The result of the recent local National Party preselection ballot clearly indicates the party is a firm believer in a ‘men welcome, ladies tolerated’ policy.
Consider the two candidates.
On the one hand we have Kris Beavis; well known to some in Surf Life Saving circles with a paid position in administration at the Rescue Helicopter, but virtually unknown by the local electorate. He does not appear to have engaged to any great extent in public or community affairs nor does he seem to have any great experience with public speaking or debating.
He has been a member of the National Party for barely a year.
The other candidate, Sharon Cadwallader, a successful businesswoman, has been a loyal, hardworking member of the party for some years. She is also a well known Ballina Shire Councillor of three terms, which includes a spell as deputy mayor; a member of organisations and committees too numerous to list here where she often serves or has served in an executive capacity such as in the Ballina Chamber of Commerce and the Australian Local Government Women’s Association.
Sharon is a very experienced, articulate public speaker and debater and has received several awards – the Vocation Service Award for Public Relations, the Ballina Electorate Woman of the Year and, more recently, the Elected Representative for NSW International Women’s Day Parliament Award to name a few.
Her list of achievements goes on.
So, when it comes to the pre-selection ballot, ‘no contest,’ you’d say.
But wait. There is another factor to consider – one of gender. Kris is a man whereas Sharon is a mere woman.
So who gets the nod? Who will contest the NSW state election as our representative – the man, of course.
I suggest Sharon with your 10-year history of topping the polls and winning the last three elections in Ballina’s B Ward, that you would win the seat hands down if you run as an Independent.
I rest my case.
Daryl Mitchell, Ballina