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Byron Shire
May 25, 2022

Paul Spooner, ALP Ballina candidate

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Having spent a long time reflecting on the last 13 weeks since the floods devastated our region, many important issues have come to my attention – loss of homes, possessions, safety, schools suspended from flooding, chaos, death, loss of animals, extreme anxiety and desperation, and so much more.

ALP candidate for Ballina, Paul Spooner.
ALP candidate for Ballina, Paul Spooner.

In my role as the general manager of Byron Community Centre I have worked with those most vulnerable in our community. I want to be your representative in state Parliament so I can be an effective voice for our community. For too long we have sent representatives to Sydney that have not been able to improve services in our community. I was preselected by over 2000 local residents in the 2014 Ballina Labor community preselection and have had an open discussion with the entire Ballina electorate about what issues and concerns are important to them since I put my hand up to run. As a local councillor, I have the experience to know what it takes to represent people in government and get things done.

Top 3 issues

Schools and hospitals – Schools and hospitals across our electorate are the most vital services for the local community. Labor has committed $7.3 million for upgrading Ballina District Hospital operating theatres and emergency department. We also committed to ensuring the Byron Central Hospital will be built and it will be a public hospital with public surgical services. The Nationals want to privatise health services in Byron Bay. Only Labor will provide a fully public hospital. I will also fight for demountables to be replaced at Byron Bay Public School and schools across the electorate because our children should be educated in first class facilities, not 10+ year-old demountables.

Stopping the privatisation of our electricity assets – The Nationals want to privatise our electricity network to fund roads and rail in Sydney. Labor will not sell the state’s electricity network, which last year earnt $1.7 billion for the state government – money that funds teachers, nurses, doctors and police. The only way to stop our electricity network being privatised is to vote Labor.

A ban on CSG across the north coast – Labor will ban harmful Coal Seam Gas mining in the seven shires from the Queensland border to the Clarence Valley. Labor will impose a state-wide moratorium on CSG until the entirety of the Chief Scientist’s recommendations are implemented. On top of that, we recognise that the north coast’s agricultural, world heritage and tourism benefits far outweigh the benefits of CSG, so Labor will have a permanent ban on CSG mining on the north coast.

The first local issue I will campaign on

Labor, if elected to Government on March 28, will reverse the approval given by Planning Minister Pru Goward for the controversial West Byron development and hand any future approval process to Byron Shire Council.

As the Labor Candidate for Ballina I have committed that if Labor wins government on March 28, the West Byron development approval will be reversed and handed back to Byron Shire Council.

 


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