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March 1, 2021

NSW 2019 Ballina candidate policies

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Echonetdaily has contacted all of the candidates for Ballina in the upcoming NSW election and have compiled their policies on a range of important issues. Some candidates are yet to complete their responses to all policy areas but when they do we will update this article.

Your suggestions are welcome too of course – just email editor (at) echo.net.au with the subject header “candidate policy submission”.

Jump to policy section:

Roads and infrastructure
Law and social justice
Drug policy
Environment
1. Climate change
2. Deforestation / land clearing
3. Koalas
4. Richmond River
Energy
1. Renewables
2. Energy prices
Public transport
Planning and development
Affordable housing
1 Medium density housing code
2. Planning panels
Council powers
Economy
Education
Employment
Health
Mental health
Arts and culture 

 

Roads and infrastructure

Keep Sydney Open’s James Wright

Animal Justice Party’s Cathy Blasonato

The Animal Justice Party would call for and support funding for fixing roads in the Ballina/Byron area. The roads on the north coast are in an appalling state, particularly in the Byron Shire, more funding is needed from the State.

Labor’s Asren Pugh 

$100 million is earmarked to fix North Coast roads from Grafton to the border, with $15.95 million earmarked for Byron Shire Council.

‘A Labor Government will support local North Coast councils to address their road maintenance backlog by investing more than $190 million to deliver long overdue repairs and upgrades for country roads across the Clarence Valley, and from Grafton to the Tweed… an additional $900 million [wil be invested] over five years to improve safety and productivity on rural and regional NSW roads.’

‘NSW Labor’s additional $900 million commitment to rural and regional roads is almost double the existing $543m ‘Fixing Country Roads’ program, and will bring the total investment to more than $1.4 billion.’  

Greens’ Tamara Smith 

The Greens have a commitment to invest $195 million to fixing our roads across the Northern Rivers region, with $70 million for the Byron Shire and $10 million for Ballina shire in the electorate. Those figures are based on the NRMA’s bare minimum calculations and not new projects.

Our roads plan can be funded through: 3 years bed tax for Byron Shire – we have 10 Sydney Olympics per year and we need to play catch up to address the $70 million backlog . Long term we want to see needs based funding for regional areas like ours and the setting up of a truly transparent , evidence based Regional Tourism Infrastructure Fund that takes into account the ratio of rate payers to tourists, revenue per capita and other factors.

Sustainable Australia’s Lisa McDermott

Nationals’ Ben Franklin

Pledges ‘$25 million to assist Byron Shire Council to manage the impacts of tourism in the Byron Bay region… create a dedicated $25 million fund to help Byron Shire manage the impacts of tourism on local infrastructure.

The fund will be directed towards a mix of local infrastructure, which could include roads, car parks, toilets and town centre upgrades, but at least 80% of the funds, or $20m must be spent on fixing local roads and traffic…

‘The funding will be allocated in close consultation with Byron Shire Council and the local Byron Bay community… Funding could be for things like improvements to roads, waste management and upgrading footpaths or carparks’.

 

2) Byron bypass and bus interchange

Keep Sydney Open’s James Wright…

 

Animal Justice Party’s Cathy Blasonato…

 

Labor’s Asren Pugh 

Byron needs a bypass and bus terminal, Pugh told meet the candidates on March 14. ‘But the process isn’t good. It’s outrageous there is no community consolation with the bus terminal and that no assessment has been made for the potential impact on residents’.

Greens’ Tamara Smith 

Smith want a pause on both projects. ‘Infrastructure cannot keep up’, she told meet the candidates on March 14. ‘We need community to be with Council. ‘I don’t hold a view right now to the best option for a bypass’, she added.

 

Sustainable Australia’s Lisa McDermott…

 

Nationals’ Ben Franklin

The issue is a ‘decades old problem’ and has ‘no silver bullet’, Franklin told meet the candidates on March 14. ‘This will help locals get around the town… It’s been slated for many years. This will revitalise the CBD’.

 

4) West Byron government buy back

Keep Sydney Open’s James Wright…

 

Animal Justice Party’s Cathy Blasonato…

 

Labor’s Asren Pugh 

Pugh told meet the candidates on March 14 he supports a buy back.

