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March 21, 2023

Election 2023 – Tweed: Craig Elliot

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Craig Elliot is running for the seat of Tweed on behalf of Labor. Photo supplied

Long-term resident Craig Elliot is running for the seat of Tweed in the 2023 elections. He ran for Labor in the 2019 election coming in second for the two-party preferred vote behind sitting Nationals member Geoff Provest. Mr Elliot would need at least a five per cent swing in his favour to win.

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

We need a fresh start for Tweed, and that’s something Geoff Provest and his boss Dominic Perrottet can’t give us. Our area needs a Tweed Labor MP so we can have a strong voice in a new, energetic Minns Government. After 12 years in power the Liberals and Nationals have had their chance – they’re just a tired old government.

Labor has positive and fresh plans to address the cost-of-living crisis, the housing emergency, resuscitate our health system and rebuild our health workforce, to recruit and retain more teachers, and to repair the damage caused by 12 years of the Liberals and Nationals’ privatisation. 

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

I have lived in Tweed for more than 25 years with my wife Justine, [who is the Federal MP for the seat of Richmond] and we have raised our now two adult children Alex and Joe on the North Coast.

I am an electrician by trade, a former frontline police officer and currently employed as a Superintendent in Corrective Services. I hold a Bachelor of Counter Terrorism, Security and Intelligence, and I have a wealth of experience across senior public sector management and government delivery. 

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

Tweed has a clear choice in this election, and we need a fresh start with Chris Minns and Labor. I’ll be a strong voice in a Minns Labor Government delivering for our community.

On the cost-of-living crisis, a Minns Labor Government will establish a $1 billion state-owned energy security company to deliver lower electricity prices. As part of his team, we will invest in renewable storage such as pumped hydro, community batteries and other commercially viable technologies to ensure grid stability.

Skyrocketing power bills are a direct result of the privatisation madness undertaken by Geoff Provest and his boss Dominic Perrottet. Geoff Provest’s part in selling off the electricity network is driving soaring electricity bills hurting Tweed residents. 

Labor will scrap the Liberals and Nationals unfair public sector wages cap. Locals know that we don’t have enough teachers in our schools or health workers in our hospitals because essential workers are leaving Tweed jobs for better pay and conditions in Queensland. If we don’t scrap the wages cap, Tweed will not have the skilled workforce to meet the growing needs of locals.

In health, Labor will introduce minimum and enforceable safe staffing levels to public hospitals, recruit an additional 1,200 nurses and midwives and fund an extra 500 paramedics in regional communities including Tweed.

Only a Minns Labor Government will save our four schools at Murwillumbah from closure by the Nationals, we will build a new high school at Pottsville and will further support our teachers by converting 10,000 casual teachers to permanent roles, cut admin hours for teachers by five hours per week and restrict the use of mobile phones in all NSW public schools to reduce distraction, cyberbullying and improve education outcomes.

Our Labor plans will support NSW TAFE to deliver the long-term strategies needed to resolve the state-wide skills shortage, starting with a guarantee that a minimum of 70 per cent of total skills funding will go to TAFE. This will provide TAFE with the financial stability and certainty it needs to flourish and return to providing quality education.

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

After 12 years in power the Liberals and Nationals are just a tired old government. Geoff Provest and his boss Dominic Perrottet’s unfair and harsh laws have hurt our community. NSW needs a fresh start and new plans with a Minns Labor Government. 

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

It is increasingly clear that we cannot continue to develop and build in flood-prone areas, and risk putting more people in harm’s way. A Minns Labor Government will draft new rules, streamline planning processes and work with communities and local councils to ensure soundness of future developments. 

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?

The current NSW government’s short term rental accommodation laws need to be reworked to ensure locals have a say on the way their community wants to manage these types of challenges. Rather than some Sydney-based bureaucrat making decisions without consultation, I believe local solutions from the community need to be prioritised to ensure liveability in our local towns and villages into the future.

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