17.6 C
Byron Shire
May 31, 2024

NSW election candidate Q&A for Ballina

Latest News

Kingscliff locals concerned over proposal to remove trees at Merve Edwards Fields for AFL

The potential of removing trees from the Merve Edwards Fields site at Kingscliff to accommodate the Kingscliff Junior AFL Club has raised concerns of locals and neighbours who say that this is not a proposal they support. 

Other News

MP Saffin clarifies claims around flood recovery

The office of Lismore Labor MP, Janelle Saffin, has made the claim that ‘No government, state or federal, has cut the funding promised for Resilient Homes and Resilient Land programs’ for 2022 flood recovery – see letters page 11.

Mullumbimby Moonshiners on the charge at home this weekend

The Mullumbimby Moonshiners Rugby Club is looking to get back into the winner’s circle when they play a string of home games starting with a fixture against Wollongbar Alstonville Rugby (WAR).

Ballina snooker tournament packed with quality competitors

The Southern Cross Classic 2024 annual snooker tournament will be held over the long weekend in June and it has attracted a full house of 48 entrants.

Elements of Byron’s intimate winemaker dinners start on 6 June

Elements of Byron are inviting local wine lovers to join them for an unforgettable journey through the world of...

Ballina adopts Corporate Emissions Reduction Plan

After an hour's debate, Ballina Shire Council voted to adopt its own Corporate Emissions Reduction Plan at its last meeting.

Local public hospitals deliver amid record demand

Public hospitals across Northern NSW Local Health District (NNSWLHD) continued to provide high quality, safe care throughout the first quarter of 2024, despite unprecedented demand for emergency care.

Candidates for the seat of Ballin ain the 2023 NSW state election.

 

 

 

Where do the candidates stand on policy and values? The following questions were put to all local candidates for the state election, to be held March 25. Candidates are listed as they will appear on the ballot.

Holiday letting

Do you support Council’s precinct proposal or supports the government’s intervention and decision after the IPC recommendations?

Peter Jenkins – Sustainable Australia Party

‘Yes. Local governments and owners corporations should be given more rights to impose restrictions on short-stay accommodation. Housing is a fundamental need and human right’.

Andrew Broadley – NSW Labor

‘Absolutely. The decision by the National Party to break yet another election promise and send this decision to the Planning Panel is a disgrace. Byron Shire residents were promised a 90-day option before the last election and have been let down yet again. Byron Council have undertaken significant community consultation in developing their proposal. The views of the community regarding the operation of STRA should be respected’.

Kevin Loughrey – Independent

‘Absolutely not. It is effectively the theft of private property.  Not only that, holiday rental brings wealth into our community. Fix the housing and rental shortage by creating more houses, not by robbing people of the use of their property to derive an income’.

Tamara Smith (incumbent) – Greens

‘Yes and I am on the public record supporting a cap model on countless occasions and it is embedded in Greens NSW housing and planning policies’.

Josh Booyens – NSW Nationals 

‘I will be supporting the outcomes of the Independent Planning Commission recommendations’.

Planning panels

NSW government appointed Planning Panels override elected Council decision making with large developments. Should decision making be returned to Councils and the panels abolished?

Andrew Broadley with Byron Bay lighthouse.
Labor candidate for the state electorate of Ballina, Andrew Broadley. Photo supplied.

Jenkins – SAP

‘Yes. We need to legislate to ensure that local planning policies and Council decisions cannot be overturned by State government-appointed ‘independent’ planning panels’.

Broadley – NSW Labor

‘The current planning system is too complex, and removes decision making from local communities. NSW Labor will build on the recommendations of the O’Kane and Fuller Flood Report, which called for simplifying the planning system, coordinating with councils and planning authorities, and ensuring flood planning is factored into future planning decisions’.

Loughrey – Independent

‘Yes, government should be as close as possible to the people it serves.  But there is a need for reform as to how Council elections are conducted’.