Greens’ Tamara Smith 

Smith told meet the candidates on March 14 she supports a buy back.

 

Sustainable Australia’s Lisa McDermott…

 

Nationals’ Ben Franklin

Franklin told meet the candidates on March 14. ‘We don’t support a buy back. I would prefer to pull the DA back in size and reduce it’.

 

Law and Social Justice

Keep Sydney Open’s James Wright

Animal Justice Party’s Cathy Blasonato

Key Objectives

  1. To continually raise awareness of animal interests in Parliament.
  2. To ensure that consideration is given to animals in the drafting of all legislation.
  3. To invest in further research on relations between animals and people, exploring and highlighting the ways in which positive interactions between them can improve society.
  4. To work towards a definition of personhood to replace the current property status of animals.

Labor’s Asren Pugh

A Labor Government will crack down on crime on the North Coast, by prioritising more than 120 new local Police Officers as part of Labor’s plan to hire an additional 1,500 new Police Officers across NSW over four years. The announcement comes after the NSW Police Association identified a shortfall of police in districts across the North Coast… The $583 million investment will see the overall number of Police Officers in NSW increase to almost 18,300 Officers.’

Greens’ Tamara Smith

The Greens are dedicated to social justice, Tamara has worked to institute two new community officers in Alstonville and will ensure more local frontline police for the electorate. Statewide we want to see less people entering the criminal justice system, particularly drug users. We want increased funding for drug education and recovery centres like the Buttery.

Tamara is committed to establishing a Women’s advisory Service for Ballina that focuses on domestic violence and the funding of at least 7 properties across the electorate that support women in crisis.

Increased supports for men and women facing homelessness in the region through embracing all of the Northern Rivers Housing recommendations for the next 4 years.

We will also:

  •      Work with youth services and rehabilitation to deliver better wraparound services
  •      Resource firefighters and first responders to get 24/7 coverage in the region
  •      Properly fund State Emergency Services to meet local disaster needs
  •      Work for a $20 million funding boost to build a base in Ballina

tamarasmith.com.au/services

Sustainable Australia’s Lisa Mcdermott

Nationals’ Ben Franklin

Drug policy

Keep Sydney Open’s James Wright

Supports cannabis legalisation and the decriminalisation of recreational drugs. Supports pill testing, supports RDT for testing impairment.

Animal Justice Party’s Cathy Blasonato  

For cannabis legalisation. Supports pill testing, supports RDT for testing impairment.

Labor’s Asren Pugh 

Against cannabis legalisation. NSW Labor leader, Michael Daley has recommitted Labor to holding a drug summit if elected in March of this year. Pugh says he will push for pill testing to be included in the drug summit.  

Greens’ Tamara Smith 

We support a rational, evidence based approach to drug policy including cannabis legalisation  and the decriminalisation of recreational drugs. Reforming RDT which currently tests and penalises presence of substances rather than a level of impairment. Pill testing trials to limit deaths and injury caused by party drugs.

Sustainable Australia’s Lisa Mcdermott

Nationals’ Ben Franklin 

Against cannabis legalisation for recreational use. Supports current RDT testing which does not test for impairment, only a presence.

Environment

1) Climate change

Keep Sydney Open’s James Wright

Animal Justice Party’s Cathy Blasonato 

Key Objectives

    1. To rapidly transform to a carbon free energy infrastructure.
    2. To rapidly transform Australian agriculture to allow reforestation by reducing grazing
    3. To prohibit any fossil fuel expansion
    4. Implement a carbon tax on both the coal and animal agriculture industries
    5. Direct carbon taxes into clean energy solutions, sustainable plant-based food agriculture systems and education
    6. Protect existing forests and marine habitats from further destruction

 

Labor’s Asren Pugh

Greens’ Tamara Smith

We need strong climate action immediately in order to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees, this means an immediate moratorium on new coal developments in NSW and a plan for a transition to 100% renewable energy by 2030. We also need to ban fossil fuel donations to remove their corrupting influence on our political process.

In order to create a fair and timely transition to renewables we will commit $1 billion to support local community renewable projects, and a further $1.5 billion a year in large-scale, publicly-owned renewable energy projects.

