Simon Baker speaks to high-profile ‘teal’ independent Allegra Spender as he casts his vote for the Wentworth division at a pre-polling booth in Bondi
He’s passionate about environmental causes and tackling climate change.
And Hollywood actor Simon Baker strongly hinted on Friday which candidate has his vote in the Wentworth electoral division.
The Mentalist star, 52, stopped to chat with ‘teal’ independent candidate Allegra Spender outside a pre-polling booth in Sydney’s Bondi Junction.
Election day: Hollywood actor Simon Baker (right) stopped to chat with ‘teal’ independent candidate Allegra Spender (left) outside a pre-polling booth in Bondi Junction on Friday
The pair spoke briefly as Simon, who recently bought a $6million home in nearby Bondi Beach, arrived to cast his vote at the Margaret Whitlam Recreation Centre.
Ms Spender, who wants to see the next federal government tackle tax reform, do more on climate change and introduce a federal corruption commission, is standing for the seat of Wentworth against Liberal incumbent Dave Sharma.
The Australian federal election will be held on Saturday.
Democracy in action: Their friendly meeting is a good sign Ms Spender has Baker’s vote
Ms Spender said earlier this month she was willing to negotiate with both sides to get her way if the May 21 election results in a hung parliament.
Unlike Warringah independent MP Zali Steggall, Ms Spender is prepared to work with the coalition, even if Scott Morrison remains its leader.
‘It is not about him personally,’ she told the ABC’s Insiders program, but instead about what the policies are and where the country is going.
Contender: Ms Spender, who wants to see the next federal government tackle tax reform, do more on climate change and introduce a federal corruption commission, is standing for the seat of Wentworth against Liberal incumbent Dave Sharma
Ms Spender believes the tax system is broken and the next government must undertake a tax review, showing federal leadership on state taxes like stamp duty and payroll tax.
She also noted that Australia’s two-tier business tax rate is 25 and 30 per cent, whereas the OECD average is 21.5 per cent.
The GST should be on the table as part of that discussion, considering the views of business, unions and the community.
‘The business community acknowledges that tax is an issue for productivity … we do need to talk about it,’ she said.
Strong views: Climate change is the crucial issue for Ms Spender, who said earlier this month: ‘I’m hoping that both sides are willing to do something about this’
Ms Spender also wants an increase in foreign workers being brought into Australia to make up for the fall during two-and-half years of Covid-19 pressures.
‘Every single business I talk to, whether it be a local café or an emerging tech firm, they are talking to me about skills gaps,’ she said.
‘I support that we increase public migration to 220,000 for the next two years, in line with the Business Council of Australia.’
But climate change is the crucial issue that will likely swing her vote.
‘I’m hoping that both sides are willing to do something about this,’ she said, adding that she wants to see an emissions reduction target of at least 50 per cent.