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Byron Shire
April 19, 2021

Nats ‘storm troopers’ help take Tweed

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Congratulations to Geoff Provest and his campaign manager for running a brilliant campaign to hold his seat.

Helpers were all nicely kitted out in non-confronting yellow tee-shirts and introduced Geoff’s How to Vote card with the personal touch of, ‘Are you wanting to vote for Geoff?’

Well-trained ‘storm troopers’ I call them – have always been the National’s strength in the Tweed. Expertly they guide people who turn up to vote without a clue about candidates and issues. [It’s amazing how many do!]

For a first timer, Geoff’s opponent did quite well but could have done even better if the ALP campaign had had focus. They had a major local ‘carrot’ to dangle: massive funding for the Tweed Hospital. Yet at the booth where I voted and others I checked, there were zero posters ‘hammering’ home the $240 million Hospital funding? The first rule of advertising is if you got something to sell, yell it from the tree tops again and again and don’t confuse the message.

The power sell off instead was promoted by negative messages and images on a multitude of corflutes, frightening and confusing to voters.

Further the issue had hardly any local media coverage and worse again carried no direction about who to vote for which I found amazing.

The power sell off tactic ‘smacked’ of Sydney Labor. Mark Latham in the Australian Financial Review 30 March 2015 described it as ‘deeply cynical, logrolling’ by the NSW ALP campaign director notorious according to Latham for his narrow-minded and bigoted ideas.

Political ‘slur’ campaigns rarely if ever work and definitely do not go over well with conservative older voters, a large proportion of the Tweed electorate.

Next state election, the local ALP campaign director should leave Sydney election issues were they belong and the red confronting tee-shirts in their boxes, and take a few tips from Geoff’s campaign.

Terry Sharples, Tweed Heads

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