Quit coal by 2030. Make it illegal to mine, burn or export thermal coal by 2030, and use the auctioning of pre-2030 export permits to finance a Clean Energy Transition Fund.

Carbon price for zero emissions by 2040. Bring back a carbon price for industries that release greenhouse gasses, to achieve net zero emissions by 2040.

Support the transition from coal. Fund a ten-year plan to support workers and communities who currently depend on the coal industry to develop new skills and opportunities.

greens.org.au/nsw/renewables
tamarasmith.com.au/renewable

Sustainable Australia’s Lisa Mcdermott

Nationals’ Ben Franklin

2) Deforestation/land clearing

Keep Sydney Open’s James Wright

Animal Justice Party’s Cathy Blasonato:

The AJP considers Australia’s land clearing rates to be both an environmental and animal welfare disaster’ (from website).

  1. An immediate cessation of all land clearing associated with animal agriculture.
  2. To introduce habitat protection as a fundamental and consistent planning principle in all regions and sectors.
  3. Amend state-based animal welfare legislation to include an enforceable duty of care towards animals on a landholder’s property during all land use changes.
  4. Labelling on products containing palm oil so that consumers can avoid them.

Labor’s Asren Pugh

Committed to reviewing changes to logging rules under the Coastal Integrated Forestry Operations Approval that reduced environment protections. NSW Labor say it will ‘invest $32.5 million in 3,000 Landcare, Bushcare and Rivercare groups across the length and breadth of NSW including our local groups here on the North Coast.’ Shadow Primary Industries Minister, Mick Veitch said: “This funding is $10 million more than the Berejikilian Government’s offer, doubles the existing capacity of Landcare in NSW, and will put more local and regional coordinators on the ground where they are needed most.”

Pledged to restore NSW National Parks and Wildlife Services staffing levels and reactivate the land acquisition program to protect still-vulnerable ecosystems and species. ‘Labor would add 200 more staff to match 2011 levels and resume the national parks acquisition program that has stalled over the past eight years’.

‘Labor also committed to creating a Great Koala National Park on the north coast around Coffs Harbour, and remove feral horses from the Kosciuszko National Park and restore the damage they have done to sensitive alpine ecosystems’ – The Nature Conservation Council and National Parks Association.

‘The Great Koala National Park, if fully implemented as conservationists recommend, would protect 175,000 hectares of publicly owned state forests as National Parks, and boost public access and recreation on the north coast. Labor have committed to the establishment of the Great Koala National Park but have omitted detail about its exact location and size.’ – The Nature Conservation Council and National Parks Association.

Greens’ Tamara Smith

We will protect native forests. Stop logging of native forests by scrapping Regional Forest Agreements, and reinstate laws to protect native habitats from private land clearing.

Preserve pristine wilderness areas. Create a Great Koala National Park in northern NSW and stop plans to flood the Blue Mountains World Heritage-listed wilderness.

$2 billion for a historic expansion of protected areas, including a $150 million per year funding increase to rebuild the National Parks and Wildlife Service

$300 million to promote the cultural management of country through expanding Aboriginal Land and Sea Ranger Programs

$200 million to tackle weeds, feral animals and other invasive species

Restore national parks. Return funding and increase staff for national parks throughout NSW, which have been subject to severe cutbacks.

greens.org.au/nsw/environment
tamarasmith.com.au/environment

Sustainable Australia’s Lisa Mcdermott

Nationals’ Ben Franklin

3) Koalas

Keep Sydney Open’s James Wright

Animal Justice Party’s Cathy Blasonato

Call for  new national parks to protect existing habitat, in addition, incentives for landholders to plant koala feed trees on private properties with a view to creating koala corridors.

Labor’s Asren Pugh

Greens’ Tamara Smith

We will keep working to preserve the Koalas by establishing a Great Koala National Park, implementing a comprehensive rehabilitation plan and removing the offsetting scheme for existing and potential Koalas.

We will guarantee jobs and support for the workers and communities impacted by the end of native forest logging.

Commit $200,000 for Koala tagging and monitoring in this electorate as recommended by Friends of Koala.

Commit to funding a Northern Rivers Wildlife Hospital.

