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January 26, 2022

Nats in renewed bid to win majority at Tweed poll

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The battle for control of the seven-seat Tweed Shire Council at next month’s re-scheduled election has ramped up dramatically, with almost half the 15 groups vying for domination of local politics led by National Party members or backers.

The repeat of the nomination process, which was cancelled following the death of a candidate at the start of the initial campaign, has seen an increase in groups from 12 to 15 and total number of candidates climb to a record 76 for the 29 October poll.

The draw for the final order on the ballot paper was held this week by the NSW Electoral Commission at its Tweed Heads office, with an expanded field of groups, including one which missed out on the original draw due to a last-minute stuff-up by its National Party backers (see last our story at https://www.echo.net.au/2016/08/ex-candidate-tweed-poll-rues-nats-link-fiasco/)

This time around, that group (led by Pryce Allsop) plus another headed by former Tweed mayor and National Party-aligned Kevin Skinner have thrown their lot in.

Veteran National Party sitting councillor and pro-development champion Warren Polglase topped the ballot draw for the new candidates list, which gives him the benefit of the ‘donkey’ vote.

He is expected to win his seat again on the back of the conservative vote, and his National Party colleagues in other groups, despite branding themselves as ‘Independent’, are all expected to cross-preference each other to boost their chances of taking a majority position on the new council.

The leaders of the six National Party-affiliated groups are: Warren Polglase; Kevin Skinner; sitting councillor Carolyn Byrne; Kingscliff business chamber leader Jayne Henry; former councillor and Kingscliff business chamber member Dot Holdom; and Murwillumbah businessman Pryce Allsop.

The expanded field for the poll also includes a group led by Tweed Heads resident and teacher Kaye Sharples, who just missed out on a spot on council by a handful of votes at the poll four years ago.

Her husband Terry, who took on Tweed council in court over a contentious seven-year rate increase plan, is No. 4 on her ticket.

Other current sitting councillors recontesting include mayor Katie Milne (Greens), who topped the primary vote at the last election, deputy mayor Gary Bagnall and Barry Longland.

Country Labor’s Reece Byrnes and the Liberal Party candidate James Owen, a Casuarina resident, are both officially-endorsed and expected to make a strong show also with party backing.

Community advocates on the progressive side include Pottsville resident Chris Cherry, high-school acting principal and popular anti-CSG campaigner Michael McNamara, and former councillor Ron Cooper, from Kingscliff.

The same four individual candidates are re-contesting: Vision-impaired advocate Suzy Hudson, Hare Krishna devotee Mathuranatha Das, Bilambil Heights shopkeeper Dion Andrews and Tweed Valley farmer James McKenzie.

Order of the Tweed council ballot paper:

1. Group A: Polglase, W (Independent)

2. Group B: Cherry, C (Independent)

3. Group C: Henry, J (Independent)

4. Group D: Milne, K (Greens)

5. Group E: McNamara, M (Independent)

6. Group F: Owen, J (Liberal)

7. Group G: Holdom, D (Independent)

8. Group H: Allsop, P (Independent)

9. Group I: Longland, B (Independent)

10. Group J: Skinner, K (Independent)

11. Group K: Bagnall, G (Independent)

12. Group L: Byrne, C

13. Group M: Cooper, R (Independent)

14. Group N: Byrnes, R (Country Labor)

15. Group O: Sharples, K (Independent)

The four individual candidates are:

1. Andrews, Dion (Independent)

2. Hudson, Suzy (Independent)

3. Das, Mathuranatha (Independent)

4. McKenzie, James (Independent)

(See previous story at www.echo.net.au/2016/08/groups-fight-control-tweed-council/)

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  1. The war of just who will control Tweed Council seems to be coming down tails as the tale in the groupings above seems to indicate that the National Party will steamroll the progressives unless the coin in the air lands on its edge.

  2. What a truly sad day it will be for the future of the Tweed if the pro-anything goes for development Nationals get a hold on Council. We need significant changes to ensure protection of our wonderful environment into the future and this will only happen if we boot out the Nats and vote for progressive candidates only.

  3. it must be embarrassing to be aligned with the National party otherwise why would they call themselves independents, or are they trying to deceive the public

  4. Of interest on the NSW Electoral Commission website, the Warren Polglase and Carolyn Byrne Groups under the heading “Party Name” have left the space BLANK! Were they feeling guilty for running under the banner of Independents when the whole Shire knows they are National Party aligned and backed.
    One must ask, why aren’t they being upfront with voters and run under their party name? Nobody is being fooled by the blank space.

    • I attempted to make three replies to your post in the Daily News yesterday, all were refused, apart from a cut and paste from this echo article. We are extremely lucky we have the Echo to inform voters, other “news” outlets seem to be going out of their way to make sure voters receive no information on National party membership of candidates this election. “Why would they do that”, why do they attempt to deceive voters?
      If people do not want to vote National party, the candidates Katie Milne, Gary Bagnall, Reece Byrne, Cherry, Smith, McNamara and Ron Cooper are not National party members.

  5. Luis, I wonder how Dot Holdom, Pryce Allsop and Kevin Skinner would feel about being called National Party affiliates. None of those 3 have ever been members of the National Party or have ever had any dealings with the National Party. Why is it – if you are perceived to not be overtly Green – then your pro-development. What happened to the days when you can be truly Independent.

  6. Tweed council is an example of modern day incompetence. Councils have a history of supplying services and answering to the needs of the community. This council should be managed by an administrator as it does not clearly represent the view of the community or for ghe future prosperity of the shire. As a rate payer being charged over 3600 year for services and when you have an issue they treat you poorly with little respect or correspondance and their stafff I would consider uncaring and incompetent. This council is a joke and reflectionon the current state federal joke our governments have become.

  7. Beware! National Party candidates represent privatisation. Australians have never been given the chance to vote on the crucial question of who runs Australia. Profit takers or Government. No major Party has asked us the question of us. Philosophically their objectives have been opposed. Governments are elected to give service. Big business takes profit for as little service as possible.

    Given the growing gap between rich and poor it is obvious who is winning the race. And we sit back and cop it!


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