Tenant advocate goes head to head with John Alexander and Kristina Keneally


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Former NSW Premier and Labor candidate Kristina Keneally won't be the only name going up against Liberal MP John Alexander to contest the Bennelong byelection.

Former NSW Premier and Labor candidate Kristina Keneally won't be the only name going up against Liberal MP John Alexander to contest the Bennelong byelection.

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The founder of tenant advocacy website Don't Rent Me and campaigner for renters' rights, Anthony Ziebell is throwing his hat in the ring for a chance at representation.

Mr Ziebell, 31, representing the Affordable Housing Party, is looking to garner support from those within the electorate looking for solutions to Sydney's "affordability crisis".

A renter himself from Pitt Town - 56 kilometres north west of the CBD - he is hoping to appeal to the 36.1 per cent of the Bennelong electorate who rent, including from suburbs such as Ryde and Epping, as well as "countless" locals who care about housing affordability.

On the top of his wish list? Getting rid of negative gearing.

"We need to take every chance we can get to fix it.

"Hopefully we can send a strong message that affordability is a serious issue."

He promises to make "housing liveable, safe and affordable again" and improve renters' rights, including an end to no-fault evictions and more pro-tenant lease agreements.

"I'm not a career politician ... I don't want to be prime minister," Mr Ziebell said.

"I'm a concerned citizen sick of inaction and excited to make changes that are a long time coming."

In the past five years, property prices have soared in Sydney to a median price above $1 million. First-home buyer levels concurrently fell to record lows.

Ms Keneally decided to contest for the federal seat of Bennelong when Mr Alexander was forced to resign in November after Fairfax Media earlier revealed he was a dual British citizen.

The byelection will be held on December 16. A full list of candidates is expected by November 24.

Mr Alexander sold his home within the electorate last December, pocketing $2.7 million for his former Putney home, and is said to be looking to downsize to a unit in the area.

Ms Keneally sold her Pagewood family home in her former Heffron electorate in 2015 for $2.27 million, and has been renting in Hunters Hill in recent years. They also own an investment townhouse in Wollstonecraft they bought for $1,383,000 last year and a Scotland Island hideaway.

Mr Ziebell expects his differences from other politicians will make him a popular candidate, noting the majority of MPs hold large portfolios of real estate.

About 60,000 flyers will be distributed by Mr Ziebell in December to local households.

Mr Alexander has formerly chaired a parliamentary inquiry into home ownership, and described property as a "Ponzi" scheme. This inquiry lapsed in May 2016.

The story Tenant advocate goes head to head with John Alexander and Kristina Keneally first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.

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