Sustainable Australia’s Lisa Mcdermott

Nationals’ Ben Franklin

4) Richmond River

Keep Sydney Open’s James Wright

Animal Justice Party’s Cathy Blasonato 

Funding from the state government for improving water quality and flows, and new laws to safeguard the health of the Richmond River.

Labor’s Asren Pugh

Announced a $100 million Richmond River Recovery Plan over ten years, ‘with $27 million in funding allocated in Labor’s first term’. A commitment for $4 million to establish an independent co-ordinator to plan for and coordinate the works.

  • $4.5 million for a targeted grants program for riparian restoration and revegetation throughout the  Richmond River Catchment, providing up to 18 full-time direct jobs
  • $5 million to improve land and farm management practices, including a trial program of cane farm drain management and saltwater flushing on Ballina floodplain
  • $5.1 million to undertake estuary works for the restoration of the lower third of the river, guided by the  priority actions identified in the Coastal Zone Management Plan for the Richmond Estuary, to achieve water quality improvements
  • $55,000 per year for Landcare coordination to Richmond Landcare

$8.2 million for Lismore flood mitigation works, matching the Government’s commitment

Greens’ Tamara Smith

We have a $235 million plan to revive the Richmond River which will create green jobs, support farmers to perform regenerative work on their land and create eco-tourism in our region. Our plan was developed in conjunction with stakeholders and it is the only plan that is sufficient enough to restore our river.

greens.org.au/sites/default/files/2019-02/Richmond-river-report_WEB.pdf

Sustainable Australia’s Lisa Mcdermott

Nationals’ Ben Franklin

Told The Echo in September 2018 his government has ‘enacted a comprehensive plan on the Richmond River.’‘Recently the government released its Marine Estate Strategy. Improvement of riparian zones is a major priority of the Marine Estate Strategy, especially in the Northern region, which includes the Richmond River catchment.

‘There is funding allocated to improving the health of the Richmond River under the government’s marine estate strategy: In the first year alone, $1.4m has been allocated to the North Coast region – in which the Richmond River is a priority catchment. This funding is for riparian management, bank stabilisation and activities to address gravel road runoff. In year two, this will grow to $2.5m in the North Coast.

‘The Richmond River will also benefit from a share of $1m statewide from the ‘Clean Coastal Catchments’ program – which is separate to the funding above. $250,000 is being spent to develop risk-based frameworks for Richmond River, so we can to target on-ground works for coastal floodplain management and rehabilitation.’

Energy

1) Renewables

Keep Sydney Open’s James Wright

Animal Justice Party’s Cathy Blasonato

Calls for a phase out of all coal fired power stations. Incentives for renewables. Remove import tax for electric vehicles.

Labor’s Asren Pugh

A Daley Labor Government would supercharge the electric vehicle industry in NSW by setting a target whereby 25 per cent of state fleet vehicles would be electric by 2025. Labor would also allocate $10 million to the rollout of additional fast charging stations in strategic locations across NSW… would also change planning laws to require electric charging outlets in new strata buildings and other developments such as shopping centres and parking stations.’

Greens’ Tamara Smith

greens.org.au/nsw/renewables
tamarasmith.com.au/renewable

We have set a 100% Renewable Energy Target by 2030 which we will achieve by committing  $1 billion to support local community renewable projects, and a further $1.5 billion a year in large-scale, publicly-owned renewable energy projects.

We will also:

  • Upgrade the power grid. Build much-needed new public network infrastructure, connecting our abundant renewable energy resources to the National Electricity Market.
  • Invest in household solar and batteries. Provide rebates for one more than million households to install solar panels and battery storage
  • Invest in clean energy storage. Increase NSW’s energy storage infrastructure, ensuring NSW has a clean, publicly owned and reliable energy supply for the future.
  • Quit coal by 2030. Make it illegal to mine, burn or export thermal coal by 2030, and use the auctioning of pre-2030 export permits to finance a Clean Energy Transition Fund.
  • Set a carbon price for zero emissions by 2040. Bring back a carbon price for industries that release greenhouse gasses, to achieve net zero emissions by 2040.
  • Support the transition from coal. Fund a ten-year plan to support workers and communities who currently depend on the coal industry to develop new skills and opportunities.