Smith – Greens

‘Yes’

Booyens – NSW Nationals 

No. But we do need effective representation working constructively and productively between all levels of government.

Flood planes

Do you support development on flood plains?

Jenkins – SAP

‘No. We should permanently ban new residential development or infill in flood-prone areas’.

Broadley – NSW Labor

‘No. NSW Labor will charge one Minister (instead of 5) with the responsibility of stopping further development on dangerous floodplains’.

Loughrey – Independent

‘Yes. It is possible to eradicate flooding and it is government’s duty to do so’.

Smith – Greens

‘No’.

Josh Booyens Nationals candidate for the state seat of Ballina

Booyens – NSW Nationals 

‘I support development that is appropriate and considered for its location. Sasha Mainsbridge from Mullum Cares is doing excellent work in creating awareness around flood resilient rebuilds – www.mullumcares.com.au’.

Floodplain legacies

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

Jenkins – SAP

‘Governments should enter in negotiation for land swaps and/or compensation in order to protect our society from greater costs in the future’.

Broadley – NSW Labor

‘Where there has been a re-zoning but no development application has been approved, then development controls should be tightened to prevent approval of any future DA’s. If a DA has already been approved, the Reconstruction Corporation should consider purchasing the property’.

Loughrey – Independent

‘Authoritarians love to order people around (always for their own good of course!).  People should be informed of the risks and then it is their decision’. 

Member for Ballina Tamara Smith. Photo David Lowe.

Tamara Smith (incumbent) – Greens

‘1. State govt conduct an audit of those DAs 2. Through the State Reconstruction Authority, assess and offer as many land buy backs as possible, because ultimately the short-term costs will blow out in future flood events, and it puts people in harm’s way. 

Booyens – NSW Nationals 

‘There is scope to work with the development applicants. No one wants to witness again the levels of destruction we have just lived through’.

State Significant Farmland

Should State Significant Farmland be preserved as farmland, not as future housing? 

Peter Jenkins – Sustainable Australia Party

‘Yes. We should impose a moratorium on planning rezoning for higher intensity uses that are not in the public interest, such as from rural conservation to farming, or farming to residential’.

Broadley – NSW Labor

‘Yes, a Labor government values significant farmland. We also plan to strengthen and secure the resilience of our Agriculture industry, by legislating and funding an Independent Biosecurity Commission, that will be headed by a new Biosecurity Commissioner who will provide independent advice and report to Parliament on an annual basis. We are going to direct $10 million to a good neighbour program to tackle weed and pest infestations on government land neighbours private property, which is a major issue for landholders in our area. And we have a plan to appoint a Dairy and Fresh Food Commissioner who will report to Parliament and hold the Government to account on delivering a sustainable dairy industry as well as supporting other fresh food producers’.

Independent Kevin Loughrey.

Loughrey – Independent

‘Yes. This is the basic function of planning and resultant zoning. It is good that there be farms close to urbanisation’.

Smith – Greens

‘Yes’.

Booyens – NSW Nationals 

‘State Significant Farmland should be reviewed in its entirety. The policy has merit, but in the right locations. No one has yet been able to clearly articulate to me what specific criteria, at the time of zoning, constitutes State Significant Farmland’.

Climate Change

Do you accept the science behind anthropogenic climate change – i.e. that burning fossil fuels releases CO2 which is causing global warming?

Jenkins – SAP

‘Yes. Sustainable Australia Party supports the science that humans are contributing to climate change. We must act on climate change and contribute to staying below 1.5 degrees global temperature rise compared to pre-industrial levels’.

Broadley – NSW Labor

‘Absolutely. Labor is the only party that can deliver real action on climate change. We will legislate a net zero by 2050 target to drive a whole of Government approach to climate change and create a new publicly owned electricity company to drive investment in renewable energy in regional NSW’.

Loughrey – Independent

‘No definitely not. It is fake science. Mankind’s emissions of CO2, methane and nitrous oxide do not appreciably affect the earth’s atmosphere. All raw (unadjusted by charlatans) data shows that CO2 et al have no appreciable effect’.

