Former radio star Byron Cooke to enter politics & run for Senate seat

Former Editor & Content Director

Byron Cooke is adding another string to his bow, announcing his intentions to run for a Senate seat in the Federal Parliament.

Cooke will run in the upcoming federal election, which should be held before May next year.

He will stand as a member of The Sensible Centre party, which claims it wants to fix politics by representing the 80% of voters who exist outside the extremes of the political ‘left’ and ‘right’.

The former Fox FM Breakfast co-host announced his run on his podcast this afternoon, saying he would not be bought, and would not represent big businesses or any fringe groups.

“If you want to see everyone in this country do well, not just those in government, not just those in big business, or big media – which, by the way, I left – I am confident that this party and many of our policies will make sense to you, and I would be honoured to represent you in Canberra. So I’m going into politics. There I said it, I can’t go back now, guys, I’m in,” he said.

Cooke promised that should his bid be successful he would read everything, make decisions on a case-by-case basis, and be accessible to his constituents.

“I will read everything and I will make the right decision based on what I believe the unrepresented – people who’ve never even thought about what a senator does – I want to be that person that can answer a DM on Instagram. Imagine ‘Oh, my mate Byron is in the Senate, I’ll shoot him a message. I don’t think this should be passed. I don’t like the look of this bill. I might let him know’,” he said on today’s Byron Cooke Show.

“I want to be contactable. I can read. I’ve got common sense. I am all ears. I don’t have one predisposed position politically. I personally, I’m not a lefty, I’m not a conservative, I’ve been a swinging voter my whole life, despite the best efforts of my father to make me vote Liberal. I’ve been all over the map, based on whatever’s going on, whatever I’m passionate about at the time, particular issues. So I am right there. I’m in the middle.”

The Sensible Centre has a 12-point Economic Recovery Agenda, which it promoted on Facebook earlier this month.

Listed as the #1 priority was rebuilding Australian sovereignty, followed by ending crony capitalism and rebuilding small businesses. From there, it wants to suspend immigration and offer up a $132 billion per annum stimulus by making superannuation voluntary. Other suggestions include capping CEO salaries and banning foreign ownership of land and residential property.

Cooke said his podcast, The Byron Cooke Show, has helped him have conversations with more freedom, which has inspired his passion for politics and the impact it can have on everyday people.

“Politics is really broken now. It’s just a blame game between two very polarised groups, right and left. I’ve always found that the best ideas lie somewhere in the middle, where you can learn from people on either side,” he said.

You can read about The Sensible Centre’s policies here, including on immigration, opening up during the COVID crisis, reforming the ABC and defence and security.

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Sounds About Right
14 Sep 2021 - 7:33 pm

Stop immigration, gut superannuation, banning foreigners owning land, the mighty dog whistle of “Australian Sovereignty”…. Sounds like The Sensible Centre is leaning a *touch* to the right, me thinks.

Byron Cooke
15 Sep 2021 - 6:52 am

To “sounds about right” – Appreciate your interest in The Sensible Centre.

I’m grateful for this RT editorial and to the radio industry mates who’ve already got in touch directly to congratulate me on taking this step.

Our skills as communicators are transferable to so many fields of endeavour, so hopefully it’s a positive story and inspires a few people in the radio business to think big and consider what else is possible for them.

I expect lots of messages like yours on this journey and that’s all part of the challenge. My respectful guess is you lean a reasonable way to the left in your political views and if so, I respect that. Your comment [and to some extent this article lol] plucks out some policy areas that are usually associated with conservatives, and conveniently ignores everything that doesn’t sound conservative.

I would make the point that we don’t say ‘stop immigration’. We say the country faces deep economic problems, caused in large part by the reliance on high immigration from both
Liberal and Labor as their only economic strategy. They have no plan B.

We want a moratorium on immigration until infrastructure, services and integration have caught up with our population and until we resolve to become a clever country that makes things and sells them to the world.

I don’t expect your vote next year but would invite you to take a broader look at what we are about. Cheers. B.

Paul Crossin
15 Sep 2021 - 7:56 am

“left” and “right” are just terms promoted by political insiders so they have a badge to wear. The majority of people I know assess issue like superannuation, immigration, local manufacturing and local property ownership on the merits of the argument. They therefore support policies that some would call “left” and they support policies some would call “right”. The price paid in compromises to vote for either of the major parties to-day is far too great. Give me a centrist party that makes decisions based on the merits of the argument rather than ideology.

Byron Cooke
15 Sep 2021 - 8:49 am

and upon a second reading of the article after a strong morning coffee, I’d add that the RT editorial above was genuinely fair and balanced. Appreciate the support 🙂

Centrist hey?
15 Sep 2021 - 1:35 pm

So effectively a libertarian party that masquerades as a ‘centrist’ party.

Radio to politics is a weird yet surprisingly common career path for many. Best of luck to Byron.

15 Sep 2021 - 2:01 pm

Suspend immigration and make super voluntary? Ha!
They will get votes… from themselves.

Steffen J
16 Sep 2021 - 11:46 am



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