Sustainable Australia’s Lisa Mcdermott

Nationals’ Ben Franklin

2) Energy prices

Keep Sydney Open’s James Wright

Animal Justice Party’s Cathy Blasonato 

Energy prices should reflect the true cost of power that is produced from coal, including cost to the environment, thus making renewables a much cheaper alternative.

Labor’s Asren Pugh

Greens’ Tamara Smith

Establish PowerNSW. A new, publicly owned electricity company to generate, distribute and retail renewable energy for the people of NSW fairly and affordably which will lower prices by at least $200 per year.

Invest in household solar and batteries. Provide rebates for one more than million households to install solar panels and battery storage which will help lower prices by around $400 a year.

Sustainable Australia’s Lisa Mcdermott

Nationals’ Ben Franklin

Public transport

Keep Sydney Open’s James Wright

Animal Justice Party’s Cathy Blasonato

It’s time the state government used some of its budget surplus to fund public transport systems and build “Park & Ride” stations and infrastructure for towns like Byron Bay and Ballina, where there are large tourist numbers. Systems designed for “car free” town centres.

Labor’s Asren Pugh

Pugh told a meet the candidates meeting on March 14 he doesn’t think trains will come back. I want to protect corridor with legislation, and support a rail trail until the corridor can be returned to rail.

Greens’ Tamara Smith

We want to see a comprehensive 50 year public transport plan for the Northern Rivers region to determine what technologies and services are required to create the right public transport system for us. In the short term we want to see increased bus services with greater regularity and full coverage between urban centres and free public transport for seniors and students as well as a 24/7 bus service on weekends.

We will also work to reserve the rail corridor for future use. 

Sustainable Australia’s Lisa Mcdermott

Nationals’ Ben Franklin

Franklin told a meet the candidates meeting on March 14, ‘Heavy rail won’t come back [on the railways]. I support a rail trail and want to continue the bus service trial’.

Planning and development

Short Term Holiday Letting context

In August 2018, The Echo reported on the new law passed in NSW parliament that aims to regulate the holiday letting industry. ‘Yet it comes incomplete, with major elements such as proposed changes to the SEPP (state environment planning policy) and a code of conduct still to be finalised.

The Fair Trading Amendment (Short-term Rental Accommodation) Bill 2018 was voted in by the coalition  and had bipartisan Labor support, along with minor parties except the Greens. Those who have council approvals, for example bed and breakfasts and motels, claim they have been ignored throughout the process. During parliamentary debate, local MLC Ben Franklin (Nationals) spruiked the law and told the chamber, ‘NSW Fair Trading will be given powers to police online platforms and letting agents.’ While there was no explanation of how that would work, there was also no explanation by Franklin as to how an exclusion register would work, whereby ‘hosts or guests who commit two serious breaches of the code within a two-year period will be banned for five years.’ Yet he did say those who have sought council approval for holiday letting had very valid and reasonable concerns.

Keep Sydney Open’s James Wright

Animal Justice Party’s Cathy Blasonato

Individual councils should be allowed to determine their own regulation regarding short term holiday letting. However, home owners that are resident should not have to submit a DA if the number of days do not exceed the number determined by that council.

Labor’s Asren Pugh

NSW Labor says it will give local communities like Byron Shire a ‘greater say in determining the number of days that properties can be let out for short-term holiday letting (STHL).’ Pugh: ‘Labor has been consistent that we need a registration scheme to be able to actually make evidence based decisions rather than making it up as you go. We need a registration system so we can get the unregulated party houses under control.’

‘Labor has also consistently argued that councils are well placed to make local decisions on matters like short term holiday letting. We raised these issues when the Government forced legislation through last year – bad legislation that was then supported by the now National Party candidate for Ballina.’

Greens’ Tamara Smith

Under our policy each local council would have the power to determine its own conditions and restrictions on holiday lets. Resident homeowners, who holiday let their whole homes for less than a prescribed number of days per year, would be exempt from the need to submit development applications.

Investor holiday lets, where the owner doesn’t reside, will require a DA and be subject to restrictions on days per year and subject to commercial rates. Council regulations would be subject to comprehensive community consultation on the maximum number of days that Byron Shire should allow unregulated holiday letting.

