Michael Byrne is the ‘free range’ candidate in Holsworthy

Photo of author

Michael Byrne
I”m the free range choice in this election: Michael Byrne being interviewed in Bigge Park this morning.

Michael Byrne says he is offering voters the “free range’’ option in the seat of Holsworthy.

That’s free range as opposed to the rigid two party structure which most would agree has lost a lot of its  lustre in the past 10 years. They alternately win government, but increasingly have to negotiate with independent MPs to get things done.

And that’s Byrne’s plan: to split the Labor and Liberal vote on March 28.

“What I am aiming for is one in three Liberal or Labor voters to switch to me, the free range choice, because they’re fed up with the big parties,’’ says Byrne.

To achieve his objective, the big South Sydney Rabbitohs fan – who also played a bit of footy with the famous club in his younger days – is running a meticulous campaign consisting mainly of community hall meetings and utilizing the power of the internet to get his stand on various issues out to as many people as possible.

In other words he may be the free range choice but he’s not running around like a headless chook to get noticed.

A Chipping Norton resident for almost 40 years, Byrne is synonymous with Liverpool’s most boisterous action group of the past 50 years, the East Ward Progress Association.

Made up of some interesting bedfellows, including the self confessed, card carrying communist, the late Don Syme, it fought the good fight over many issues, including a massive medium housing plan for Chipping Norton in the early 1980s.

In 1994 then Liverpool Mayor, Mark Latham, took up an opportunity to go to Canberra.

Byrne put his hand up in the ensuing by-election for council, picked up a handy 27 percent of the vote, and he’s been part of local elections ever since.

He does it because he sees getting involved in issues, in standing up for things you believe in, as a “vocation’’.

2015-03-16 11.32.01“It’s about my heart, my passion, my concerns for our place,’’ Byrne says in explaining why he keeps putting his hand up knowing that as an independent his chances of actually winning are not crash hot.

But it doesn’t bother him – quite the reverse in fact: “I see it as civic duty,’’ he says of his involvement.

For this state election he’s ecstatic that Holsworthy is almost a pure Liverpool seat mostly east of the Georges River, having shed its Sutherland Shire parts when it was changed over from the current name of Menai.

Menai is held by the young Liberal MP Melanie Gibbons, who has been a consistent opponent of the proposed intermodal terminal at Moorebank.

So I ask Byrne why his opposition to the intermodal is different from Ms Gibbons’s or indeed the Labor Party’s.

“I am an unrestrained voice, unencumbered by party rules,’’ he responds.

Byrne says the major parties have never fought for or delivered the resources western Sydney needs and deserves.

“What we have had instead have been infrastructure disasters such as the M5 East tunnel, and a tollway at the bridge at Hammondville that should never have been put there,’’ he says.

“Western Sydney deserved that road but what a disaster the major parties delivered to us,’’ Byrne says.

“If we let them get away with the intermodal you can add that to the list of infrastructure disasters at number three.

“I’d add a fourth, the southern freight line.

“That’s the two major parties for you.

“It’s why I am saying give free range a chance to provide better government.’’

If you want to find out more about Mr Byrne and his policies, go to:


Leave a Comment