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Byron Shire
January 24, 2022

Who’s running in the seat of Richmond?

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There are eight candidates for the federal electorate of Richmond, which covers the Byron, Ballina and Tweed shires.

The seat has been held since 2004 by Labor’s Justine Elliot, and like the state seat of Ballina (Byron and Ballina Shires), the strong Byron Green vote has helped Labor’s Elliot maintain power. 

ABC election guru Antony Green describes the electorate of Richmond: “The Green victory in the state seat of Ballina was overwhelmingly owing to Green support in Byron Shire, where rich retirees and alternative lifestylers have flooded into a former rural shire. The Nationals still won Ballina itself, while Green support in the state seat of Tweed, making up the northern half of Richmond, was only 13.3 per cent. A Green victory in Richmond probably requires the Greens to pass Labor with then hope of then defeating the National Party on preferences. Given the increasing urbanisation of Richmond, it may be the Liberal Party will eventually return to contesting Richmond, further complicating the contest”.

The following candidate profiles are in their own words, and the info was sourced online with links to their websites.

Ronald McDonald from Sustainable Australia

Ronald McDonald, Sustainable Australia 

Ron was born and raised in South Australia, moving to Banora Point NSW upon retirement six years ago. He has been married to wife Elizabeth for 50 years. Together they have three children and three grand children. Ron started his apprenticeship with PMG as a technician in 1962. From there, Ron worked for Telstra and during this time lived and worked all over Australia. He served as a director on the board of Australian Central Credit Union, now Peoples Choice Credit Union, for 10 years. Ron is a life member of the Sporting Shooters Association of Australia. He still competes in club, state and national rifle matches to this day.

Sustainable Australia say they are an “An independent community party from the sensible centre, we have a positive plan to secure an economically, environmentally and socially sustainable Australia”.

Hamish Mitchell, United Australia Party

Hamish Mitchell, United Australia Party

Born and raised in country Victoria, and now living in the Richmond electorate since 1997, Hamish joined the United Australia Party because he had lost faith in the established parties. He is fed up with present day politics which seems to be more about self-preservation than serving the people. Hamish runs his own asbestos removal and demolition and remediation business. Outside of politics he enjoys acting, cricket, AFL, athletics and golf”.

Morgan Cox, Christian Democratic Party (Fred Nile Group)  

Information has been requested from the CDP.

Justine Elliot, Labor

Justine Elliot, Labor

Justine Elliot has been the Federal Labor Member for Richmond on the NSW North Coast since 2004. She lives locally near Murwillumbah with her husband Craig and their two children. Justine is passionate about the North Coast and is always fighting for a better deal for the people of regional and rural Australia.  

“As the Federal Labor MP Justine is proud to have delivered more than $2 billion for local roads, schools, health and community resources. Justine supports a Gasfield-free North Coast and she continues the fight against the Nationals’ pro-CSG policies”. 




Ray Karam

Ray Karam, Independent

Ray Karam is a renowned Northern Rivers based businessman and father of five school-aged children. He ran for Mayor of Ballina and ‘A’ Ward Councillor in the 2016 local elections. A former police officer and now active local community man, Ray Karam brings a love of people and business to all aspects of his work in the community.

“He is the owner operator of Nourish Bulk Health Organic in the Wigmore Arcade in central Ballina, the owner operator of In-Detail Car Cleaning which centres around Lismore but is mobile in the Northern Rivers and the owner operator of Nourish Distributors NSW, the distribution arm of the highly successful retail store. With his wife Sarah he is also a partner in the The Belle General Cafe on Shelly Beach. Most recently he was instrumental in bringing a new venture Belle Central to Ballina which opened its doors in April 2016 also in the Wigmore Arcade opposite Nourish Bulk Health Organic”.

Tom Barnett, Involuntary Medication Objectors (Vaccination/Fluoride) Party

Tom Barnett, Involuntary Medication Objectors (Vaccination/Fluoride) Party

“Politicians are renowned for their words. Tom prefers action over words, questions over answers, common sense over pseudo-science, and the right to freedom of choice over an extortionist dictatorship.  Electing politicians to change politics is an antiquated approach.  Tom is the antithesis of the current system, which means that he’s the perfect person to effect change.

“Your vote for Tom and IMOP in the Richmond electorate is a vote for freedom of choice, bodily autonomy, and the right to a healthy inner and outer environment.

“Tom is a holistic health practitioner. He studied biomedical science before undertaking the teachings of natural medicine, nutrition, physical therapy, high performance conditioning and psychology.  Having missed out on much of his 20s and 30s owing to vaccine and amalgam damage, he is passionate about our right to a healthy internal and external environment.  More than anything, Tom supports informed choice and sovereignty under common law.

“Tom understands our constitutional rights and how they differ from corporate statutes.  His knowledge and experience in health and human rights is an invaluable asset to everyone that desires a free and healthy society”.

Matthew Fraser, The Nationals

As there is only a photo available at nswnationals.org.au, Echonetdaily contacted Mr Fraser directly:

As the owner of a Tweed Heads Hungry Jacks franchise, Mr Fraser has contested the seat of Richmond twice in the past and says he is “keen to restore strong representation to the region”.

“The people of Richmond deserve better than a career politician, they deserve someone with vision, ethics and a commitment to the community,’ he said. ‘Returning Richmond back to the Nationals has been and is a long process; this election will be the toughest battle yet and the gloves are off. The Nationals have successfully represented this region for decades and I intend to give the people strong and effective representation”.

Michael Lyon, The Greens

Michael Lyon, The Greens

I’ve lived in this community for over a decade, working for local businesses and various community groups, as a councillor and now acting Mayor. I’m deeply passionate about this region, and I believe in thinking globally but acting locally.

“I’m running for Richmond because only the Greens have the vision, ethics and policies to build a sustainable future for all of us whilst protecting the planet we depend upon. The major parties have let our region down, with record housing stress, rampant land clearing, a lack of transport and health infrastructure and no action on climate change.

“I believe that actions speak louder than words. I have a track record of delivering on my values and believe that together we can create a fairer and cleaner future for all of us”.

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  1. The AEC has the Green at 20% primary in 2016 a 25 % increase on the previous 2013 election. If that trend continues anything might happen.

  2. I did some research on all candidates as i am a 1st time voter. I googled Ray Karam and found he was linked to Universal Medicine. Upon googling Universal Medicine I discovered that the Supreme Court handed down a verdict stating- quote – Universal Medicine is a “socially harmful cult”.
    I find it hard to believe that 1- No reporter from any local paper, radio station, other candidates or any tv stations picked up on this
    And 2 – how he was even allowed to run let alone be a mayor or councillor.
    I guess Universal Medicine are spreading their tentacles.


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