Sustainable Australia’s Lisa Mcdermott

Nationals’ Ben Franklin

Byron Shire has been considered a special case for holiday letting, and a 90 day cap would be introduced in the Shire should his government be re-elected. A ministerial direction was issued February 11, 2019 by planning minister Anthony Roberts which invites ‘Byron Shire to lead the way by proposing 90 day thresholds in the most impacted towns of the LGA (local government area).’

For other areas, caps of 180 days per calendar year would apply when the host is not present in STRA properties in metropolitan Sydney and some regional areas. 

The Echo reported February 11, 2019: ‘While Mr Roberts said he would be open to all solutions, including limiting the number of weekends that were available for renting as a holiday let, it doesn’t appear that the minimum of 90 days of short-term letting is up for negotiation’

There is no bed tax plans by the NSW Coalition.

Affordable housing

Keep Sydney Open’s James Wright

Animal Justice Party’s Cathy Blasonato

Labor’s Asren Pugh

Greens’ Tamara Smith

https://greens.org.au/nsw/homes

The Greens have a plan to create 300,000 social housing units across the state over 10 years. We will also cap rent rises and strengthen renters rights, ending no grounds evictions. We are also committed to doubling the funding for homelessness services in NSW.

Sustainable Australia’s Lisa Mcdermott

Nationals’ Ben Franklin

1) Medium density housing code – scrap or keep?

Keep Sydney Open’s James Wright

Animal Justice Party’s Cathy Blasonato

Labor’s Asren Pugh

NSW Labor has committed to scrap the Liberals’ and Nationals’ controversial Medium Density Housing Code, which changes local planning laws to allow increased density development without council approval or proper consultation with neighbours.’

NSW Labor say it will aslo end ‘Spot rezoning, also known as a Pre-Gateway or Rezoning review.’

Greens’ Tamara Smith  

‘Scrap it.’

Sustainable Australia’s Lisa Mcdermott

Nationals’ Ben Franklin

Byron gets to continue exemption and resolve in the future.

2) Planning Panels – scrap or keep?

Keep Sydney Open’s James Wright

Animal Justice Party’s Cathy Blasonato

“Scrap”

Labor’s Asren Pugh

NSW Labor would keep the panel and have indicated they would consider reviewing the independence of the panelists

Greens’ Tamara Smith

‘Scrap it.’

Nationals’ Ben Franklin

Supports his government’s position of keeping them.

Council powers

Should Byron LGA councillors be entitled to sick leave, superannuation and be paid more in line with comparable professions? If so, how would this be done?

Keep Sydney Open’s James Wright

Animal Justice Party’s Cathy Blasonato

Labor’s Asren Pugh

Greens’ Tamara Smith

Councillors do hard work and should be compensated for it. This could come from the extra funding for council’s through my proposed needs-based funding framework.

Sustainable Australia’s Lisa Mcdermott

Nationals’ Ben Franklin

Economy

Keep Sydney Open’s James Wright

Animal Justice Party’s Cathy Blasonato

Key Objectives

  1. To end the provision of subsidies, grants and taxation benefits to industries which exploit animals. We would prioritise these changes to begin with the following industries: live animal export, commercial and non-commercial wildlife slaughter and intensive animal agriculture.
  2. To provide tax deductible status for not-for-profit animal welfare organisations.
  3. To introduce a tax on animal products commensurate with their adverse environmental and health impacts.
  4. To establish a national sovereign wealth fund, like the Future Fund that provides funding to allow scientists and farmers to shift from using animals to innovative new technologies and plant based products.
  5. To ensure that Australians have the choice to invest their savings in banking and superannuation products that promote animal welfare.
  6. To support wildlife tourism, already a huge contributor to our GDP, while closing down industries and activities which harm wildlife.
  7. To increase the availability of assistance animals within our health and welfare system, while ensuring that these relationships are of mutual benefit.
  8. To ensure that workers can use carers leave to care for companion animals.
  9. To encourage appropriate workplaces to allow animals at work.
  10. To fund innovative projects from volunteer organisations that encourage animal wellbeing

Labor’s Asren Pugh

Greens’ Tamara Smith

We need to transition to a 100% renewable economy that creates jobs, brings down power bills and lowers emissions. We will kickstart the transition to a green economy through our comprehensive plan to invest in renewables, ensure that we up skill people through free TAFE and fund this through taxing polluters and making sure that the big end of town pay their way.

