UPSET at anti-bikie laws and inspired by independent MP Cathy McGowan, a former Albury small business consultant is standing for election in Kevin Rudd’s old seat.
Travis Windsor is campaigning as an independent in the Brisbane electorate of Griffith, which was held by former Labor prime minister Mr Rudd, who resigned in November.
A motorcyclist, Mr Windsor was motivated to stand after being angered by Queensland’s anti-bikie legislation, which has been criticised for infringing on civil rights by limiting people’s ability to associate.
“Blokes I know and mates of mine are getting pulled up by the police and they’ve been absolutely humiliated,” Mr Windsor said.
“They make you take your shirt off to show your tattoos and guys have been made to strip down to their undies on main roads.”
Mr Windsor addressed a rally opposing the laws in December and said the response to his speech and a Facebook group, the Australian Motorcycle Business Chamber, had sparked his candidacy.
“The Facebook page went from five views a week to more than 10,000 views per week,” Mr Windsor said.
“We were just a group of guys that owned our own businesses and went for rides but people thought we must have represented the motorcycle industry.
“Motorcycle shops came to me and said ‘we’re losing 30 per cent of our trade’ and I worked it out and estimated that was $5 million a week.”
Mr Windsor, who owned a Lavington hair salon and grew up at Henty, said the win of independent Cathy McGowan in last year’s federal election had offered him a blueprint for success.
“She’s a bit of an inspiration and others are drawing that comparison as well,” Mr Windsor said.
“The last time a prime minister was dumped and there was a by-election it was Bob Hawke and his old seat of Wills and the independent candidate Phil Cleary was given no chance of getting up in a safe Labor seat and he won in a landslide.”
Mr Windsor moved to Brisbane in 2007 after a job transfer and has worked in the electorate of Griffith as a business consultant, providing advice and mentoring.
He said his wife Roslin and daughters Tess, 19, and Laura, 15, were assisting with his campaign.
“I’m going to win it because I’m a far superior candidate, all I need is oxygen with the media,” Mr Windsor said.
“They (Labor and the Liberal-National Party) have put forward two duds and I’ve done more than 100 business things in Griffith.”