An outspoken critic of the Sydney light rail project has launched her own political party which will run candidates in several inner-city seats at the upcoming state election.
City of Sydney councillor Angela Vithoulkas – who once owned Vivo Cafe on George Street – has established the Small Business Party and will head the upper house ticket for the March poll.
The party has another two candidates ready to contest the lower house seats of Newtown and Sydney, currently held by Greens MP Jenny Leong and independent Alex Greenwich respectively.
The Small Business Party has also submitted its registration with the Australian Electoral Commission and hopes to stand candidates in the federal election later this year.
Cr Vithoulkas has been an outspoken critic of the state government’s $2.1 billion light rail project from the CBD to the eastern suburbs.
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She’s part of a $400 million class-action lawsuit arguing her former business on the light rail route was harmed by years of construction works.
Cr Vithoulkas wants to ensure there’s a strong advocate for small businesses in parliament.
‘Small business has never had an advocate that has a seat at the table in government solely focused on them,’ Cr Vithoulkas told AAP.
The Small Business Party will also campaign on a platform of cutting stamp duty, red tape and energy prices, as well as scrapping land tax and payroll tax.
‘Most issues that face the electorates and the community on a whole somehow or another affect small business because we are those people,’ the party’s founder said.
The party has more than 6000 members and support across the state, Cr Vithoulkas said.
Winning lower house seats will be an uphill battle, she admits, but snaffling an upper house seat is possible.
‘We’re going to be the biggest underdog there is but I’m used to that,’ she said.