Canberra Times Interview

Former Bullet Train party leader Tim Bohm to run for seat of Canberra

By Katie Burgess

Former Bullet Train for Canberra leader and Like Canberra party co-founder Tim Bohm once joked his wife might divorce him if he set up another political party. So now, as the advertising agency director becomes the latest to enter the fray for the seat of Canberra, he does so as an independent. But his decision to do so is based on his desire to give the political system a good shake-up as an outsider looking in.

"The climate is right for independents. People don't trust parties anymore," Mr Bohm said.

"The political system is broken and I think we need to do what we can to fix it. Running as an independent is one of the best ways to do that.” Mr Bohm's career in advertising has been all about thinking outside the box and cutting through the noise, which he wants to carry through into political life.

He wants to set up a system of direct democracy, where Canberrans can provide feedback on issues before parliament and vote on important bills. He believes the ACT needs to establish its own police force, instead of contracting the service from the Australian Federal Police.

Doing so would prevent the Commonwealth from interfering in the legalisation of cannabis and allow police to be covered by the ACT's integrity commission, Mr Bohm said. Mr Bohm also wants there to be a three-term cap on political terms to improve the "quality" of federal politicians.

"I've got a theory that 95 per cent of the troublemakers have been there more than three terms," he said.

And rail is still a plank in his platform. This time he wants to set up an east coast government-run lottery to raise money to build a high speed rail route, similar to the one that funded the construction of the Sydney Opera House. Always one for a memorable quote, Mr Bohm also once said he had a better chance at being hit by a meteor than gaining a seat in the ACT Legislative Assembly.  While he believes he has a better chance under the House of Representatives preferential voting system, he acknowledges it will still be a tough road.