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Byron Shire
May 8, 2021

Buying votes

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Dailan Pugh, Byron Bay

Be careful what you vote for. I think that Ben Franklin is a nice bloke and I am sure that his massive cash splash in the Ballina electorate will have the intended effect of buying some people’s votes, though I urge people to consider what a vote for The National Party really means.

It is a vote for increasing environmental degradation and runaway climate change.

It is The National Party who have reduced protection for threatened species and facilitated land clearing, by introducing the Biodiversity Conservation Act in 2017.

They did this despite warnings from the OEH that the new laws would increase land clearing up to 45 per cent a year and that 99 per cent of identified koala habitat on private land would be unprotected from bulldozing.

Thanks to The Nationals northern NSW and southern Queensland are now recognised as one of the world’s 11 deforestation hotspots, along with the Amazon and Sumatra.

In north-east NSW they have doubled the logging intensity allowed on public lands, and zoned 140,000 hectares from Taree to Grafton for clear-felling.

The Nationals are opening up protected old-growth and rainforest on public land for logging, and have removed protections for most threatened species.

They are reducing stream buffers, including for 2,500km of headwater streams on state forests in the catchment of the Richmond River.

And they want to incinerate our forests, burning them to replace coal, and displace solar, under the pretence it is renewable energy.

This is just a part of The Nationals’ environmental legacy for your kids.

If you want a liveable future for your kids, don’t let The Nationals win by default – number every square when you vote, and put The Nationals last.

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  1. Australians make judgements about people based on what they do and have done rather than what they say. For those of us who value the most sustainable transport, the cycle, we know Ben Franklin has helped get funding for cycle infrastructure in Ballina and Tweed Shires, and fully trust he will deliver on the new path towards Suffolk Park. The Greens have shown little active interest in this area and in the Tweed are hostile to the great opportunity for sustainable recreation and tourism. Indeed they have taken on Bill Fenelon who would try and put a dirty diesel train back on the Casino Murbah line.

    That is why many people who have long voted for or preferenced the Greens, will put them last this time, preferring candidates like Ben with a track record of delivering sustainable infrastructure in our region.

    • But a vote for Ben is a vote for the whole LNP and its policies. That means the northern rivers remains one of the worlds deforestation hotspots due to active targeting our environment for destruction. Its not careless, or stupid they know exactly what they are doing (same as Darling river water, same as Marine reserves, or coming after community groups who want to protect land from CSG or coal). The LNP target the environment in a political way, to harden community views. They cant separate hatred of greens politicians from sensibly protecting the natural world they live in, it is sick. Ben could be mother teresa and nelson mandela combined but it doesnt change the fact voting for him means voting for terrible statewide policies.

  2. Who’d have thought the father of the Labor candidate would be against the Nationals candidate. I am shocked! Just shocked!

    Why not be FOR something, Mr Pugh? Why not activate your “activist” base and buy up habitat and lock it away in perpetuity? That would actually do something positive, rather than whinge.


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