Bentleigh – Independent: George Mavroyeni

George Mavroyeni is a first generation Australian of Greek origins. He said he wants to give a voice to those who wish to stop “politicians bullying and telling us what is good or not”. In his view, the point of democracy should be to support citizens’ choices.

Born in Melbourne from migrant parents, he only learnt English once in school. After working for the ABC as a sound recorder for news and current affairs programs for many years, he was made redundant due to the major transitions in the media industry.

Since 1997 he has been working independently as a freelance video producer. “For the first ten years I did ok,” he said. Times are tougher now and he is going through the hardships of leading a small private business and knows how difficult it is for many people to make a living.

“Mine is a protest to put the two major parties on notice that citizens are not happy,” said Mr Mavroyeni.

The candidate now lives in McKinnon and is not happy about the changes in the area. “Bentleigh used to be a nice, quiet place,” he said, “but now there are three-storey buildings, congested roads and parking issues.”

He believes that development and urban planning could have been managed much better, with more green spaces and greater consideration for the environment. In his opinion, the level crossings should have been substituted by underground tunnels, to reserve more space for playgrounds.

Crime is among Mr Mavroyeni’s major concerns, but CCTV cameras are not an adequate solution for him. “We need to find the causes of the increase in crime and tackle it at the source,” he said.

He is worried of the long-term effect that security cameras might have on society, antagonising the citizens and their government. In fact, the candidate said that “the more the government controls its citizens, the less freedom we have.”

Mr Mavroyeni also supports full disclosure of all political donations, adding that they should be “published on the front page of our newspapers, to see the truth about our politicians.”

Speaking passionately about corruption and inequality, the candidate thinks that Australia is on a downward path, with a small part of society benefiting from long-term gains while the vast majority is worse off. “It’s a completely unfair system,” he said, where government, large unions and corporations take advantage over the remaining part of the population.

“If I was to become a politician, I would call for community inputs and I would push for the government to find the solutions the community needs,” he said. Other points on his agenda include introducing “life skills” into the education system, promoting a better moral code for a multicultural society, solving overpopulation issues and a better health system with shorter waiting times.