Sustainable Australia’s Lisa Mcdermott

Nationals’ Ben Franklin

Education

Keep Sydney Open’s James Wright

Greens’ Tamara Smith

As a teacher education is one of my highest priorities, that’s why i’m committed to seeing public schools fully funded to 100% of the Schooling Resource Standards by 2020 as well as  a fully funded tafe system that is 100% free, offering traineeships in renewable energy careers.

Locally I am committed to see a new model used by the NSW Department of Education for assessing enrolment catchment areas for public schools in regional and rural areas to address the issues that are facing small schools in our area.

Nationals’ Ben Franklin

Labor’s Asren Pugh 

NSW Labor say that if elected it will save Coorabell Public School from having to slash the number of students it can enrol. ‘Coorabell Public School will stay at the full 136 student cap for the next 12 months and the current (pre -2019) enrolment rules will apply.’

Employment

Keep Sydney Open’s James Wright

Animal Justice Party’s Cathy Blasonato

Key Objectives

  1. Offer educational opportunities for workers currently employed by animal industries through subsidised programs where necessary and traineeships.
  2. Promote growth in sustainable animal friendly industries across the board such as eco-tourism, plant-based food products and technologies, and upcycled and recycled design.

Labor’s Asren Pugh: ‘North Coast Tourism Jobs strategy includes ‘introducing regional labelling, food and wine tourist trails and the promotion of iconic North Coast products.’

North Coast food and drink producers and small businesses will be front and centre of NSW Labor’s North Coast Tourism Jobs strategy… Labor would accelerate the Food and Wine tourism strategy, starting in the north coast, and save Bluesfest. Labor has announced $4 million of support for festivals, as well as a move to multi year approvals to provide festivals with long term security.

Greens’ Tamara Smith

Our plan will transform the state and create the jobs of the future:

  • Food and Fiber Hub will create jobs in clean, sustainable agriculture and transition our agriculture to less water intensive, more resilient and more sustainable crops.
  • Renewable energy plan will create jobs in clean, renewable energy and ensure we have 100% renewable by 2030 and has been estimated to generate at least 1100 jobs.
  • Our coal transition fund will ensure that workers displaced in the coal industry are retrained and prioritised for new jobs in clean energy, reforestation and sustainable tourism.
  • Nature protection plan will create jobs in wildlife protection and ecotourism.
  • We will support the festival scene by ensuring safer partying and support regional events.

Sustainable Australia’s Lisa Mcdermott

Nationals’ Ben Franklin

Health

Keep Sydney Open’s James Wright

Animal Justice Party’s Cathy Blasonato

Key Objectives

  • Implement programs that increase and support positive interactions between students and wildlife, rescued farmed and companion animals such as volunteer days and placements at shelters and sanctuaries.
  • To teach students basic nutritional science and convey the discoveries of recent years about the welfare, nutritional and environmental benefits of plant based eating.
  • To facilitate plant based foods in all school, university and TAFE cafeterias, accompanied by research into impacts on student health and behaviour.
  • To explain the realities of modern intensive and extensive farming systems.

Labor’s Asren Pugh

Greens’ Tamara Smith

For health in our region I will:

  • Support consumer-directed aged care.
  • Back safer staff-resident ratios
  • Safer nurse to patient ratios
  • An ambulance service for Alstonville
  • A health and wellbeing precinct for Ballina
  • Place health at the centre of drug policy through law reform and pursuing a rational approach.

Nationals’ Ben Franklin

$80.4 million redevelopment of the Ballina District Hospital… investing more than $8 billion in health infrastructure over the next four years, including record investment in the regions, with 74 rural and regional projects currently underway. The Northern NSW Local Health District will also receive at least 402 extra frontline staff, thanks to the NSW Government’s commitment to recruit a record 8300 additional frontline staff, including 5000 nurses and midwives, over the next term. The 402 jobs include 32 doctors, 282 nurses and midwives, 38 allied health staff and 50 hospital support staff.

