On the important local issues the Nationals have let the community down. Their ongoing support for coal seam gas (CSG) mining in the northern rivers proves that they no longer represent the community.
The introduction of competitive tendering for vocational education and training could result in the TAFE system closing all together as valuable education dollars are being diverted to private operators who are simply looking to cash in rather than provide quality education. TAFE numbers are down approximately 25 per cent.
The proposed highway deviation between Broadwater and Ballina is a classic example of how the Nationals operate.
Instead of upgrading the highway along the existing corridor and saving up to $300 million they are proposing a massive 13km deviation through Ballina’s largest and most important wildlife corridor that will also decimate a number of Aboriginal sacred sites. And scar trees.
One has to wonder why our Indigenous culture, biodiversity and public money have lost out in their ‘balanced approach’ which has prioritised marginal cane paddocks over all other concerns.
Three hundred million dollars is a lot of money that could be reallocated to our region without blowing the budget that the major parties appear happy be doing in their quest to pick up or hold onto the seat of Ballina, which has obviously become a marginal seat.
Independents have shown to work well with both sides of politics by removing the party political games and brinkmanship that now dominates our parliament.
We could end up with a minority government. As an independent I’ll work tirelessly for our community. It’s time to stop political parties dominating our democracy and selling us out to the highest bidder.
Jeff Johnson, Independent candidate for Ballina