What would Dick Smith’s policies look like? 131



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Fresh from receiving a Queen’s honour this week, Dick Smith says he will run for Tony Abbott’s seat to bring about important changes to aviation. So far he has made no further claims or announced any policies but today we’re having a look at the entrepreneur’s track record and guessing where he might stand on a few key issues.

All kids should be Scouts

Dick Smith was involved with the Scouts for 14 years and says it made him who he is today. “I began as a Cub at eight and went right through to Rovers at age 23. I was very much a loner and Scouting gave me mateship, taught me organisation and how to motivate people. That’s why I was able to be the success I am”.
In 1966, Mr Smith was bestowed with the Scouts’ highest honour, the Baden-Powell Award.

All the way with Aussie made

After selling his electronics business to Woolworths for $22 million, Dick Smith launched into a crusade against foreign ownership of Australian food. He has targeted all the icons including Arnott’s biscuits and Vegemite, releasing his own versions with very similar names, and which he guarantees are produced here in Oz. One could expect to see aisles of Aussie made foods in the supermarkets and a fair go for food producers.

Dickheads matches
He even went so far as to create a rival brand of matches to take on Redheads (pictured above). The text on the back of the box read: “We would have to be complete dickheads to let most of our famous Australian brands be taken over by foreign companies. Brands such as Vegemite, Aeroplane Jelly, Arnott’s, Speedo and Redhead Matches are in overseas hands. This means the profit and wealth created goes overseas and robs our children and grandchildren of a future”.

Natural by nature

The Australian of the Year has a deep and abiding connection to nature. He founded the magazine Australian Geographic to celebrate our local natural world, and the production company Smith&Nasht to produce films about global issues. He has spoken out about climate change and took on Rupert Murdoch in 2011 for what he called censorship of the discussion on climate change, and produced a film about the spiralling costs of petrol and the need for more electric vehicles.

Immigration is “ridiculously huge”

Mr Smith has been outspoken about what he sees as excessive immigration that is putting too much pressure on Australia’s resources. “The reason we’ve got this record immigration is they’re saying that the population is getting older, so we need more taxpayers now,” he told The New Daily. “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”.
Mr Smith added he had no intention of telling Australians how many children they should have. He has made a documentary called Dick Smith’s Population Puzzle that argues the case against a growing population here in Australia.


During an outbreak of whooping cough in 2008, Mr Smith paid for a national advertisement in The Australia telling parents to “Get The Facts” on vaccination and have their children immunised.

Safer skies

Dick Smith has threatened to run for the seat of Warringah if the government doesn’t act on outdated aviation regulations before the next election. Currently, regional airports that don’t have air traffic control towers and controllers are prevented from using other staff to improve air safety by relaying basic observations of aircraft movements. Another rule Mr Smith objects to is one that says air traffic control can no longer direct planes passing below 8500 feet.
“I’ve said I will stand against Tony Abbott, not to actually get in, but we need publicity on the fact that the aviation reforms which were announced 10 years ago haven’t been done and in the end people will die,” Mr Smith said in The Australian.

Asylum policy unclear

With such a clear position on immigration, it would be easy to assume Mr Smith opposes asylum seekers. But let’s not forget the millionaire gave his public support to the asylum seeker Peter Qasim in 2005, who was then released  by the Australian Government after seven years in detention.

Mr Smith’s other random acts of kindness include the donation of $60,000 to secure a fair trial for then Australian terrorism suspect David Hicks who had been held in Guantanamo Bay for five years. Smith said he wanted Hicks to get “a fair trial, a fair go”. Hicks was released from custody in 2007. Mr Smith also paid a large share of the ransom to free Australian photojournalist Nigel Brennan and Canadian journalist Amanda Lindhout who were both being held hostage in Somalia in 2011.

