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Could O'Keefe steer the Bullet Train to the ballot box?

Andrew O'Keefe give thumbs up the Bullet Train Australia party on Weekend Sunrise.

Andrew O'Keefe give thumbs up the Bullet Train Australia party on Weekend Sunrise. Photo: Weekend Sunrise

The Bullet Train for Australia is doing away with its celebrity free policy and offering Andrew O’Keefe a plum role in the party.

The party is extending O’Keefe an offer to become the official Bullet Train for Australia national spokesperson in the lead up to the federal vote, following the Weekend Sunrise host’s recent on air support for the party.

Party president Tim Böhm said O'Keefe had commented on the Bullet Train as part of his Weekend Sunrise program, where he gave the party both a physical and vocal "thumbs up".

The offer comes less than a month after the party vowed to avoid "career politicians, B-grade celebrities or washed-up sports people".

Mr Böhm said the party wouldn’t usually run celebrity candidates, but O’Keefe was something special. He said if O’Keefe could make a better Prime Minister than “Kevin, Tony, Clive, Bob or anyone running around out there”, if he took up the party’s additional offer of running as a House of Representatives candidate.

“It’s gotten a lot of support from our members,” he said.

“We’ve tried to contact Andrew, but no response… We’d love to have him on board and up front helping to steer the Bullet Train campaign to the ballot box.”

Fairfax Media received a comment from O'Keefe late on Friday, wishing the party well but denying involvement.

"Whilst I fully support the notion of a high-speed rail network linking Australia's major cities, from both the transportational and environmental points of view, I am not a spokesperson or candidate for the Bullet Train Party, and I’m not in discussion with them about it either. I'll certainly will be watching their progress with interest, however, and wishing them every success," he said.

The party will be running Senate candidates in the ACT, New South Wales and Victoria, as well as House of Representative candidates in electorates along the route of the Stage 1 plan from Newcastle to Melbourne.

The campaign for federal seats follows a tilt by the Bullet Train for Canberra party at the ACT Legislative Assembly elections in 2012, where it gained almost 9000 votes,

Mr Böhm said the local campaign had boosted its membership throughout the seats of Canberra and Fraser.

“Because we ran the October election [for the ACT Legislative Assembly], we haven’t had any trouble finding candidates,” he said.

“We’ve got members who want to run for the House of Representatives, in both seats.”

He said candidates would be announced shortly after the nomination of an election date by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.

7 comments

  • There's a party for this? Sorry, but I cannot see how a project of this magnitude can commence with such a small tax base. Of course, I'll use the European examples (assuming that is the place that springs to mind for most). Many of the countries with those HSR networks are the size of Victoria or NSW yet have populations (tax base) 2-3 times the size of all of Australia. Don't get me wrong, I like the idea of HSR, but one must be realistic about the prospects of it happening with such huge distances and a small population.

    Commenter
    VAG in a Garage
    Date and time
    July 19, 2013, 8:45AM
    • At last some one understands, good work VAG in a Garage.

      Commenter
      OLD DOG
      Date and time
      July 19, 2013, 9:50AM
    • Agree VAG. The biggest hurdles for any major infrastructure project in Australia is our relatively small population and our immense size. OS visitors travelling from Sydney to Melbourne are amazed about the distance and that you only travel through 2 states, not a number of states or countries. I hope it happens, but wonder how.

      Commenter
      Dee2
      Date and time
      July 19, 2013, 10:04AM
  • You may be right about a small tax base/geographic area. That's why the money should be invested from the the vast sums in superannuation (much of which is currently invested in similar infrastructure projects overseas) currently somewhere in the region of $1,500,000,000,000. That's 1.5 trillion. Taking out $200 billion to build HSR wouldn't even make a dent......and the super funds would get it all back over the next 50 years.

    I really wish our super money could be invested more easily in our own nation. Imagine what we could do!

    Commenter
    Seems fair.
    Date and time
    July 19, 2013, 12:01PM
    • Not my retirement money thanks.

      Commenter
      the outsider
      Date and time
      July 20, 2013, 8:06AM
    • Where do you think your retirement money is now? In a box under the bed or sitting in a big pile at Superfund HQ? Your retirement money is invested in projects lust like this all over the world, bridges in Vietnam, mines in Canada and Ecuador, fibre optic cables in France and high speed rail linking Singapore and Malaysia. I don't understand why you want to invest in other countries but not Australia. Please explain?

      Commenter
      Seems fair
      Date and time
      July 22, 2013, 9:39AM
  • This is great - a top notch spokesman for an awesome national project. Our infrastructure needs a new deal - go Andrew!

    Commenter
    Old Son
    Location
    Caboose
    Date and time
    July 19, 2013, 12:19PM
    Comments are now closed
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