Senate candidate focuses on housing crisis

Housing agenda: Former Esperance resident and federal senate candidate Anthony Fels is battling for houses. Photo supplied.

Housing agenda: Former Esperance resident and federal senate candidate Anthony Fels is battling for houses. Photo supplied.

FORMER Esperance resident and federal senate candidate Anthony Fels says more needs to be done to tackle the state's housing affordability crisis.

Mr Fels is standing for the Mutual Party in the Western Australian re-run of the federal senate election on Saturday.

Originally from Esperance, Mr Fels was elected Liberal MP for the Agricultural Region in 2005 but quit the party in 2008.

After leaving state parliament in 2009, he unsuccessfully ran for the federal senate as an independent in 2010.

He was a member of Katter's Australian Party during last year's federal election before joining the Mutual Party, which describes itself as a broad-based centrist political party.

Mr Fels said he was campaigning to put housing affordability on the agenda.

"There has never been a proper solution to the housing affordability issue," he said.

If elected, Mr Fels said he would push for reforms to superannuation so that it could be used as a deposit on a first home.

Immigration, particularly the use of 457 visas, was another issue on his agenda.

"Despite the economic downturn, big companies are still trying to bring in more foreign workers on 457 visas," he said.

"The federal government has made it too easy to use 457 visas.

"Local workers should have first opportunity and 457 workers should be the last resort."

Mr Fels would push for an audit of 457 visa use and for tighter restrictions.

With a record number of micro party candidates running in Saturday's poll, Mr Fels said minor party and independent candidates had a greater ability to stand up for the state's interests in Canberra.

"As they are not bound by any major party position, an independent's number one priority in the Senate is to serve the people who elected them," he said.

Mr Fels estimated he could be elected with about 1 per cent of the vote.

"If everyone in Esperance voted for me, I could get in," he said.

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