Michael's run as an INDEPENDENT for the Senate in 2016 is over

Michael’s run as an INDEPENDENT for the Senate in 2016 is over


It's official...My run as an INDEPENDENT for the Senate in 2016 is over.

In fact, NO INDEPENDENT came close to winning a seat in Queensland or Australia for that matter. If you're not in a Party, forget it.

"Below the Line" Independent Candidates in Queensland (Not in a Party) only managed to gain .14% of the vote. That's 14/100s of one percent. Not very good, huh?

This is surprising, considering the backlash against the major Parties.

There are many reasons for this:

* INDEPENDENTS were only listed "Below the Line" under their personal names, no Party name.

* People found it too hard to vote for 12 individuals (who they did not know) "Below the Line" and instead voted for 6 familiar Party names "Above the Line".

* INDEPENDENTS, not Grouped with a Party or others (Ungrouped), occupied the last 2 columns of the metre wide Senate ballot paper and often could not be found because the paper had to be folded to fit into the booth, so they went unnoticed.

* Officials at polling booths were heard telling confused voters to "Just vote for 6 above the line", thereby excluding all Independents.

* INDEPENDENTS received basically NO mainstream media coverage, hence it was virtually impossible to get known.

* You had to be outrageous or a "celebrity" candidate like Pauline Hansen (Qld) or Derryn Hinch (Victoria) to get any media.

* Each of the successful small candidates formed their own Party and were listed "above the line". Individuals, such as myself, were listed "below the line" in the last two columns.

* The mainstream media attention that INDEPENDENTS did receive basically mocked the candidates and made them look like idiots. Who'd vote for that?

As for my campaign, I had great success in many areas, regardless of the vote:

* My "Send Michael Kaff to the Senate" FB page reached some 150,000 people, including overseas.

* My videos were viewed by some 25,000 people.

* I gained votes from all over Queensland, in small numbers, so my reach was there.

* Individuals were passionate and determined to vote for me and confirmed their votes afterwards.

* I had a Small Business policy article in the Age, Brisbane Times and Sydney Morning Herals (half page).

* I had an article in the on-line e-newsletter and FB page of Smart Company.

* I spoke to various groups for Small Business, oppressed Chinese nationals, etc and gained support there.

* I reached other groups via FB, who also supported my efforts.

* There were many questions, surveys and e-mails from groups and individuals via e-mail which were positive.

* I had a Candidate profile on a Sunshine Coast community page and Meet the Candidate page.

* Forgot to add that my website www.mkaff.net was archived by the Queensland Library for future reference. Quite an honour!

My sincere and deep felt thank you to everyone who supported me, voted for me and encouraged me. It was overwhelming and spurred me on at times when I felt it was a lost cause. Yes, I had my moments!

The experience has opened my mind and heart and changed me forever. My world is now so much bigger and petty issues are now so much smaller.

This is only the beginning of my determination to get elected, represent those without a voice and help to make a real difference.

Onward and upward...




I had a great 14 minute interview with Mike Bennett on radio 101FM, Logan Central, this morning. (See link below)

Always interesting going in cold and having no idea what you'll be asked. Fortunately Mike was kind to me in that regard.

So much to discuss and we hardly scratched the surface. Being my first interview with Mike I was a tad serious, though they were quite serious topics. Might have more fun with it next time 🙂

Thanks for having me on your program Mike. I really enjoyed the chat and we both agree that there's so much more to discuss in the future.



How to Vote 1 for Michael Kaff in the Senate, from anywhere in Queensland



Here is my "How to Vote" form for the Senate vote in Queensland.

The message is:

In the SENATE vote BELOW THE LINE for 12 candidates.


BELOW THE LINE, last column on the right! ===>>>

then 2 to 12 for the Independents and other candidates of your choice.




Gold Card for every Veteran!

I just spoke with an armed forces veteran who has lost friends through suicide from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) following active service.

Many of his mates have lost their relationships and suffered in other ways because of PTSD. He in fact lost his marriage, as have many of his mates.

He would like to see all active duty service persons receive a Gold Card automatically when they leave the armed services. This would "give free access to services where they could work on their physical health, which would in turn help their mental health". I suggested that they would then be better equipped to help other service people who followed...he agreed!

FYI the definition of a Gold Card is:

"Gold card - ‘DVA (Department of Veteran's Affairs) health card - For all conditions’ - A Gold card entitles the holder to DVA funding for services for all clinically necessary health care needs, and all health conditions, whether they are related to war service or not. The card holder may be a veteran or the widow/widower or dependant of a veteran. Only the person named on the card is covered".

