The month-long campaign for the hotly contested seven councillor seats up for grabs on Tweed Shire Council officially kicked off yesterday with 59 people standing, 55 of them in 12 groups.
As with the past several Tweed elections, the groups involve community/environment groups or candidates on one side, and the conservative/business-lobby candidates on the other, each hoping for a strong voice on council for the next four years.
Allegiances of each group and individuals should be made clearer as the campaign progresses.
Nominations for the 8 September local-government elections closed at noon yesterday and a draw was conducted several hours later by Tweed Shire’s returning officer Len Sparreboom to determine positions on the ballot paper.
Candidates affiliated with the Greens, Labor and National parties are grouped in various teams or tickets, while most have identified themselves as ‘independent’.
The all-important draw for position on the ballot at the NSW Electoral Commission offices in Tweed Heads was witnessed by around a dozen candidates.
Six of the seven current councillors have nominated to be re-elected.
Many on the list of candidates don’t have high public profiles and are entering politics for the first time, while others have been involved in ratepayer/community groups or local business.
The groups in order that they’ll appear on the ballot paper after yesterday’s draw are:
Group A – headed by Kaye Sharples, of Tweed Heads, with John Zahn, Mel Naylor and Paul Milner
Group B – headed by Warren Polglase, of Kingscliff, with Stuart Cahill, Bill Larkin and Karen Embrey
Group C – headed by Jayne Henry, of Kingscliff, with Kerry Turner, Nicole Schiller, Kevin Skinner and Rhiannon Brinsmead
Group D – (Tweed Valley Nationals) headed by Phil Youngblutt, of Fernvale, with Katherine Butterworth, Anthony Dupuis, Robert Hawken and Bruce Weston
Group E – headed Barry Longland with Cath Lynch, Andrew Meeves, Ron Cooper and Bill Rowe
Group F – headed by Carolyn Byrne, of Kingfscliff, with Angela Adams, Brian Lewis and Julie West
Group G – Country Labor, headed by Michael Armstrong, of Bilambil Heights, with Reece Byrnes, Marion Gardner and Fred Hewison
Group H – The Greens, headed by Katie Milne, of Carool, with Joanna Gardner, Kirsten Ealand, Andrea Vickers and Mick Munday
Group I – headed by Bruce Campbell, of Cobaki, with Linton Alford, Lindsay Saunders and Rob Kinneally
Group J – headed by Dot Holdom, of Kingscliff, with Mandy Luff, Doreen Welsh, Una Cowdroy and Sam Fien
Group K – headed by Eddie Roberts, of Uki, with Scott Sledge, Tim O’Hara and Tracey Stride
Group L – headed by Gary Bagnall, of Murwillumbah, with Jenny Hayes, Anni Brownjohn, Stephanie McKittrick and Carolyn Pickering.
The ungrouped nominees in the order they’ll appear on the ballot paper are: 1 – Chris Cherry; 2 – Russell Kilarney; 3 – Russell Logan; 4 – Lindy Smith.
Mr Sparreboom told Echonetdaily that while there were many candidates, it was not a record, as when the Tweed had nine councillors, many more people nominated.
For further info check the electoral commission website: www.votensw.info.