Smith – Greens 

‘Yes’

Josh Booyens – NSW Nationals: ‘Yes’

Logging native forests

Should NSW Parliament follow other states and stop logging of native forests?

Peter Jenkins – Sustainable Australia Party

‘Yes. We should impose a moratorium on all native forest logging given the huge loss of Australia’s native forests over the past 250 years’.

Broadley – NSW Labor

‘Labor is committed to effective climate action and native forests are an important store of carbon and habitat for a range of threatened species. Koalas in NSW are now listed as endangered. We have committed to creating a Great Koala National Park around Coffs Harbour and at the same time ensure there are no job losses. Labor will help save koalas from extinction by protecting key habitats and restoring environmental protections torn up by the Liberals and Nationals over the past 12 years. We will do this by supporting softwood and hardwood plantations across the state as well as through the construction of new trails and tourism infrastructure, effective fire and tree management, conservation, tourism facilities such as visitor centres in any newly reserved areas. We do need to move away from timber from native forests and ensure sufficient plantation timber sources are developed to support a transition plan that is able to supply materials for desperately needed housing and jobs for regional workers. Labor supports a process that involves the participation of relevant stakeholders including landowners, native title entities, the forestry industry, environment groups and workers and their representatives to reach agreement about the management of forests in the regions’.

Loughrey – Independent

‘No. Logging is absolutely essential to maintain the health of forests, maintain fire-breaks and fire-trails. It also derives employment and valuable income to rural communities’.

Tamara Smith (incumbent) – Greens: ‘Yes.’

Booyens – NSW Nationals 

‘No. NSW has some of the tightest logging regulations. If we shut down logging the construction industry will just go offshore to unsafe and unregulated sources of timber’.

Logging native forests – accountability

Should Forestry NSW be held more to account after being found to be logging venerable koala habitat? 

Sustainable Australia Party candidate Peter Jenkins

Jenkins – SAP

‘They should be forced to stop. Logging should avoid habitats of all threatened, vulnerable and endangered native species’.

Broadley – NSW Labor

‘Labor will act to protect Koalas and Koala habitat. Enforcement of the rules is just not good enough and fines are currently too low. This is something that Labor will fix in government’.

Loughrey – Independent

‘No. Koalas can be relocated while logging is taking place, and then returned once logging has moved onto another sector’.

Smith – Greens  

‘They should be forced to stop’.

Josh Booyens – NSW Nationals 

‘I support penalties commensurate with the law being broken’.

Flood reconstruction and govt oversight

Should the flood reconstruction corporations be taken away from the deputy premier’s department and become agencies so that they are subject to parliamentary and public scrutiny? Currently they exist without parliamentary oversight.

Jenkins – SAP

‘Yes. Sustainable Australia Party supports transparent governance, so we believe that the proposal to increase parliamentary and public scrutiny of flood reconstruction would be better served through a government agency’’.

Broadley – NSW Labor

‘Yes. There are too many government entities responsible for planning, flood recovery and reconstruction, and there is too much buck-passing and a lack of accountability’.

Loughrey – Independent

‘Yes. Transparency in government is good for probity’.

Smith – Greens

‘Yes. Nobody trusts the Nationals with this amount of taxpayers’ dollars’. 

Booyens – NSW Nationals 

‘I support giving the NRRC the powers it needs to cut through the red and green tape and getting on with flood reconstruction. I’m all for accountability and transparency, but right now the last thing people on the ground need is more bureaucracy’.

Drug law reform

Do you support the decriminalisation of cannabis?

Jenkins – SAP

‘Yes. We should treat personal drug use (and abuse) as primarily a health issue and so generally decriminalise personal drug use, while also providing needed support to users via well-funded rehabilitation programs’.