Such a small price to pay for the men and women who are willing to risk their lives daily so that we can stay at home and go about our normal lives in a safe and secure manner.

Having been an Army Reserve Officer who was not on active duty, I have a tiny inkling as to what they go through and how it affects their lives.


Tell me what YOU think!

Michael Kaff, for everyone!


To everyone I know please choose this guy for the senate, he is a very caring, honest and reliable independent who deserves the chance to prove his worth for all of us.
We all bemoan our pollies but here we have a real candidate that with actually do good things.
When you vote, he is on the far right under independent and is quite frankly the best alternative to the normal bunch of idiots we have to put up with.
Michael Kaff is one of those people that when you meet him you know he is destined to go places. In the time I have known him I have always found him to be concerned for others and there welfare.
When elected he will look after all the people and do what right and needed not what the "party" wants. He will always act honourably and with the integrity we demand of our elected officials but rarely get.

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Here is Michael Kaff’s position on the Senate Ballot paper for Queensland


Here is a spreadsheet containing my actual position on the Senate ballot paper for Queensland voters.

When you click SENATE BALLOT MK it will come up as a file which is safe to open.

It's massive but you only have to number 12 choices below the line.

Put the number 1 for KAFF Michael - INDEPENDENT

Below the line and far right ===>>>>>>

Simply follow the yellow arrows on the spreadsheet attached.

..then number 2 to 12 for other candidates of your choice.


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Michael Kaff’s official election banner released


Below is my official election banner.

Banner 1      IMG_1186a

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Michael Kaff’s Sydney Morning Herald article in weekend edition


It was great to see that my interview article is doing the rounds over the weekend. I hope that this also took place in the Brisbane Times, which relates to my electoral state of Queensland...and the Age (I couldn't find these papers).

My comments that were quoted weren't quite as I intended and were a tad jumbled with some being out of context, but overall it was good to make the big papers.

IMAG0698 IMAG0694

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Interview for Brisbane Times, Sydney Morning Herald and The Age (31 May 2016)

I need to say up front that this article is not exactly as I stated in the interview and some things are slightly out of context, but the essence is there. MK

Senate candidate Michael Kaff believes in self-esteem through small business

Getting started is one of the key barriers to entrepreneurship in Australia.

  • Bhakthi Puvanenthiran

While many businesses celebrated the news of tax relief in the Federal Budget, one Queensland Senate candidate and small business advocate wants more to encourage entrepreneurship.

Gold Coast man Michael Kaff, who ran an accounting firm and has more recently taught small business skills at TAFE is campaigning for governments to provide interest-free loans to small business.

Queensland's Michael Kaff
Queensland's Michael Kaff 

"For mum and dad businesses that want to start up, a company tax cut does nothing," he said.

"When I moved to the Gold Coast, I couldn't find work and I was a sole parent, so I know what it's like to to be trying to make it work on next to nothing even having been a professional.

"This isn't about gifts or grants, it's about about giving people, especially young people, who aren't asset rich or cash rich the ability to actually make something of themselves."

Kaff acknowledges such a move would not be popular with banks.

"The fact is that banks won't lend someone without assets or securities money. Or if they will it will be at a ridiculous interest rate. A bank can only worry about the bottom line. So the government has to step in."

Kaff, who taught small business management at TAFE for a decade believes such a program could give people dignity and self-esteem.

"I can't tell you how many times I've had to give someone a hug as part of my mentoring and teaching and tell them "you'll be right". We think it's all about money and dollars and finance, but the reality is lots of people are struggling to survive and contribute and they feel like noone cares about them," he said.

"There's a lot of hurt out there, there's a lot of people giving up."

Kaff also believes such a program would be able to bring together baby boomers who have skills but are phasing out of the economy with younger people who are struggling to get work.

Part of his plan is a focus on the arts as business.

"A lot of people think arts aren't important, they never get treated as a serious issue. But where does creativity come from in our culture? Where does innovation happen?"

Kaff, who himself has been involved in amateur theatre, points to arts organisations who work with people with disabilities as an example of "fiscal responsibility with social conscience".

"We need holistic solutions to the problems in our economy," he said.

Follow MySmallBusiness on TwitterFacebook and LinkedIn

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SmartCompany interviews Michael Kaff (27 May 2016)


Below is an interview I had with SmartCompany last Friday. I highly recommend SmartCompany's e-newsletter and website for news and views on business and related areas.

