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Byron Shire
December 7, 2023

Ballina mayor defends independent status after appearing in Nationals campaign ad

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Ballina Mayor Sharon Cadwallader. Photo David Lowe.

Ballina Shire Mayor Sharon Cadwallader has defended her status as an independent this week after appearing in a federal campaign ad for Nationals candidate Kimberly Hone.

The ad in the April issue of Lennox Wave featured a cluster of photos of Ms Hone alongside a statement from the conservative candidate hoping to win the Northern NSW seat of Richmond.

The main photo showed her standing with federal agricultural minister and fellow Nationals member, David Littleproud, and Ballina Shire Mayor Sharon Cadwallder.

Councillor Cadwallader told The Echo on Tuesday she hadn’t been a member of the Nationals for eight or nine years and was truly an independent.

Echoes of Dunoon Dam campaign heard in Richmond federal election discussion

Cr Cadwallader said she’d only met Ms Hone once, the day Mr Littleproud visited the region recently to hear about flood impacts on farmland.

She said she’d agreed to have the photo used in ‘a brochure’ for Ms Hone but wasn’t aware it was to be published in a campaign ad.

‘I’ll work with whoever’s elected and whoever is out there,’ Cr Cadwallader said.

When campaigning for the position of mayor last year, Cr Cadwallader insisted she was a true independent despite previously holding prominent roles in The Nationals, including trying and failing to win pre-selection for the state seat of Ballina in 2014.

The controversial idea of a new dam near the hinterland village of Dunoon dominated Cr Cadwaller’s mayoral campaign and today she said her political preferences would be swayed by where candidates stood on regional water security.

‘I know that Labor don’t support that and The Greens don’t support the future water strategy,’ Cr Cadwallader said.

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When asked whether The Nationals had done anything she didn’t agree with, Cr Cadwallader said she couldn’t think of anything off the top of her head.

‘I’d have to have a look at what Kimberly’s actually proposing, to be honest,’ Cr Cadwallader said, ‘I don’t know whether I would endorse everything that Kimberly is standing for’.

‘I support women running for office,’ Cr Cadwallader said.

In her campaign ad, Ms Hone said she loved Cr Cadwallader’s ‘strong plan’ for the Ballina Shire and that ‘one issue raised’ during their meeting with Mr Littleproud was ‘already being resolved’.

The Echo asked Ms Hone to relay what she knew of Cr Cadwallader’s ‘strong plan’ and in a written statement she referred to a ‘vision’ focussed on ‘delivering better services, safer roads and ratepayer value for money’.

Ms Hone said she believed Cr Cadwallader was an ‘inspiration’ for the next generation of young people ‘who want to become positive, future focussed leaders of their community’.

Ballina mayor promises to push federal candidates for social housing

The mayor later confirmed her ‘strong plan’ revolved around ‘keeping on doing what we’re doing and doing it better’.

She listed flood mitigation, cycleways and walkways, roads, supporting businesses to create jobs, affordable housing, and social housing as her priorities for the Ballina Shire, with social housing her main concern.

The mayor hadn’t yet discussed federal social housing funds for the region with Ms Hone, she said, but planned to push the issue with all federal candidates for Richmond.

Ms Hone was yet to mention social housing as a campaign priority as of Tuesday, while Labor and The Greens have both mentioned housing in their federal campaigns.

As for the ‘one issue’ already being resolved after Mr Littleproud’s visit, Cr Cadwallader named drain blocakages in cane fields.

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  1. Honestly who can tell the difference Nats, Libs and Labor too similar. I want to know when we will get affordable, regular, decent public transport and safe commuter cycleways. Elliot ALP Fed and Provest Nat State are both gunnas as are all the shires. Their inaction forces everyone to drive polluting cars on potholled roads. The switch to electric is beyond most of us but some of the billions going to regions could be targeted at improving public transport.

    • Labor is nothing like the LNP, sadly people are being insidiously influenced by this trite rhetoric. Australia has had enough of the LNP, we won’t survive another term, but only Labor can form a cohesive and positive government.

  2. What a fake, an independent in name only. In the add the NATs candidate said she asked Barnaby and littleproud to inspect the flood damage. Does that mean they were not interested in coming beforehand. Says a lot about the moral fibre of the NATs, have to be dragged kicking and screaming to do anything like climate change.

    • Who gives a rats mate! After her efforts during the recents floods she should be mayor for life. And as long as my a… points to the ground, I’ll vote for her.

  3. Failed as a Nat, so she ran as an independent. People really do have short memories.

    Speaking of short memories, Mayor Cadwallader must have forgot about the corrupt, womanising federal leader of the party and the former deputy leader’s involvement in a lil’ bit of pork barrelling.

    But hey, it’s just someone defending a party they’re not in anymore. Nothing to see here.

  4. Is this the new Independent National Party?
    Looks the same at the Independents in Lismore!!!!
    As independent as Barnie Joyce.
    Makes you sick.

  5. As soon as we have a change of Govt Federal and State with proper funding for ICAC, we must introduce transparency and disclosure laws and make it a criminal offence for political party members to attempt to run in elections as “Independents”.
    I believe that all parties apart from the National party have strict bylaws that already make it impossible for a party member to run in any election as anything other than their affiliated party.

  6. The arrogance of this woman is astounding!

    She was invited to be a representative at a birth conference held in this area. I don’t know why she was invited because she stood at the back of the crowd while the welcome to country was given by an elder of Bundjalung Nation, talking loudly and most disrespectfully, oblivious to people asking her to be quiet. Later she was loudly laughing with a disgraced local obstetrician while a woman spoke about her birth trauma, again glared at this who asked her to be quiet and show respect. That she is a supporter of the National Party and then had the temerity to stand as an “Independent” says it all really. A sham of a woman. Destroyer.


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