13.8 C
Byron Shire
September 27, 2021

Labor eyes Page in looming election battle

Latest News

New venues of concern in Ballina

The Northern NSW Local Health District has been notified of a number of new venues of concern associated with a confirmed case of COVID-19.

Other News

Found – Have you seen Steve? Missing person

Mullumbimby man Steve Mustchin went missing at 11am this morning from Byron Bay Hospital and his family are asking locals to keep an eye out for him.

Water resilience

A number of groups in the Byron Shire have been working our way each month through topics set for...

Bioenergy facility

Council continued to downplay the noise from trucks associated with the proposed bioenergy plant in last week’s Echo. This is...

ScoMo does it again

ScoMo recently travelled from the ACT to Sydney, not something to be recommended at the moment. What is an essential...

Long COVID and the science, so far…

Increasing COVID-19 vaccination rates as quickly as possible is currently a major focus for Australia.

Woman charged over alleged Public Health Order Breaches – Tweed/Byron

A woman has been charged over multiple alleged breaches of the Public Health Orders in the Tweed and Byron shires.

Seat of Page. AEC.

Paul Bibby

The battle for the seat of Page at the upcoming Federal election is shaping up as an intriguing one that will reveal much about the demographics and political landscape in Northern NSW.  

The seat is held by the National’s Kevin Hogan by a margin of just 4.6 per cent, but local Labor insiders think they have a real chance of getting the votes needed to swing things their way.

There is at least some basis for Labor’s optimism.

Hogan’s margin has nearly halved since he was first elected in 2013, and less than two months ago Labor won the state seat of Lismore, which includes a number of towns that the Nationals once counted on at both state and Federal level.  

Should the 2.8 per cent swing against the government in Lismore be replicated in Page on May 18 it would go a long way to getting Labor over the line if they managed to get the lion’s share of preferences.

There is a sizeable cast of minor party candidates and independents standing in the seat this election, so preferences could well prove crucial in the final wash up.  

Location

Covering nearly 20,000 square kilometres from the northern suburbs of Coffs Harbour to the Queensland border, Page includes a wide mix of people and places.

The biggest towns range from traditionally conservative places like Casino and Bonalbo, Labor-voting areas such as Grafton and Lismore, and Green enclaves such as Nimbin.

It makes for a somewhat volatile combination, and one that is somewhat difficult to predict.  

History

This is partly why neither major party has ever been allowed to get comfortable in the seat since it was formed in 1984.

The seat has swung between Labor and the Nationals four times in the ensuing 25 years, setting up an intriguing battle this time around.

Demographics

Demographically, the seat offers something to both major parties.

One one hand, the higher than average unemployment rate (7.9 per cent according to the last Census) and lower than average wages ($1,243/week for families) could lead to some disaffection with the current government.

On the other hand, the Nationals can still rely on a large conservative, rural voter base that could get them over the line once again.

A significant factor in determining the result will be the arrival of rookie Labor candidate, Patrick Deegan.

Deegan, a social welfare sector worker from Casino, beat Lismore Mayor Issac Smith in a tight preselection battle last year.

He is replacing Janelle Saffin as the Labor candidate for the seat after Ms Saffin stood for, and won, the seat of Lismore in the recent State election.

Taking on an experienced incumbent MP will be a challenge for the first-time candidate.

However, Labor has been bringing in the big guns in a bid to get him over the line, including a visit from Bill Shorten last month, followed by a collection of shadow ministers.

It appears that Labor has its sights set on the seat, and, if it is to topple Scott Morrison’s government on May 18 these are the type of seats it will need to win.


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.

1 COMMENT

  1. As an ex-Labor member I am now quite sure that
    my vote has been hijacked. The party I refuse to
    vote for now exists as The LNP-Labor alliance
    party.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Byron Bay beach party end in PINS and a charge for biting

Police say a woman has been charged and four Penalty Infringement Notices (PINs) issued following a beach party in the Byron Bay area overnight.

Fundraising for koala signs for Bangalow

As the koala mating season has started, Bangalow Koalas has set up fundraising to create incorporate more koala road signs. Bangalow Koalas, who keep a watch...

Nuclear Submarines – just a foot in the door

In the next few months we will hear a lot about how superior nuclear-powered submarines are. Vice Admiral Mike Noonan is even claiming superior stealth characteristics – which is simply not true. Yes, they tend to be faster. This is great if you want to go thousands of kilometres in a matter of days. But they are also much more expensive.

Compost back on Lismore’s gardening menu

Lismore City Council says that their BIOCycle Compost is again on sale from the Lismore Recycling & Recovery Centre and Nimbin Transfer Station, after a two-year break.