Broadley – NSW Labor

‘A NSW Labor Government will hold a drug summit in its first term to bring together health and medical experts, police, drug user organisations, families, and other stakeholders to build consensus on the way NSW deals with drugs, including cannabis. NSW needs a positive approach to drug policy after a decade of the Liberals and Nationals ignoring expert advice on addiction. The NSW Government sat on the report from the Special Commission of Inquiry into the Drug ‘Ice’ for almost two years, have failed to deliver a whole-of-government policy approach on drugs and alcohol, and have chronically underfunded critical treatment and prevention.

Kevin Loughrey – Independent

‘Not until the longterm health effects of its use are known’.

Tamara Smith (incumbent) – Greens

‘Yes’.

Josh Booyens – NSW Nationals 

‘I support the decriminalisation of small personal quantities of illicit drugs and moving to fines to free up our court system only if also supported by investment in health, rehabilitation, and drug awareness programs. I’ll also put on record I am in support of the research of drugs such as MDMA for the treatment of mental illnesses, including PTSD.

Rail trail/rail

Tweed and Lismore shires are well advanced with rail trails on the disused tracks.

While Byron Shire Council has pushed for a multi-use option, there is no funding for light rail projects. Council are also now progressing with plans for a bike trail that will use the corridor from Mullum to Vallances Road section to be used for that purpose.  

Do you support Byron Council’s multi-use option, or would you rather see the entire rail corridor in northern NSW become a rail trail?

Jenkins – SAP

‘SAP has no specific policy on this, but generally advocates for the expansion of state-based rail networks. At this point we would lean towards the multi-use option’.

Broadley – NSW Labor

‘This debate has gone on long enough and it is time to use the corridor before it rots away. The corridor must be kept in public hands. I support the proposals from Byron Council to use the rail corridor from Mullumbimby though to Valances Road for the bike path. A bike path between Mullumbimby, Brunswick Heads and Ocean Shores is a no brainer and was by far the most popular option when the public had their say. It is not viable to have multi use along the whole of the corridor, through tunnels and steep cutaways. There is already a train on part of the track, so any future proposal for the corridor will have to take this into account’.

Loughrey – Independent

‘For my generic views on rail, please see https://kevinloughrey.com.au/InlandRail/Thoughts.html. I don’t know enough about the local situation to give an informed opinion. If this is a major issue to my constituents, then I will research it and discuss it with my constituents at town hall meetings I plan to hold on a weekly basis’.

Smith – Greens

‘I support Byron Shire Council engaging properly with all constituents in Byron Shire on the issue to see where consensus is and going from there. We sedately need public transport and I support cycle tourism’. 

Booyens – NSW Nationals 

‘I’m committed to working with Byron and Ballina Councils on Rail Trail. If a feasibility study supports multi-use, let’s discuss it. But, if I were honest, we need stop kicking the can down the road and get on with our section of the Rail Trail, even if it means single trail’.

Bill of rights

Should NSW Parliament follow other states and adopt a NSW bill of rights?

Jenkins – SAP

‘SAP has no specific policy on this, but if elected we would consult broadly with the community and encourage a direct democracy engagement through a citizen jury or state-wide plebiscite to determine the outcome’.

Andrew Broadley – NSW Labor

‘NSW Labor will refer the Anti-Discrimination Act 1977 to the NSW Law Reform Commission for a holistic review. The NSW Anti-Discrimination Act in now 25-years old, and while ground-breaking in its day, it is no longer fit for purpose. The review will involve wide public consultation on the best way to modernise the law to ensure all people have the right to live free of discrimination’.

Loughrey – Independent

‘Yes. This is, in my view, essential and this should be incorporated as amendments to the Constitution of each state with the amendments being agreed by the citizens of that State by a Referendum’.

Tamara Smith (incumbent) – Greens

‘Yes’.

Booyens – NSW Nationals 

‘People are talking to me about housing, costs of living and flood recovery / mitigation. Bill of Rights is not one of my priorities’.

Police powers reform

Do you support the reinstatement of a Police Board, comprising business and community groups, that would provide guidance and advice on what police spend their budgets on?

For example, priorities may include addressing DV rather than random drug testing.