He also assisted Australian Greens leader Bob Brown with a $240,000 anti-logging court bill after losing a case he brought against Forestry Tasmania. A failure to pay would have resulted in Brown having to declare bankruptcy, and therefore lose his seat in the Senate.

Although he has registered his political party under his own name, Mr Smith told The Australian newspaper he was thinking about running under the Sustainable Population Party, which he supported in the Western Australian election. He would also consider running as an independent. He has told the media he has no intention of actually taking the seat but will run against Tony Abbott to highlight his concerns about aviation safety.

“I’m 71 years old, I don’t want to get in (to parliament), I’m too old to become a politician, but I’m completely beside myself,” he said.

We asked whether you would support Dick Smith as PM (theoretically speaking) and the answer was overwhelmingly “yes”. We’re just guessing at what some of Mr Smith’s policies might be: what do you think he would stand for? 


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  1. We need dick smith in parliament someone with sense he would be good in shorten’ a place as he has style, brains and loves his Australia.

  2. He would get rid of HALAL

    5 REPLY
    • and loose more jobs so Australian companies could not export to Malaysia indonesia and many other countries that sure would help???

    • Australia would miss out on important export opportunities Chris Talbot. That’s the point you halal haters can’t come to terms with. It is a global thing, not a national thing. And not the big threat that people are trying to make it out to be. Google the subject for the truth. Lastly, google while you’re at it, “Dick Smith misquoted” to see what he actually said in regards to Halal.

    • Please watch Charlie Pickering’s ABC program which looked at this.
      Down down, prices are down because our manufacturers have far bigger off shore markets for their product.
      The registration actually gives the companies more profit.

    • they should not have pay for heart tick of approval or kosher or for advertising or woolworths and coles to get a better spot on the shelves but they do so what’s your point other then an uneducated ill informed opinion

  3. There will be no carbon tax-said lying Julia. Can’t recall Dick keeping her up to her pre-election promise. He expects Abbot Too. Don’t be a hipocrite Dicky????????????

    1 REPLY
    • THE carbon tax was not the biggest policy issue facing Australia nor was it the most spectacular policy backflip by this government.

      Before the election Julia Gillard declared her opposition to a Big Australia, a view shared by a majority of voters. But her government actually boosted the permanent immigration intake. We are now on track to reach 50 million by 2050.

      I think Dick would support the Sustainable Population Party policies of stablising population at around 26 million by 2050 and beyond.

  4. I am definitely in support of a lot of the opinions Dick Smith has. However; having a policy platform that appeals to a large section of the community is one thing; the trick being to first get elected then having the support in parliament to implement these policies. As many before him have discovered politics is a fickle game and the hall of power is a lonely place.

  5. Good on him he cares more

    Good on him he cares more for our Nation than those bought, corrupt federal neo LNP

    1 REPLY
    • I think that comment is totally out of order in Australia to refer to any political party in those terms.

  6. He made millions on cheap imports from Asia. .for his dick smith shops.. Then turned around & told everyone else not to do it..only buy Australian

    7 REPLY
    • If we went back many years ago we would realise all politicians as well as business men have made big mistakes but now the ideas they are getting away with are bloody ridiculous.

    • Yes Marilyn, I agree, he made a fortune out of using and selling cheap imported electronics from his car radio firm in Nth. Sydney, undercutting and sending several small Sydney electronics companies including Centre Industries (a sheltered workshop) broke. After setting up the Dick Smith Electronics chain, and making another fortune he sold it to an overseas owned company (Woolworths). He has a short memory telling us to support Australian co.s with his history.

    • People didn’t have to buy them.
      Why accuse him of wrong doing when all he did was give the public what they wanted.
      Bet your home doesn’t have 100% Australian made goods in it.

    • All his products were Australian Made when Dick owned the stores but it went downhill when he sold them to Woolworths and they imported all stock from overseas.

  7. I would not be voting for anyone without seeing their policies and without knowing who their preferences went to.

  8. He is a person who speaks what he feels !

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