John August | Fusion

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1.     Tell us your name and political party

John August, Fusion: Science, Pirate, Secular, Climate Emergency


2. What is your connection to Bennelong and why are you running for the seat?

I have lived here for most of my life and the majority of my education was here – including a degree at Macquarie University. I have taken an interest in local affairs, writing letters to local newspapers and local members. It feels natural to realise my concerns, in pursuit of a better Australia, by standing for election here.


3. Tell us a bit about yourself and what other “hats” you wear in your life

I host a community radio on numerous topics (see, and write about many topics (including my participation in past elections and political forums in the area) on my website at

I am Vice-Chair of the Australian Electric Vehicle Association and have recently become involved in bushcare in the area.

I’m involved with the NSW Humanists, the New Economy Network Association and Engineering Heritage Sydney, having had a long time interest in history and the industrial revolution. This also expands to a more general interest in electronics and technology. I have made numerous gadgets and sought to repair much at home. The “Right to Repair” is important to me, along with a more general concern about the abuse of Patents, Copyright and similar.

I’ve also been involved in the Ryde District Historical Society, though less active these days.


4. What do you love most about the area and what is your favourite spot?

I love bushwalking, walking and cycling around, including the shoreline around Putney and the lake around Lardelli Park and the car ferry. My favorite spot is bushwalking at the end of Vimiera Road.

I also feel the historical connections in the area – that Top Ryde shopping centre was amongst the first in Australia, that we had the Halmeg linseed oil plant, and that going back Ryde was “Eastern Farms” – with respect to the settlement at Parramatta, that is.


5. What do you believe are the 3 main issues affecting the seat of Bennelong and why?

Urban development, particularly with the pressures around the Macquarie Park area.

Our objective is to re-pivot our economy around genuine business activity and innovation, so that property is less attractive for speculation and there is more wealth circulating in the economy to do good things in other areas, based on support for land value taxation and innovation generally; it bears on how positive we can feel about our lives in Bennelong.

More specifically, taking a look at how Universities are expected to fund themselves and the impacts they have on the surrounds would be worth looking at carefully, along with a commitment to public transport.

Restore Credibility of Government

Our approach is to implement a Federal ICAC, but to also support whistleblowers like Witness K and to engage with the difficulties of the world strategically, not make such a hash as the past Government has, but equally not just slip into the naive hope that just replacing the Government will make everything better. Otherwise, all we do is wait till the new Government gets stale and we throw them out again, repeating the cycle.

A credible drive to prosperity

Our approach to taxation involves a Guaranteed Minimum Income together with a taxation threshold, with an additional goal of reducing bureaucracy for everyone. In this way, we free ourselves from bureaucracy and support prosperity for us all in the community.


6. What other key objectives do you have planned for the area? Please provide short-term (under 12 months) and long-term (up to 3/4 years). Please keep to a max of 4.

Short term:

To take a look at the barriers to supply in childcare. If we provide a first home owner’s subsidy this just jacks up prices, and if we subsidise private schools, rather than admitting more students or lowering fees, they just build more expensive facilities. In the same way consumers childcare subsidies are ultimately ineffective and don’t really change anything. We need to review the obstacles to childcare provision, and then take action. Streamlining the bureaucracy, grants for establishment and expansion, and HECS discounts to help people qualify for such work would be possibilities after a proper review.

Commitment to community initiatives such as “Mens Shed”, with the goal of expanding out to include a “repair cafe” in the area and generally support creative initiatives in the area.

A commitment to the quality of what we see around us, with limits on advertising and junk mail.

A review of security cameras and law and order, the roll-out of which has taken many by surprise.

Long term:

A commitment to green power and climate, including local education and support for the charging of electric vehicles in the electorate. It’s a broader Australia-wide concern too, but here I’m focusing on Bennelong.

A commitment bushcare in the area, maintaining an appealing foreshore and river, including support for the Parramatta River Catchment Group.

Understanding the changes to our urban form resulting from the economic disruption of covid, but also the positive changes we have seen, such as a stronger desire to work from home and a stronger commitment to the local area, which can help to make our area better if we keep up the momentum.

Listening to residents in the area to obtain a better understanding of their concerns, apart from just relying on my own ideas.


7. What is your party leaders biggest strength and biggest weakness?

Strengths: The ability to take on innovative ideas and solutions without being a slave to conventions and vested interests.

Weaknesses: The difficulties in managing a new party incorporating diverse elements.