FBi president campaign’s for high density

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FBI radio’s Cassandra Wilkinson has come a long way from working the night shift at the King’s Cross
McDonalds during her university days.

The co-founder of the Sydney radio station now hopes to lead the Labor party in the upcoming local government elections and become Sydney’s next mayor.

The candidate grew up in Inner and Eastern Sydney and established herself in the local arts scene.

Ms Wilkinson is keen to apply her creative successes to the political sphere.

“Even when FBI Radio was first created, I was very passionate about getting involved in politics,” Ms Wilkinson said.

“The reason I am running for council is that I want to help make Sydney a place that no one needs to, or wants to, leave – I want to make it an exciting, global city,” she said.

A major hindrance to Sydney’s development is the nanny state attitude employed by the current council, she said.

The strict regulation of entertainment venues is just one example of this, according to Ms Wilkinson.

“I have a real problem with people’s experiences being homogenised.

The people of Sydney should be allowed to have more fun, rather than there being more expenses and more regulations imposed on them.

“This is not to say that people who break the law should not be arrested. I am not encouraging the drinking culture of Sydney and the violence that often comes with that – I am encouraging the entertainment culture,” she said.

Whilst this is a major element of Ms Wilkinson’s campaign, she says the majority of her focus is directed towards reducing property prices in Sydney.

She said Sydneysiders are suffering from high rents and mortgages, which are higher than other cities in the country.

“The best thing the council can do for citizens, businesses, artists and other industries, is to bring down the rate of growth in the price of property.”

“To do this, we have got to change our planning rules. We have got to be able to let people build more places to live and work in the City of Sydney – good quality high density is a great way to bring down the pressures on housing prices,” she said.

Many of Ms Wilkinson’s political views and ideas for the City of Sydney can be attributed to Paul Keating, her main political idol.

“The idea that Keating believed in our brain and creativity, and not just our resources, really struck a chord with me.”

“I feel that there is still a need to articulate that belief in Australia, and particularly here in Sydney,” she said.

Ms Wilkinson admits that she will face many challenges in her quest to become Lord Mayor of Sydney. She feels that the biggest of these will be seeing if it is possible to say exactly what she thinks and be able to say ‘no’ to people.

“My campaign is a very much a field test in reforming political speech,” she said.

By Drew Rooke

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