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February 29, 2024

Meet the Ballina electorate candidates! Byron Theatre, March 15

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Sitting member fot Ballina MP Tamara Smith by the Richmond River in Ballina. Photo David Lowe.

The Greens, Labor or The Nationals: who will win your vote for the state seat of Ballina next month? 

Could it even be a minor party or an Independent?

NSW Nationals candidate for Ballina, Joshua Booyens, looking to the future. Photo David

The NSW coalition government (Liberal-Nationals) have been in power for twelve years, but its grasp has weakened in recent years without a majority in the upper house (The Legislative Council). 

To pass laws in NSW, both the upper and lower houses need a majority vote.

Throw in the likes of a corruption inquiry, a long list of premier resignations, admissions of pork-barrelling and anger over government responses to catastrophic bushfires, the pandemic and last year’s floods and landslides, and the challenge for Premier Dominic Perrottet seems enormous. 

That’s before terms like ‘koala kill bill’ and ‘housing crisis’ are even mentioned. 

Lismore teacher, Andrew Broadley, has been announced as the NSW Labor candidate for Ballina. Photo supplied

But if any of those listed events concern you, how inspired are you by Labor’s alternative? Do you even know the opposition leader’s name? (It’s Chris Minns). 

Perhaps you’re still haunted by memories of Labor cash donations stuffed in Aldi shopping bags. The Greens haven’t escaped scandal either: remember MP Jeremy Buckingham? 

In the seat of Ballina, which encompasses Byron and Ballina shires, MP Tamara Smith has won the past two state elections after the retirement of long-serving Nationals member, Don Page.  

So far, Ms Smith is challenged in 2023 by three newcomers, Josh Booyens for The Nationals, and Andrew Broadley for Labor. Independent, Kevin Loughrey, has announced his intentions to run – see page 7. So far, no minor party has registered to run for the electorate – but that could change. 

Independent Kevin Loughrey.

The March 25 election is also a good opportunity to scrub up on your knowledge of what powers the federal, state and local governments have. While all three levels of government share responsibilities, the state government is largely responsible for education, health, police, roads and infrastructure.

Once again, your local independent media, BayFM 99.9 and The Echo, have joined forces to host Ballina: Meet the Candidates, on March 15 in the Byron Theatre from 6pm. This free, live-broadcast event is a chance for you to hear from each candidate as they introduce themselves and answer questions from the public. 

Email [email protected] with your full name, which town or village you live in within the Ballina electorate, and the group or interest you represent, if you would like a chance to ask a question live. 

Tickets available via www.byroncentre.com.au

Mia Armitage is from BayFM’s Community Newsroom and will moderate the evening.

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  1. We’ll all soon have even more time to remember Jeremy Buckingham.
    Since he has been preselected as top of the Legalise Cannabis upper house ticket he will almost certainly be re-entering the NSW parliament come the election in March.


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