Mental Health

Keep Sydney Open’s James Wright

Animal Justice Party’s Cathy Blasonato

Key Objectives

  1. To educate all health care professionals on the benefits of plant based diets.
  2. To expand and refocus programs teaching people how to improve their diet and exercise habits.
  3. To phase out subsidies to intensive animal industries because they are both cruel and provide a breeding ground for new diseases which pose large public health risks.
  4. To end all subsidies to the red and processed meat industries. Eating large amounts of red and processed meats (which includes pig meat) can have serious health impacts, particularly in relation to cancer, heart disease, diabetes and obesity.
  5. To improve food labelling to clearly indicate any components of animal origin.
  6. To end unnecessary public funding of research on drugs that address diseases best managed by simple lifestyle choices.
  7. To end the inappropriate use of antibiotics because of the risks of creating antibiotic resistant bacteria.
  8. To ensure funding of health services is provided at the state level, with an end to vertical fiscal imbalances that cause a lack of accountability at all levels.

Labor’s Asren Pugh

Greens’ Tamara Smith

The Greens want to significantly increase funding for public mental-health services, including public hospital inpatient services, community-based outpatient and outreach services, and case managers, especially for patients with acute and pervasive mental-health conditions, including distinctive separate pathways for mental health patients to access emergency care where possible.

Nationals’ Ben Franklin

Sustainable Australia’s Lisa Mcdermott

Arts and Culture

Keep Sydney Open’s James Wright

Animal Justice Party’s Cathy Blasonato

Labor’s Asren Pugh

Greens’ Tamara Smith

The Greens want to significantly increase funding for public mental-health services, including public hospital inpatient services, community-based outpatient and outreach services, and case managers, especially for patients with acute and pervasive mental-health conditions, including distinctive separate pathways for mental health patients to access emergency care where possible.

Sustainable Australia’s Lisa Mcdermott

Nationals’ Ben Franklin

Byron Writers Festival will benefit from a new investment of $100,000 from the NSW Government.

 

Music festival laws

Keep Sydney Open’s James Wright

Animal Justice Party’s Cathy Blasonato

Labor’s Asren Pugh

He told a meet the candidates meeting on March 14 that, ‘The coalition declared war on young people and festivals, and their policy is arbitrary. We will appoint a minister for live music and change the laws. We will also invest into music classes in schools’.

Greens’ Tamara Smith

She told a meet the candidates meeting on March 14 that, ‘Giving the arts portfolio to [former police officer and then Nats leader] Troy Grant were dark days. Why do the coalition dislike festivals? They are safe. Their decision was ad-hoc. It was a bad idea, then the government had to backflip. I see this type of governance in parliament all the time’.

Sustainable Australia’s Lisa Mcdermott

Nationals’ Ben Franklin

He told a meet the candidates meeting on March 14 that, ‘Stronger regulation was needed as [festivals] were unsafe. But they are not unsafe in this region – our festivals are fine’.

 

Election outcome and forming government

Keep Sydney Open’s James Wright

Animal Justice Party’s Cathy Blasonato

Labor’s Asren Pugh

He told a meet the candidates meeting on March 14 that Labor has ruled out a coalition with minor parties. ‘We want to govern in our own right’.

 

 

Greens’ Tamara Smith

She told a meet the candidates meeting on March 14 that, ‘We will never form government with the Liberal-National coalition. I’m never going to be a minister. Yet I like that as I can set the agenda. My recurring infrastructure fund is an example where it was rebranded and watered down by the Nationals’.

 

Sustainable Australia’s Lisa Mcdermott

Nationals’ Ben Franklin

He told a meet the candidates meeting on March 14 that, ‘Having a voice in parliament is important. You’ve seen what I’ve done in the last four years. NSW went from being last to now being first in the state’.

 

More on the NSW election:

NSW state election 2019

Voters in the Ballina electorate (Byron and Ballina Council areas) have six candidates to choose from. In order of the ballot and the above photo montage (left to right) they are: Keep Sydney Open’s James Wright, Animal Justice Party’s...

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NSW 2019 Ballina candidate profiles

In order of the ballot, the Ballina candidates are: Keep Sydney Open’s James Wright Thirty-six-year old year old radio broadcaster, filmmaker, futurist and father of three, James Wright has been a resident of the Byron Shire for five years. Working in the...

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