The Keep Sydney Open Party (KSO) is running three Indian-Australian candidates, which may be a record for a party other than Labor or Liberal, and certainly in a state election.
Those Indian-Australian candidates are Scott Singh (Macquarie Fields) Ravneel Chand (Liverpool) and Vinay Orekondy (Strathfield). The Party is running 21 candidates in the Upper House, and 42 candidates in the Lower House.
The Keep Sydney Open Party started as a movement five years ago in opposition to Sydney’s lockout laws, which Deloitte have projected have cost 16 billion dollars a year to Sydney’s nighttime economy, and seen over 400 businesses close in Sydney’s CBD. With Sydney now developing a reputation as a ‘boring’ city, it is becoming an increasingly unattractive destination for tourists and young migrants.
“The major parties have shown they are willing to put their personal moral crusades above sensible economic management,” says Scott Singh, KSO candidate for Macquarie Fields. “KSO will not only reverse the economic and reputational damage caused by the lockouts, but create an environment conducive to small business. Indian immigrants and their children run many of Australia’s small businesses; we intend to support them by cutting excessive government regulation of small business and allowing them to flourish.”
KSO has broadened out to include music festivals, which has been one of the central issues of this state election, as the policy changes have led to several major music festivals going bankrupt in the space of a few weeks.
“The government’s music festival policy should be of great concern to Indian-Australians, who are renowned for their love of live music events”, says Ravneel Chand, KSO Candidate for Liverpool. “As music festivals and service providers are forced to pay higher costs and driven out of business, live music events will become much more expensive to stage moving forward. KSO are committed to keeping live music affordable, as it is essential to cultural expression.”
KSO recognises the symbolism of the word ‘open’ in an era of increased racist / closed-border politics around the world. “Keeping Sydney Open means keeping Sydney open to the world,” says Vinay Orekondy, KSO candidate for Strathfield. “Sydney has been one of the world’s great cities because of its openness, inclusivity and remarkable culture diversity. KSO is fiercely supportive of cultural diversity, and knows that Sydney can only maintain its status as a great city if it remains open to the world.”