7.3 C
Byron Shire
July 30, 2021

Candidates fail social issues test

Latest News

I’m with you Mandy…

Dominica Coulthurst, Knockrow I’m with you Mandy... all the way. Thanks so much for your Soapbox message last week. Always love...

Other News

Bangalow health food staff fined for failing to mask-up

Anyone who cannot wear a face mask because of a disability, physical or mental health illness or condition must now carry proof of exemption.

A disappointing limbo? Byron candidates on delayed council elections

Mr Dey, incumbent Mr Lyon and four other mayoral candidates were already busy campaigning for the top spot when NSW Local Government Minister Shelly Hancock delayed the election for a second time.

Storylines: Growing hope

Hope is a fragile thing in 2021. With the current pandemic and the uncertainty in so many aspects of life, our hope is being shadowed by fear. It is profoundly affecting our humanity.

Spyware unplugged – New software attacks cast a light on cybersecurity

A major investigation conducted by news organisations has found that governments around the world may have been spied on by a malicious software called Pegasus.

There’s a Byron Shire north?

Jenny Mansfield, Ocean Shores I received a calendar via letterbox drop from Alan Hunter ‘Vote 1 for Byron Shire Council’. They...

Entertainment in the Byron Shire and beyond for the week beginning July 28, 2021

It's amazing what you can still go and see and do. Check it out!


Staff reporters

Richmond candidates from left (but only in this picture) Nationals' Matthew Fraser, Greens' Dawn Walker, PUP's Phil Allen and the ALP's Justine Elliot.
Richmond candidates from left (but only in this picture) Nationals’ Matthew Fraser, Greens’ Dawn Walker, PUP’s Phil Allen and the ALP’s Justine Elliot.

Following the forum, Northern Rivers Social Development Council (NRSDC) CEO Tony Davies has called on political candidates to develop stronger social policies.

Mr Davies said that on a personal level the candidates were aware of the key social issues but there was a lack of policy on these longstanding, complex issues.

The Tweed Heads forum, organised by NRSDC and The Family Centre, focused on social issues for the local region, including education, refugee policy, transport, housing and homelessness.

Palmer United Australia candidate Phil Allen unveiled plans to make tertiary education free. He also wanted to make the first $10,000 of everyone’s home loan tax deductible ‘to get more people into their own homes’.

But when asked about reinstating parenting payments, Mr Allen referred to national debt and the lack of money at hand to address the issues.

Nationals candidate Matthew Fraser gave his personal views on the housing crisis, but couldn’t commit to future funding.

Mr Fraser also delivered the surprise of the night when he said the Nationals would reinstate parenting payments, despite it’s being against party policy.

‘It was hard to get a sense of whether they will be able to deliver,’ Mr Davies said of the candidates’ responses.

‘Both of the major parties are softening us up for more cuts to vital programs rather than realising investment is the key preventative in social services. For example, supporting services to ease homelessness will reduce costs in running hospitals, mental health services and in dealing with substance abuse.’

Labor’s Justine Elliott wanted to see the federal government working more closely with states and local government on the issue of homelessness.

Asked whether parenting payments should be reinstated to households with children up to 12 years old, Ms Elliott defended the government’s handling of the issue so far.

Former Tweed mayor Kevin Skinner was aware of the large numbers of people sleeping rough the area and wanted to make sure the new community centre in Murwillumbah, which helps out the homeless, is replicated across the region.

Greens candidate Dawn Walker recognised the issues and detailed the Greens Homelessness Action Plan to see 7000 new homes built by 2020 and to double the funding for Specialist Homelessness Services Australia.

Ms Walker added that the Greens would raise Newstart and parenting payments.

David Boutkan from The Family Centre said having these forums offered a way for our future leaders to articulate a vision for our region and to understand what the community is feeling.

‘We need leadership in this region that distils the party line into local community issues,’ Mr Boutkan said.

NRSDC and Echonetdaily will hold a Richmond electorate forum tonight at the Lismore Workers Club from 6pm.


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Ballina Shire Council supports application for new croquet club

The Ballina Croquet Club is hoping to receive up to $300,000 in funding for a new club house at Cawarra Park. 

Storylines: Growing hope

Hope is a fragile thing in 2021. With the current pandemic and the uncertainty in so many aspects of life, our hope is being shadowed by fear. It is profoundly affecting our humanity.

Northern Rivers responds to cal for COVID-19 testing

Following the flight of a COVID positive traveller from Sydney to Ballina and the detection of COVID fragments in the Byron Bay Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) both locals and visitors have responded to calls for more testing in the region.

Open-air art walk by the river at Murwillumbah completed

The Ages of the Tweed mural that accompanies the open-air riverside art walk has now been completed.