United Australia Party (UAP) candidate George Zoraya says he’s Clive Palmer’s biggest fan and is ready to shake things up in Chisholm. Sick and tired of the two Party preferred establishment, Zoraya says he’s adamant – things “need to change”.
He blames the major parties, Liberal and Labor, for the surge in electricity prices. A report conducted by the ACC shows that power bills in Victoria have increased by 56% over the past 10 years.
“Little to no investment or long term plan was made by either side of Government,” he says.
His biggest priority is to make electricity affordable. He wants a state-by-state review of electricity and he wants to put a long-term plan in place for Australia’s energy needs.
“Let’s get electricity to an affordable level for our most vulnerable,” he says.
He’s keen to decentralise Melbourne and make regional life more appealing. He intends to do this by offering a 20 per cent tax discount for those living and working more than 200km from a State’s capital city and to create fast trains for Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne.
His experience as a business operator, having owned a large paint-supply franchise, means he’s eager to make changes that would help businesses.
He wants the Company Provisional Tax to be changed from a quarterly to an annual payment. Zoraya claims that paying the tax only once a year would mean more money for businesses to invest in people and their operations. It would also mean keeping more money circulating in the economy,” he says.
Zoraya’s new to politics. He works full time for himself in property investment. He’s confident that his knowledge of the market supports the notion that everyone can own their own home. He wants to give people an incentive by making the first $10,000 paid on a home loan tax deductible every year until the mortgage is paid off.
This could be appealing to residents of Chisholm because, according to the census, 28 per cent of occupied private dwellings is mortgaged.
Zoraya is also concerned with how society looks after aged pensioners. He promises to increase the Aged Pension by about 20 per cent.
Unfortunately for Zoraya, the census shows that only 16 per cent of the residents of Chisholm are over the age of 65 and therefore eligible for the pension. The median age in the electorate is 35.
When asked about why he thinks the UAP is controversial, he suggests that it’s due to being previously known as the ‘Palmer United Party’.
“But this is all in the past now,” Zoraya says.
The UAP has made headlines in the past because it has been accused of bullying and bad behaviour by high-profile members of Parliament. Palmer is the leader of the UAP.
Although Zoraya blames Palmer’s name for the Party’s reputation, he has no doubt that the controversial Queensland businessman is a good politician. He believes Palmer genuinely wants to put Australia first.
“He has a clear vision for Australia and he challenges the two Party preferred establishment,” he says.
For anyone critical of Palmer, Zoraya encourages them to “look at what he’s actually managed to achieve”.
Palmer has certainly achieved publicity. He’s spent tens of millions of dollars on the UAP’s advertising campaign and been accused of stealing Twisted Sister’s hit song We’re Not Gonna Take It. He used the song for his television advertisement without permission from the band.
Zoraya believes it was smart advertising. He says the song reflects how sick and tired Australians are of the lack of trust in politicians.
He also points out that Palmer has offered Sony music money to use the song.
He also accuses Twisted Sister of being hypercritical because they took the song from an old Church hymn O Come All Ye Faithful. He references a music video made by the band in 2006. In the video they perform O Come All Ye Faithful against a slowed down version of their hit We’re Not Gonna Take It.
Palmer was not sorry for using the song. He decided to publicly insult the band instead.
“As an aging rocker with an affinity for wigs, he is obviously still trying to gain notoriety so people will come to his concerts."
— Clive Palmer (@CliveFPalmer) January 30, 2019
Zoraya wants to revoke politicians’ access to taxpayer funds after leaving Parliament.
“Why should Politicians get access to taxpayer funds when they leave office?” he says.
He believes there needs to be a real change in the way tax is spent. This perhaps clashes with Palmer a bit as he has been criticised for owing taxpayers after overspending on his entitlements when he was last in Parliament.
When asked whether Zoraya’s views were right or left leaning, he was hesitant to answer.
“We are asked not to provide personal views,” he says.
Unlike Liberal and Labor, the UAP “are not tied into left or right views”, he says.
“I sincerely believe we’d govern for all Australians.”
You won’t find Zoraya on social media. He has a Facebook account, but it’s private.