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Byron Shire
June 18, 2024

Election 2023 – Clarence: Richard Williams

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Richard Williams is running as the Nationals representative for the seat of Clarence. Photo supplied

Richard Williams, a broadcaster on Radio 2GF in Grafton, is running as the Nationals’ candidate for the seat of Clarence.

What is your big number one issue that you’re looking at going into this election?

Helping reduce cost of living pressures for household budgets. The NSW Nationals in government has invested billions in rebates to help cost of living pressures and I want to ensure we continue to help people as much as possible. I am also focused on continuing to invest in local health infrastructure/services and local roads, as well as affordable housing measures.

What is your background – what did you study or train for? What skills do you bring to this?

I’ve lived and worked all my life in the electorate. Being a broadcaster at Radio 2GF for the last 32 years I’ve listened and heard the issues that are important to us as a community. I was also Mayor of Clarence Valley council for eight years and I bring knowledge of how governments work.

What is your current job?

Broadcaster with Radio 2GF Grafton

Why is it important to you that you’re in Parliament?

Because I live and breathe our community. I understand what our community needs, and I have the drive and passion to ensure we continue to get our fair share. The NSW Nationals are the only party that is truly focused on putting regional people first. Not Western Sydney.

Looking at New South Wales Parliament at the moment what is the thing that frustrates you the most?

Decisions that are made in the city without fully understanding what it means for the bush. That is why it is so important the NSW Nationals have a seat at the table. 

Do you support building on floodplains?

This is a pretty open-ended question. All buildings? Most of our historical development is built on the floodplain and that requires better planning and flood mitigation investment. I don’t support development in high-risk areas. Flood mitigation and planning is an important key to the future.

How would you address the issue of legacy floodplain approvals (developments that have been approved but not yet built, that are on floodplains)?

This is a very complex issue. As we learnt during the ‘lock the gate’ campaign property rights do matter and are important to people. I would hope that local councils have a good knowledge of high-risk areas on the floodplain. Ensuring the flood studies and plans are updated with the latest data available is an important start. Of course, this all plays into the housing issues we are facing right across the region.

Do you consider that the current NSW government’s Short Term Rental Accommodation laws (STRA) has contributed to the current housing crisis and would you advocate for local councils to regain control over STRA?

I would personally like to see more limits placed on STRA as I do believe it has placed more stress on the long-term housing market. I’m not convinced putting control in local councils’ hands is the answer as policies could become too inconsistent.

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