The Real Reason Candidate Demanded A "Wall" To Ban "Westies" From Bondi
Robert Callanan admits he's just seeking publicity because it's the only way he'll get noticed.
He's labelled people from Western Sydney "blowflies" and lamented being unable to build a wall down Oxford Street to keep them off Bondi Beach.
But now Robert Callanan, the independent candidate for Wentworth, has come clean about why he's targeting "westies".
"It's a bit of a beat up to get some publicity", he told ten daily.
"If I'm too dry, I've just got no chance."
Callanan -- one of 16 candidates for the seat vacated by former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull -- caused fury when he demanded "westies" get out of the "elite" electorate.
"He's clearly an idiot", said Studio 10 host Kerri-Anne Kennerley, who would be one of Callanan's constituents in Wentworth if he was elected
"The guy's a fool. I assume he's done this to get a little publicity."
Callanan said there was a concern in the Eastern Suburbs about visitors from out of the area.
"There are people that come down to the beach. They cause problems and they've been fighting with life guards and all the locals know about it", he said.
But he admitted he couldn't prove where they were from.
"It's only a minute portion of the population. They might not be from the western suburbs."
"There's no real significant issue here".
In 2005, violent riots broke out in Cronulla, as a result of local fury at youths from the western suburbs visiting the beach.
The violence resulted in a large number of arrests, sparked international condemnation, and marred Australia's reputation.
Callanan said he hoped his comments won't spark a similar issue in Bondi.
"It'd be an unfortunate circumstance where the method to get policy out there had a negative affect and I wouldn't want that."
"When people are talking to you personally, they know I'm joking, and when they hear my policies, they know what's real."
Callanan was spectacularly disendorsed by the ultra-conservative Katter's Australia Party, after his links with a Sydney brothel were revealed.
He worked as an accountant for "The Penthouse", before becoming one of the company's Directors.
Callanan said, as a business accountant, it would be hard to find an industry he hadn't worked in.
"The Katter Party has disendorsed me because it goes against the grain of their religious beliefs, and they've opposed legalising brothels".
"I still speak to the people from the Katter Party and get along with them and there's no bad blood there"
Callanan says his policies include a plan to create 20,000 jobs in regional areas and to encourage people to leave Australia's capital cities.
The Wentworth by-election is on Saturday October 20.