A vote for Labor’s Paul Spooner in the seat of Ballina would be a wasted vote, according to the Greens’ candidate for the seat, Tamara Smith.
Ms Smith told Echonetdaily she believes the Liberal-National government will be returned in NSW on the weekend and an ALP member in Ballina would be ‘on the wrong side of the floor’.
On the other hand, a Greens victory in Ballina would cause ‘shockwaves’ in Sydney and see the government open the purse strings in an effort to regain the seat, Ms Smith said.
She also accused both the Labor and National parties of ‘copycatting’ the Greens policies in their efforts to gain or retain Ballina.
Ms Smith made the comments to Echonetdaily today after announcing a new Greens policy to purchase the controversial Roundhouse development at Ocean Shores and turn it over to a management committee to run as community space.
The move goes against the plans of Byron Shire Council, whose Greens mayor Simon Richardson has been a vocal supporter of selling the land to pay for other infrastructure in the town.
But she said mayor Richardson had lent a sympathetic ear to the plan.
‘I’ve actually worked through it with the mayor and Greens councillor [Duncan Dey] and they think it is an absolute win-win. The only reason they want to sell [the land] is to get funds to pay for infrastructure.’
Under the plan, she said the state would pay $2.5-3m for the 11 subdivided house blocks and turn them over to the community under the auspices of Crown lands.
Council says its valuation of the land is just $2.4m but Ms Smith said, ‘I’m not sure when that valuation was done but it seemed a bit old. I can’t imagine the state buying it at other than market value.
‘This would still give Byron Shire Council the revenue it’s needs to fund other important infrastructure works around Ocean Shores and would allow the community can begin a consultation process to determine what the future uses of the site should be. With many exciting ideas, including a cultural centre, it’s important that a thorough community consultation process occur,’ Ms Smith said.
She added the Greens would also commit $546,000 for a new 2.4km shared pedestrian and bike path along Balemo Drive from Orana Road northwards to Brunswick Valley Way.
‘This project has been identified as a high priority by Byron Shire Council and will go a long way to improve mobility around Ocean Shores.’
Ms Smith said the money would come from the Greens $1.5 billion state-wide recreation package, which is part of part of the Greens’ $20 billion infrastructure spend. This would be funded from a new vendors’ duty on property speculators, higher taxes on the super-profits that very large clubs make from poker machines and maintaining stamp duties on large business transactions.
Behind the times
Asked what chances her policy had of getting up, even if elected, Ms Smith said Australia was ‘behind the times’ when it comes to our view of representative government.
‘Representative government means balance of power. So this is about traction. The Liberal-National government will be returned. Having a Labour member is “Siberia”.
‘Having a Greens member means the balance of power shifting and unholy hell coming down in Sydney because a Nat has been replaced by a Green. It will become a highly contested seat so there will be a bigger infrastructure spend.
‘Everything we’ve listened to the community on, the other candidates have later matched: Waterlily Park, backing West Byron, the list goes on.
‘And if they want the seat back they’re going to have to honour the promises they make,’ Ms Smith said.
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