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Byron Shire
August 1, 2021

Labor for Ballina

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Alan Veacock and Therese Crollick, Presidents Ballina ALP and Alstonville ALP

Ballina has finally made it to the COVID-delayed local government elections, with popular mayor David Wright and a number of councillors all vying for the top job, including longstanding campaigner for Richmond River rehabilitation Cr Keith Williams. Many residents are of the opinion that party politics have no place in local government, but realistically there has always been party politics in local government; it’s just harder to spot.

Many councillors are closely affiliated with political parties but hide behind the veil of being ‘independents. It’s not hard to spot them at state and federal elections handing out how-to-vote forms for their respective parties; even our ‘independent’ mayor David Wright was openly supporting aspiring Ballina Nationals candidate Ben Franklin at the last state election.

And so it’s not surprising to finally see that a great team of candidates led by Cr Keith Williams, who together with Col Riches, Leonie Price, and Therese Crollick have decided to be honest and up-front, drop the ‘independent’ tag and run for council under an official Australian Labor Party ticket. It is close to a first for Ballina, but not the North Coast. Tweed Heads, Lismore, and Byron Bay have had politically endorsed mayors and councillors for years. The most important thing is that they diligently serve their communities.


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4 COMMENTS

  1. Cr. Keith Williams has been a long time campaigner for serious rehabilitation work on our very badly degraded Richmond River. During his tenure of chairmanship of Rous County Council, Keith has, with very limited funding and resources, and along with great community organizations, achieved some very positive outcomes for our struggling river. The Richmond river is running out of time, fish stocks are now only a fraction of what they once were, most aquaculture is now almost untenable and as a result, Ballina’s economy has been suffering for years. The election of a Labor team for Ballina can only be a positive, especially if the State Labor Party can oust the corruption riddled and increasingly unpopular Berejiklian Govt. at the next election, that would then free up some badly needed funds for major river rehabilitation work. Col Riches, Leonie Price and Therese Crollick have been actively involved in many community organizations for many years and would bring some much needed and balanced input for our Council.

  2. I asked David Wright at the polling booth during the state election, and he explained that he his decision to support David Wright was explicitly related to what he saw would best benifit Ballina. He was not distributing how to vote cards for the Nationals and told me he had on other occasions not supported Nationald candidates.
    It is pleasing to read Kieth Williams is running again. We are lucky to have candidates of Keith’s -and David’s ability.

  3. Peter, I’m sorry to blow your assertion up but I spent two weeks of pre-poll, and all election day there, handing out how to vote cards for another political party, David turned up numerous times and I was standing right beside him and Ben Franklin, chatting to both of them, (as everyone does at those places), and he was handing out for the Nationals all the time. It’s no crime, but for David, it was a bridge too far to actually feature in a National Party add with Ben Franklin and then claim to be an independent; he is a nice fellow though, and been a great Mayor.

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