Ballina voters' guide: the electorate and the candidates
BALLINA could go down to the razor's edge tomorrow with recent polling pointing toward Labor candidate and Byron Shire councillor Paul Spooner prevailing in an historic upset.
Well known in Byron Shire but less so in the more traditional population centre of Ballina, Mr Spooner and Greens candidate Tamara Smith are likely to be helped by the retirement of popular veteran Nationals MP Don Page, replaced by first-timer Kris Beavis.
CSG does not "threaten" the electorate as the Nationals removed exploration licences covering the area, but the issue is still tipped to influence the result.
We asked the candidates in the Ballina electorate to sum up, as briefly as possible, what they stood for.
Here are the responses of all but Greg Zybler, of Balmain in Sydney, and Main Arm's Vyvyan Stott, neither of whom could be contacted, in order of their appearance on the ballot paper.
- MATTHEW HARTLEY, IND
- JEFF JOHNSON, IND
- KRIS BEAVIS, NAT
- GREG ZYBLER, NLT
- TAMARA SMITH, GRN
- VYVYAN STOTT, CDP
- PAUL SPOONER, ALP
Matthew Hartley, of Byron Bay, Independent
Supports a statewide coalition of independents which would focus on delivering 'The Reset Agenda', based on a four-point agenda.
That includes eliminating political corruption, returning planning powers to local communities, direct democratic involvement and not another cent for Sydney - cancelling all public spending plans for Sydney and reallocating money to small projects in every local area.
Jeff Johnson, of Lennox Head, Independent
CSG ban and a Renewable Energy Plan: I support our agricultural and tourism industries, employment growth in renewable energy, innovation and our small business sector
Indoor Sports Centre for Ballina: Ballina has sporting teams without a court to play on, this facility is long overdue
Funding a commuter rail service: The rail line should be extended to Coolangatta Airport, this would be a driver for economic growth, allow greater access to services, and reduce traffic congestion on our roads.
Kris Beavis, of East Ballina, The Nationals
Infrastructure: finish the Pacific Highway, give Ballina a world class high school to improve student outcomes, rebuild the Byron Hospital and build the Rail Trail.
Environment: There will be NO CSG in Ballina with Kris Beavis as MP. We will continue to buy back CSG licenses. Deliver Cash for Cans scheme, get litter off our streets and keep investing in renewable energy projects
Greg Zylber, of Balmain, No Land Tax Party
Tamara Smith, of Suffolk Park, The Greens
Banning CSG across all NSW: The Greens are the only party that will unconditionally ban coal seam gas and other forms of unconventional gas mining right across all of NSW.
Saving TAFE: The Greens 'Fund TAFE First' plan will invest $900 million into TAFE to reduce course fees and reinstate face-to-face teaching to meet demand for skills in our strong services and trade sectors.
Local Infrastructure: I commit to securing $25 million to build the Ballina Indoor Sports Centre, $15 million for new classrooms at Byron Bay primary, $70,000 for Alstonville preschool and $8 million for upgrades at Ballina hospital, as well as purchasing the Roundhouse site in Ocean Shores for community use.
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Vyvyan Stott, of Main Arm, Christian Democratic Party (Fred Nile Group)
Paul Spooner, of Broken Head, Country Labor
No privatisation: Keeping our electricity network in public hands.
Upgrading local schools and hospitals.
A ban on CSG across the Northern Rivers.