ACT News

Bullet Train for Canberra party becomes LIKE Canberra Party

The ACT's former Bullet Train for Canberra party is ready to drive innovative ideas like medical marijuana farms and cut our public servants some slack as the LIKE Canberra Party - all while lobbying for high-speed rail.

The new-look party with a name reminiscent of one of the city's marketing campaigns will stand for a broad range of issues largely centred around jobs, the public service, equality and common sense at the 2016 ACT election.

Among the party's proposed policies is a need for "out-of-the-box thinking" to explore new industries such as medical marijuana farms. 

LIKE Canberra's early policy list also reminds Canberrans "public servants are people too" and "should be treated with the same respect as an employee from a car manufacturer, chocolate factory or the mining industry".

The party would like to see a review of all senior executive positions and salaries during any department cost-cutting before savings measures are applied to general public servants who should not be used as "scapegoats".

Aside from promoting marriage equality and better pay for Canberra's frontline workers, including nurses, childcare workers and teachers, funding a bullet train is still at the party's core - and the thousands of jobs its construction could spark if the nation's capital became the high-speed rail hub of Australia.

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Party founder and federal Bullet Train for Australia president Tim Bohm said the de-registration of the Bullet Train's ACT branch after the 2012 territory election meant any new local party required a name change.

Community feedback also drove the party's expansion. Voters wanted to know where the party stood on a range of issues, while others were reluctant to support a single-issue party, he said.

Mr Bohm said LIKE Canberra would apply an "is it good for Canberra?" commonsense test to all policies, including those of other parties, and all sorts of issues from rates and parking to euthanasia and drug reform.

"We're not career politicians, we're not hand-strung by federal parties doing back-room deals and things like that," he said.

"We're going to be a party that stands up for Canberra. We want genuine people who like Canberra, who want the best for Canberra and have common sense."

Mr Bohm said the party's policy platform was still in it's early stages and would be shaped by community feedback.

"We want to talk with people and see what they want and build from there," he said. 

More than 9000 Canberrans voted for the party at the 2012 ACT election, Mr Bohm said.

The party received more than 40,000 first preference votes across the ACT, NSW and Victoria, 25,000 from the ACT Senate and House of Representatives alone.

The new-look party will host a stall at this weekend's National Multicultural Festival. 

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