The Police Board was abolished some years ago, and now the NSW police operate with a ‘single line budget’, so they decide how they spend their budget. 

Jenkins – SAP

‘SAP has no specific policy on this, but if elected we would consult broadly with the community. We would take an evidence-based approach to policy’.

Andrew Broadley – NSW Labor

‘I do not have a view on the appropriateness of a Police Board and would have to hear more about it’.

Loughrey – Independent

‘Yes. It would do us good to look at the US system where local Sherrifs are elected’.

Smith – Greens

‘Yes’.

Booyens – NSW Nationals 

‘No. We don’t need more boards and bureaucracies. An effective and engaged local member should be feeding back community sentiment to the leaders within NSW Police to help guide priorities’.

Casino incinerator

Do you or your party support the NSW Government Policy and Protection of the Environment Operations (General) Amendment (Thermal Energy from Waste) Regulation 2022, which allows a thermal waste incinerator to be built in the Richmond Valley Job Precinct Casino?

If yes, what is your personal or party policy on thermal waste incineration.

If no, what is your personal or party policy on waste management.

Jenkins – SAP

‘No. Firstly, we should significantly reduce Australia’s waste production, and increase our recycling and energy recycling through a circular economy. Australia should transition to a zero-waste society as soon as practicable including through better product designs and standards to reduce materials used a usage. We should phase out products that can not be recycled, repaired or re-used’.

‘In terms of the proposed thermal waste incinerator, we are also concerned at the lack of transparency and community consultation and therefore do not support such a project until proper process has been implemented in this regard’.

Broadley – NSW Labor

‘Waste to energy proposals should only proceed where there is no other viable recycling or processing option. The Casino thermal waste incinerator should not proceed’. 

Loughrey – Independent

‘Please see https://kevinloughrey.com.au/Waste2Energy/Concept.html  This is a vital Defence issue and addresses an environmental issue as well in that it is bad practice to bury rubbish because of the possibility of ground water contamination’.

Smith – Greens

‘The Greens have long opposed thermal incineration. It is just too risky for health and the environment’.

Booyens – NSW Nationals

‘As far as I’m aware there is currently no application before Richmond Valley Council. This is a question for the Member and candidates for Clarence.

The NSW Government released a new Energy from Waste Infrastructure Plan, which recognises that thermal treatment of waste will form part of the future solution for managing residual waste in NSW. However, I don’t believe thermal waste incineration to be compatible with environmental ideals of most people in the Ballina electorate’.

 

Ends


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.

4 COMMENTS

  1. As a member of the nats surely Boyan knows the importance of farmland and the importance of state significant farmland but then, being a nat, they have given up on agriculture( despite their rhetoric) and depend more on development and mining.

  2. It’s been very obvious for a long time Ballina is in desperate need of change from the erratic and underperforming Greens, and don’t even pretend to entertain the pork-barrelling and Neolithic Nationals; we need an adult MP who has a voice in Govt, in the form of Andrew Broadley and Labor, don’t waste your precious vote on the rest of the hopeless field.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Ballina Council to look into making tiny homes accessible 

The idea of living in a tiny home can seem like a simple solution to our housing crisis – but getting council approvals for a permanent tiny home on private land can be challenging. 

Council staff to look at limiting bulk and scale in Wategos  

A motion by Cr Sarah Ndiaye (Greens) to amend the LEP to reduce the building height limits in the Wategos residential area from 9m to 8m was unsuccessful at last Thursday’s Council meeting. 

Is this the next Bentley? New doco highlights value of Clarence River amid mining proposal

Mining plans for the region were discovered by two locals as they paddled down the Clarence River near Grafton. The question is what does it mean for the future of the Northern Rivers?

Editorial – Mining is back, baby! 

Nearly ten years ago in 2015, junior coal seam gas miner Metgasco was paid out handsomely – $25m of your tax money – after its approval to frack Bentley was fiercely fought off by thousands of well-organised protesters. But now they are back...