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May 31, 2024

NSW 2019 Lismore candidates

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Candidate round up for the seat of Lismore

As Saturday draws ever closer and we sharpen our little tiny pencils, it’s important to remember that your votes count, and you need to know who you’re voting for – then it will all be over and we wait to see what fate (and the other voters) have given us.

The seat of Lismore is sitting on a knife-edge with three leading candidates: The Greens’ Sue Higginson, Country Labor’s Janelle Saffin and The Nationals’ new candidate Austin Curtin, which means that who wins the seat is likely to come down to how you, the voter, allocate your preferences. That is who you put second, third or fourth etc on your ticket. Make sure you preference effectively by putting the parties you don’t want to get elected in the last positions. Find out more in our article Will you be throwing your vote in the bin?

Seven candidates will contest the seat of Lismore with all of the major parties represented as well as some of the smaller groups and an independent.

In order of appearance (on the ballot)…


The Nationals – Austin Curtin.

The Nationals Austin Curtin

As long-time National Thomas George prepares to retire from the seat of Lismore that he has occupied for 20 years, Austin Curtin is the hopeful National that would like to claim the Lismore seat before it gets cold.

Curtin, who is a qualified carpenter, a university graduate with degrees in communications and economics, and now a local macadamia grower, says he is passionate about addressing issues that affect our region, which he says are: ‘The lack of business confidence, [the need for] more frontline health workers and the need for safer roads and bridges.’

The father of three young kids, Curtin says his top priorities should he be elected as the local member, include working collaboratively with local councils to fix our roads and timber bridges; getting diggers on the ground to start flood-proofing Lismore; delivering top-quality schools, hospitals, sporting fields and job-creating infrastructure; keeping his ear to the ground and working with constituents to grow jobs, educate future generations, and secure a stable and prosperous future for the region; and, striking the right balance between environment and industry, ensuring the raw and natural beauty of the Northern Rivers is preserved.

Austin says that as a farmer he is committed to practical environmentalism — real action to make our local environment more liveable and sustainable.


Animal Justice Party –Alison Waters

Animal Justice Party Alison Waters 

With her Facebook page a good source of information about Alison Waters, she is the Animal Justice Party candidate for Lismore. Waters says:

‘I am a domestic and family violence worker who has lived in the Lismore electorate since 2001.

‘I am standing for the Animal Justice Party because I am committed to social justice.

‘The AJP’s core values of kindness, equality, rationality and non-violence resonate with me as a mother, animal advocate, vegan and domestic violence worker.

‘I believe that legislative change can improve the lives of countless animals.

‘I am passionate about protection of koala habitat, real action on climate change, and the banning of greyhound racing and other industries that exploit animals for ‘sport’ and entertainment.

‘I believe that we will not eradicate interpersonal violence in our society while we tolerate the perpetuation of violent acts against animals in industries such as agriculture, animal testing, hunting, circuses and rodeos.

‘A zero-tolerance approach to violence must include non-human animals.

‘I want to be a voice for animals, the environment and people in the NSW Parliament.

‘Vote 1 Animal Justice Party.’


Independent – Greg Bennett

Independent Greg Bennett

Greg Bennett is another candidate who uses Facebook to let voters know who he is. Bennett is a retired police officer who lives in lives in Nimbin. Bennett’s main online presence comes from his page which has a series of short videos outlining his ideas and policies.

Home Town – Lismore

About – Common Sense Independent candidate for the seat of Lismore.

Biography – Retired Financial planner and agribusiness owner (certified organic macadamia farm).

Political views – Conservative

Awards – Diploma in Financial Planning, Advance Certificate in Commerce. Certificate IV in Business. Certificate IV in Finance and Mortgage Broking. Certificate in Agriculture. Qualified Investigator.

Religious Views – Christian

Mobile – 0434 918 808

On his page Mr Bennett’s how to vote card is not naming any preferences in the lower house, but he is suggesting people vote for Group A, the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party in the Upper House.


Country Labor –  Janelle Saffin

Country Labor Janelle Saffin

This is not the first time Janelle Saffin has been on the political stage and she has all her information on her website:

Saffin has lived in Lismore for 40 years and has always been actively involved in our community. As the previous Member for Page, Janelle delivered record funding locally for health services, education, roads and community infrastructure. Janelle is someone our community can count on to ‘Get Things Done’.