Meet Michael Kaff, the small business owner running as an independent senate candidate for Queensland in the 2016 federal election


Friday, May 27 2016

Queensland small businesses could have more support after the coming federal election if independent senate candidate Michael Kaff is elected.

Kaff told SmartCompany Queensland’s Gold Coast has been without a senator for 32 years and if his election bid is successful, he would give the region it’s first upper house representation since then.

Kaff’s campaign focus is on small business support, as well as inspiring startups and entrepreneurship across Queensland.

His passion for small business comes from experience: he owned and operated an accounting practice called Kaff & Co in Sydney when he was younger, selling it in 1992.

More recently, Kaff has taught at colleges and TAFEs, and currently runs Boomer Business Basics, a mentoring and training service for Baby Boomers returning to the workplace.

Kaff registered as an independent candidate last Wednesday and says he his campaign has been going “slowly but surely” to date.

“I’m just trying to get out there as much as I can, I’ve been chatting to a lot of people and they like what I stand for”, Kaff says.

Kaff’s policies range from supporting the arts to taxation relief for small business, and he says he has no interest in being a “narrow independent.”

“I’ve had a few people tell me to narrow down my policies, like Nick Xenophon with pokies,” Kaff says.

“I have too many interests and I support too many things to be so narrow.”

Tax relief

One of Kaff’s key policies is tax relief, for both small businesses and those paying personal income tax.

“It’s good to have tax rate reduction over time, but this doesn’t support startups or entrepreneurs,” Kaff says.

“These people need a hand up, and that’s what I want to offer.”

Kaff proposes when starting up a small business, individuals should pay no tax on income in their first year of earning, followed by a reduced tax rate in their second year.

This would be restricted to individuals and not applied to incorporated businesses, to eliminate any abuse of the system.

Kaff also wants to establish a mentoring system for small businesses and entrepreneurial youth to foster new ideas coming through communities.

He says this would operate similarly to the government-run New Enterprise Incentive Scheme (NEIS), but will be available to everyone.

“This will help the new business owners by giving them guidance and support, and make them less prone to failure in their early years,” Kaff says.

“We’re also planning to employ Baby Boomers as mentors in order to benefit from their years of knowledge and get them back into the workforce.”

Interest-free loans 

Another helping hand for businesses could come through as interest-free loan offers, says Kaff.

Having ran two businesses, Kaff says he is “very much aware of the challenges that owners face”.

“If you haven’t got money to buy your assets, it’s quite difficult to get your business off the ground,” Kaff says.

“I want [government] to offer no- or low-interest loans, so small businesses can build their businesses and pay their money back over time.”

Kaff says this initiative would leave businesses with more money to invest back into the community and enable them to employ more people.

“It’s all about making people self-sufficient, and supporting people who want to give back,” he says.

The arts

Coming from a background as a performing artist, Kaff is also a firm believer of supporting innovation through the arts.

“I want to get involved with projects that are going to employ other artists, I’m very passionate about supporting the arts,” Kaff says.

Kaff believes artistic endeavours allow young entrepreneurs to think outside the box and to think creatively, which inspires innovation in all sectors.

“It’s all about expanding on expertise, genuine entrepreneurs in all areas, they are the backbone,” he says.

Penalty rates

With industrial relations reform likely to be a key issue for anyone elected in the July 2 election, Kaff says he is in favour of reducing penalty rates, which is says would help smaller businesses.

“I really think that double time on Sundays is enough, and there shouldn’t be a difference between Saturdays and Sundays,” Kaff says.

“A reduction would allow for more people to be employed and businesses can stay open longer.”

While Kaff says he recognises the support for penalty rates from young workers, he believes the overall economy benefits outweigh the cons.

“If we’re going to support this economy, we need to take some unpopular steps and be practical,” he says.

Throughout his campaigning, Kaff says he’s seen a lot of support and received great feedback.

Although he recognises the road ahead of him is tough, he hopes Gold Coast voters will get behind him and his beliefs.

“I’ve got five weeks to get 100,000 votes, and I’m still attending talks and trying to get known,” Kaff says.

“I’ve had a lot of people tell me they like what I’m standing for, and I’m just trying to look after the individuals.”

“The small guys do become the big guys eventually.”

Dominic Powell

Dominic Powell is a freelance journalist with an interest in technology, startups and music.


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