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Election 2016: Liberal Candidate for Parramatta, Michael Beckwith
By Han, Southeast Net Australia
Technically speaking, Michael is not a senior Liberal party member. He only joined the party two and half years ago, while his story with Australian politics dates way back to his very childhood.
Michael grew up in a house where his family talked about politics everyday, which was mainly before he moved out and started living on himself at the age of 17.
After a successful business career of development operation managing at big corporations like Lendlease and Westfield, he rediscovered his old interest at politics.
“From that (working in big companies) advantage point, I got a top-down view over the economy and cities. I didn’t like the way our old Labor government was operating. I felt like they didn’t represent everybody. “
“I looked at the way they manage economy and I saw some real chaos, excessed spending, money being wasted, deficit budget, losing control of borders, etc.”
Parramatta, the second CBD
Experience of working with major shopping centers like Westfield gave Michael the opportunity to deal people from all directions, ranging from big business to small business and ordinary shoppers.
“(Government backing small business) is extremely important for Parramatta. This is the most important part of how everything fix together.”
“For so long people have been talking about Parramatta being the second CBD of Sydney region. The keys are more jobs and some more infrastructures, and they’re now happening in this area under our federal and state Liberal Government. ”
He believes the development of infrastructure in Parramatta would inevitably attract more people to move into the area, getting new jobs and enhancing diversity.
Multiculturalism in Parramatta
With a large number of Indian and Chinese communities, Parramatta is probably the best illustration of multiculturalism in NSW.
“The stable structure of Australia means a peaceful society in which people get what they need. ”
“Wherever they’re from, they are allowed to live the way they want to live.”
“Particularly the Chinese kids who grew up here, I think of them as Australian first and Chinese second, or maybe I’m wrong. (Laugh) But they look really happy here. ”
He believes the Aussie culture, the once dominant culture in this nation, is no longer what it used to be anymore.
“The old mainstream culture is being tempered and adjusted. When you watch the TV here, you’d think that the old Aussie culture still dominates. In fact it doesn’t. It’s just the picture in the media.”
“It’s a different kind of culture now. Even if the old Aussie culture accidently offense people, that’s not intended. It’s not a good thing. We’re improving.”
Immigrants came to Australia 50 years ago, and they’re now Australians. People can’t even tell if they’re Italians or Greeks. Among immigrants and Australia, who’s been changing, to which Michael answered both.
“Now we have lots of Chinese here. It’s hard to know who’s changing, isn’t it? ”
How much impact do you think the policy change targeting foreign property investors would put on the real estate market of NSW?
“Over all, Australia is a very attractive place to invest. I think it may have a slight impact on property prices. It’s still kind of early to tell.”
What holds the key of domestic economic growth?
“We depended on the mining booms to a great degree, but not anymore. It affects Australia. That’s why we have tax incentive and Free Trade Agreement.”
As China slows down on its economy, does it still hold the key of Australian economy internationally?
“I believe so.”
What has been the most effective strategy for you during this record-long campaign?
“Walking around and actually meeting people face to face. My office is on the street.”
What about you that people might not know of？
“I’m a big fan of The Beatles, John Lennon especially.”