Hard working, trusted and experienced Janelle is someone we can trust to fight for our community. Janelle fought alongside the community and was instrumental in lobbying for, and successful in getting the Water Trigger Legislation through the Federal Parliament and stopping Coal Seam Gas mining in our region.

A strong voice for our community.


Sustainable Australia – David Taylor

Sustainable Australia David Taylor 

According to the Sustainable Australia website, David Taylor was born in Brisbane and joined the Royal Australian Air Force when he turned 17.

After a varied 21-year career as a Radio Technician, Chinese Linguist and Intelligence Officer during which he completed an Information Technology degree part time, he re-joined civilian life and established a computer shop in Brisbane.

After selling the business three years later, he joined an industry consulting firm, eventually becoming General Manager and guiding the company through a successful merger before leaving in 2011.

Always interested in small towns, architecture and history, he drove USA’s Route 66 in 2009. Inspired by this experience and the many similarities between Route 66 and Australia’s iconic Highway One, he published the Highway One Travel Companion guide book in 2012.

Now retired from full-time work, he lives just outside Murwillumbah in the Lismore state electorate.


The Greens – Sue Higginson

The Greens Sue Higginson 

A lawyer, farmer, and grandmother Sue Higginson resigned last year from her position as CEO and Principal Solicitor of the Environmental Defenders Office NSW to join the Greens and run for the seat of Lismore. Higginson says:

‘As a litigator, I was responsible for many high profile public interest environmental legal cases. When I took on Rio Tinto, their massive open cut coal mine expansion in the Hunter Valley was refused by the court. And I was integral to the setting aside of the Federal government’s approval of the Adani open cut coal mine.

‘I have worked for communities all over NSW, including assisting many Aboriginal communities, to protect their land, water, cultural heritage, and local environment, in and outside of courts. I also have a background in criminal law and have represented hundreds of environmental protesters and activists. Most recently, I represented the Wollar 3, the first people to be charged under the NSW government’s new anti-protester laws. 

‘I’m also a farmer. I grow dry-land rice on the beautiful Richmond Flood Plain in the Northern Rivers. I’m passionate about sustainable agriculture and food security and know first-hand that healthy landscapes are essential to high-quality food production. 

‘Before becoming a lawyer, I was an environmental activist and worked on the front lines to protect the last of our old growth forests on public land in northeast NSW. 

‘I have lived and worked in the Northern Rivers since my late teens. I raised my children here and now my grandchildren are growing up here too. 

‘I have fought many big fights for communities seeking environmental justice. We have played by the rules and against all odds and deep pockets we have won. All too often, I have watched governments step in and use the parliamentary process to change the rules to enable environmental harm. I am keen to join the growing Green team in parliament and contribute my advocacy and legal skills for a better future for us all.’


Australian Conservatives (NSW) – Paul Collitis

Australian Conservatives (NSW) Paul Collitis

Who are the Australian Conservatives?

According to their Facebook page…

‘Australian Conservatives is the movement uniting Australians who believe enduring values and principles are the key to a better nation.

‘We support and advocate for the essential pillars of conservatism as a means of building a sustainable and prosperous economy and maintaining civil society. Thousands of years of human experience have demonstrated what works. Unfortunately, this lived experience is ignored by too many involved in politics today.

‘Within that political climate, the Australian Conservatives was initially established in 2016 by Senator Cory Bernardi as a non-party political movement to unite conservatives under one banner and give a voice to those who believed that the political class no longer represented them.

‘The Australian Conservatives movement swiftly grew to tens of thousands of supporters who demanded a better way.

‘In February 2017, Australian Conservatives applied to become a political party for the purposes of supporting the election of candidates to the Australian Parliament.’

Paul Collitis’s image on the page says:

‘I am married (to a woman) and have three children and three grandchildren. I am a practising Christian and unapologetically pro-life.

‘It’s a sad state of affairs when our exceptional candidate for Lismore, Paul Collits, has to clarify that his wife is indeed a woman! If you hate political correctness there is only one party you can trust in Lismore and NSW.’

Seat of Lismore

If you’re not sure which seat you are in take a look at the map below. If you think you might be in the Tweed or Ballina electorate then head to our candidate profiles and maps on these electorates. For Tweed click here or for Ballina click here.

Seat of Lismore. Image New South Wales Electoral Commission

Will you be throwing your vote in the bin?

Who wins or loses local marginal seats during the NSW state elections is in your hands – or rather in the way you preference your vote.


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