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Byron Shire
June 16, 2021

Pollies dash madly around electorates as poll looms

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The last few days before the July 2 federal election will see more high profile politicians in the Richmond and Page electorates in an effort to shore up last minute voter support.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Deputy PM Barnaby Joyce and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten have already spent time in the region, as well as founding Greens Leader Bob Brown.

The government has promised a $25 million plan to attract jobs to the region while Labor has focused on hospitals, Medicare and the NBN.

The Greens have also promised additional funding for hospitals, especially for chronic conditions, and as always have campaigned heavily on CSG and the environment.


The Greens have brought mining spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham back to the region to remind voters that despite Metgasco’s withdrawal the northern rivers potentially remain a gasfield.

He has accused both Labor and Nationals of ‘narrowcasting that they are opposed to coal seam gas here.’

‘Yet you just have to look around our country and both parties can’t dig it up fast enough,’ Mr Buckingham said.

‘If this area is to be truly free of coal seam gas mining, the Northern Rivers people will need to send the strongest voice on the issue to Canberra,’ he added.

In a desperate appeal to rusted on National Party voters, Mr Buckingham has called for them to place the Greens second, ahead of the ALP.

Nationals heavyweight

Meanwhile National Party heavyweight Fiona Nash has been wheeled in to help out Richmond Nationals candidate Matthew Fraser, who has suffered a 10-point drop in his standing according to an opinion poll released last week.

The pair visited Tweed Regional Gallery this morning, which sits on land donated by former Nationals Leader and Deputy PM Doug Anthony, to announce a $125,000 grant towards installing a 150kW rooftop solar system at the gallery.

Belatedly reading the local mood on renewable energies, Mr Fraser said the project would ‘set a precedent for large solar installations in the Tweed Shire’ as well as ‘building on the impressive infrastructure and at the Gallery.’

He added the government would consider extending the offer to other community groups.

‘If there are local community groups who want to go solar, I can help facilitate a $15,000 grant for the installation of rooftop solar PV, solar hot water, small scale renewables and battery storage systems on community owned buildings,’ he said.

Labor’s black spots

In Page, Janelle Saffin will be again joined by Shadow Minister for Regional Communications and Health, Stephen Jones, this time to talk about mobile phone black spots in the electorate, a policy it pinched from the Coalition.

But Labor says the government’s program has been mismanaged.

‘Of the 499 mobile towers funded in Round One of the Mobile Black Spot program, as of 4 May 2016 only 21 had been switched on,’ Ms Saffin said.

She promised that areas prone to bushfire and flood would be prioritised in Labor’s version of the scheme.

‘Mobile phone coverage saves lives in an emergency and is central to the daily life of our region,’ Ms Saffin said.

‘Many parts of our region are vulnerable to flood and bushfire, so these services are very important to the community.

‘The lack of coverage is particularly problematic for the elderly members of our community who rely on these connections to stay in touch with family and friends,’ she said.

More stories on the Federal Election

Greens’ Richmond campaign ‘people powered, not fossil fueled’

The record vote by the Greens in Saturday’s federal election in Richmond has encouraged candidate Dawn Walker Greens to keep the ‘Green’ momentum going across the northern rivers.


Thus Spake Mungo: The worm turned, the maggots squirmed

My fearless prediction is that the coalition will end up with between 76 to 78 seats in the House of Representatives, a thin but decisive majority. But this is not the way it was meant to be.


A hung parliament? It may be the best we can hope...

Nearly three years ago, on the eve of the last Federal election, this web site warned that a Tony Abbott-led Coalition government presented a grim outlook for clean energy and climate change, and we warned too that it could be even worse than most people feared.


Elliot, Hogan retain their north coast seats

Incumbent northern rivers MPs Kevin Hogan (Page, Nationals) and Justine Elliot (Richmond, Labor) have retained their seats after a knife-edge federal election result which could see a hung parliament.


A voting guide for dummies

Still haven't made your mind up who to vote for yet? Well, crawl out from whatever rock you've been hiding under and pay some fricking attention. 
It's really quite simple. Just match your ideology with one of these political parties and away you go.


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