The Lismore mayoral race is providing plenty of drama, with one candidate booted from a Lismore market at the weekend, while another is refusing to attend a meet the candidates night at Nimbin because of ‘rumours’ he would be attacked by ‘ferals’.
Organisers of the popular Car Boot Market in Lismore have confirmed that mayoral candidate Greg Bennett was refused a stall at the weekend’s market because he breached market guidelines during the last council election.
Despite that, Mr Bennett and his supporters turned up on Sunday and were subsequently asked to leave.
The market spokesman told Echonetdaily that the market was held on private property and all stallholders, including candidates, had to abide by guidelines to ensure the enjoyment of all visitors.
Those guidelines clearly state that a political candidate is not allowed to walk around handing out election material such as fliers or approach people.
‘The market has been going for thirty years and this is the first time that a political aspirant has been asked to desist,’ he said.
‘The market is apolitical and is a private business. It allows candidates from all political persuasions access as long as they respect the guidelines.’
Mr Bennett, who is the president of the Lismore Ratepayers Association and heads up Group C, rejected the accusations when approached by Echonetdaily.
‘I will be raising this with the electoral commission but would rather not comment further,’ he said, before adding that he had been invited to the market by members of the Health Services Union because of his stance against paid parking around Lismore Base Hospital.
Meanwhile, the leader of Group D, Big Rob, has announced online that he will not be attending a meet the candidates night scheduled for 7 September at the Nimbin Town Hall.
Mr Rob, who is conducting his campaign mostly online, has been banned from the popular Facebook site, Nimbin Hook Ups, where he has been accused of being a troll.
‘Rumours have already been circulating that something was going to be thrown at or over me at the event but I was coming anyway if nothing more than to tell the ferals that they were feral to their faces while trying to have a mature discussion with the good people of Nimbin too scared to stand up to the feral minority,’ Mr Rob posted on some of his numerous Facebook sites.
‘I really was looking forward to it even though I will never get a vote from the Nimbin area due to years of adverse rumours circulating. I thought I could at least respond to any allegation put to me face to face but it was not meant to be.’
Mr Rob has made it clear he will not respond to questions from Echonetdaily, and has been accused widely of blocking anyone from his sites who he does not agree with, or that he perceives as being rude.
To counter this, Mr Rob set up yet another Facebook site last week inviting people – including those he hadblocked from other sites – to ask him questions.
He has since removed the site after only a few days after only a couple of questions were asked of him.
In contrast, a video of outgoing mayor Jenny Dowell, compiled by local ABC journalists, has been viewed almost 18,000 times.