Don’t know who to vote for in the seat of Ballina at the upcoming state election? There are two opportunities coming up next week to ‘meet the candidates’.
On Monday March 16 from 9am-11am, residents from the electorate (which includes Byron/Ballina shires and surrounds) can get to know the candidates and what they stand for by tuning in to a live meet-the-candidates forum broadcast by community radio station Bay FM.
On Tuesday March 17 from 5pm to 7pm at the Byron Community Centre in Jonson St Byron Bay there will be a ‘Meet the Candidates Forum’ giving voters the chance to ‘eyeball’ the candidates and ask questions from the floor. This meeting will be chaired by Byron United president Michael O’Grady. Businesses and residents are asked to submit written questions at the Theatre between 5pm and 5.30pm.
For the Bay FM broadcast, community members can get involved by sending a question for any of the candidates before Monday’s show by calling Bay FM on 02 6680 7999, tweeting @byronbayfm, or posting on www.facebook.com/99.9.BayFm.
The two-hour program ‘Meet The Candidates’ program will be rebroadcast on March 16 between 10pm and midnight and will also a podcast will be available online at soundcloud.com/bayfm.
Presenter Nyck Jeanes and producer Ros Elliott will interview all candidates: Kris Beavis (National Party), Matthew Hartley (Independent), Jeff Johnson (Independent), Tamara Smith (The Greens), Paul Spooner (Labor Party).
The north coast seats of Ballina, Tweed and Lismore, all held by National Party MPs, are being strongly contested and targeted by the major parties with major funding commitments leading up to the 28 March election.
This follows the shock defeats by Liberal/National coalition governments in Queensland and Victoria recently and pundits expect the NSW poll to be just as volatile.
National Party MP Don Page has held the seat of Ballina for 27 years but his retirement at this poll and the changing demographics of the coastal seat leaves it wide open.
To tune in go to 99.9 FM or stream live online at www.bayfm.org.
If you are not yet registered to vote, or you need to change your details then just hop on the NSW Electoral Commission website to do so. www.aec.gov.au/enrol.
There is no ‘closing date’ for you to register to vote, but if it was not completed before 7 March you have to ask at the polling booth on voting day for a ‘Declaration Vote’.