Businessman and philanthropist Dick Smith intends to fight red tape and unbridled economic growth with his own federal political party.
Mr Smith, 71, has registered the business name ‘The Dick Smith Party’ and will most likely form an alliance of sorts with supporters of the Sustainable Population Party.
He made the unexpected announcement during a speech at the launch of the Salvation Army Red Shield Appeal in NSW.
While Mr Smith won’t be standing as a candidate, he does intend to invest his name and time in fielding candidates for the Senate, probably at the next federal election.
For many years, the entrepreneur has opposed the “ridiculously huge” rates of immigration and “the madness” of perpetual economic expansion.
He wants the nation to “live in balance”, and would make this a central tenant of his “middle of the road” political movement.
“It’s a giant Ponzi scheme,” Mr Smith tells The New Daily.
“The reason we’ve got this record immigration is they’re saying that the population is getting older, so we need more taxpayers now.
“Well, that’s absolutely right, but then when this huge immigration intake gets older we’ll need even more people.
“Anyone with any brains knows perpetual growth is impossible.”
He prefers to leave the details of this new, quasi-capitalist system “with a different form of growth” to economic experts, but hints that it might involve a reduction in working hours.
Mr Smith, who made his millions principally as an entrepreneur, acknowledges the irony.
“I’m a capitalist and I think the free enterprise system is great and I benefited greatly from growth, but I know, in the case of our grandchildren, it’s simply not possible [to grow the economy forever].”
He has no desire to restrict the nation’s birthrate.
“I’m not into telling people how many kids they can have. I’m not into any of that,” he says.
“Australians have always made sensible decisions on the number of kids they have.
“[I just want] to tell the truth: that you can’t have perpetual growth in a finite world.”
Mr Smith, an avid pilot, is also disgusted at the amount of regulatory controls on the aviation industry, and would use his party to wind back these laws.
The tenuous link between the issues of living in balance and aviation is that both are being ignored by the major parties, he says.
“You might think, what’s the link between it and aviation. Just the fact that I should have done something about the sustainability issue but I haven’t.
“I’m so angry that an industry that no-one cares about but that employs thousands of Australians is being destroyed.”
The new political party, yet to be registered, will most likely be named after Dick Smith and include the words ‘sustainable population’ in the title, he confirms.