $40 million and owns six properties in the New England region.
But he is no stranger to controversy, launching legal action against Google in 2011 to reveal the identity of the author of a website describing him as a “thieving scumbag”.
His website also runs articles by notorious cartoonist Larry Pickering, who was described by Ms Gillard as a “misogynist”.
Mr McIntyre said he was prepared for those issues to be raised during the campaign.
“Everyone knows politics can be a dirty game and others will try it, but I won’t be engaging in those tactics,” he said.