Former Triple J Host Alex Dyson Running For Parliament Against Education Minister
Pack 'er up boys -- 'the ratdog' Alex Dyson is back, and running for federal parliament.
Dyson, the much-loved and long-time breakfast host on Triple J, was a surprise last-minute inclusion on the ballot for the Victorian seat of Wannon.
Born and raised locally in Warrnambool, Dyson has drawn fourth place on the ballot -- ahead of the MP for Wannon, and current education minister, Dan Tehan.
"Having a little tilt at Wannon. Should be an interesting few weeks," he told 10 daily.
"It's disheartening as a young person to see politics handled in the way it has been... it's not helping us. I thought I'd run a campaign letting young people know there's an alternative, whether that's me or themselves, because there are so many inspiring young people more capable than me of running."
Dyson, 30, joined Triple J with co-host Tom Ballard in 2007. The pair of comedians became much-loved fixtures on the radio station's breakfast shift, before Ballard departed in 2014 and Dyson was joined by Matt Okine.
Dyson and Okine forged a reputation for social media stunts and viral videos, including their 'Pack 'er Up, Boys' clip.
They also had a running joke of arriving at the ARIA Awards dressed variously as Sia, Chet Faker, Drake and Drake's backdrop from the 'Hotling Bling' video.
The new pairing left Triple J in late 2016, with Dyson spending time since DJing clubs and festivals, and making occasional guest spots on radio. In recent weeks, he has launched a podcast and opened a pop-up club in Melbourne -- BOB Bar -- during the city's comedy festival.
But now 'ratdog' Dyson, as he was nicknamed during his Triple J run, has turned his hand to politics.
"I umm-ed and aah-ed over it for a long time. But I've been disappointed because, since I started voting in 2007, not a single Prime Minister has made a full term in office," he told 10 daily.
"People switch off, young people have. So many people are not looking at politics at all, thinking 'What's the point if they're going to bicker, lie and avoid questions'?"
Dyson's announcement comes just a day after the Australian Electoral Commission revealed a record number of young people had enrolled to vote at the May 18 poll, with youth advocates saying it was overdue for parties to devote more attention to these voters.
Dyson admitted he had little background in party politics, but said after interviewing many politicians in his time in media, he knew areas where there was room for improvement.
"I don't claim to be the expert, but that means I'll ask the experts and get some common sense policies," he said.
"I just want to see Australia be a nice place to live. I want to run a positive campaign, making it not so much a competition as a discussion. There are so many good people who should be in politics, but the toxicity of the place turns people off. It almost turned me off, but I thought I may as well give it a crack."
Dyson said he will focus on issues around the environment, mental health, and local matters such as transport in his rural Victorian electorate.
"Young people, more than anyone, have a big stake in the environment. I learned in year three at Warrnambool Primary School about greenhouse gases, and that made sense to me then, but still to this day we haven't seen a meaningful leap and any change that has been made has been renounced again," Dyson said.
"I'll be telling people to pull their finger out. I haven't got a campaign slogan yet, but that might be it."
But it will be quite a mountain for Dyson to climb if he wants to go from DJ to MP.
Tehan, named education minister in 2018 after previously holding portfolios including social services and veterans' affairs, won Wannon at the 2016 election by 59-41 on a two-party basis. He won 53 percent of the primary vote, with Wannon considered a safe seat for the Liberals to hold.
Dyson said his campaign will heavily target younger voters, and true to form, there will be some fun on social media.
"I'm going to try and be myself. That will involve some silly online videos," he laughed.
"This will be my first time. I don't know what this will hold for me. But I'm absolutely ready."
Listen to Hugh Riminton and Peter Van Onselen in The Professor and The Hack discuss all things #Auspol.