NSW MP Tamara Smith (Greens) has defended a political post on Facebook by Nationals candidate Josh Booyens.
Booyens claims Smith was dishonest with her response when asked at the recent meet the candidates evening why she didn’t live in her own electorate.
Ms Smith has mortgages for her home in Lismore Heights and also two units in Alstonville.
During the debate, Smith said she couldn’t afford to live in her own electorate, to which Booyens responded.
Ms Smith told The Echo, ‘When I was elected in 2015, I had never owned a property. I experienced the full gamut of the stress of renting in Byron and Ballina as a single mum with pets, and the limited income of a teacher’s salary. The day I won the election, I was living in a garage in Suffolk Park, and paying $400 per week rent for the pleasure.’
‘A year after I was elected, I bought a small unit in Alstonville to live in, and two years later, I had saved enough for a deposit on the unit opposite that was for sale. I rented the unit to local workers and made a public pledge to never to rent it out as a Short Term Holiday Let.
‘Fast forward to 2021, and I needed a larger place to accommodate my family.
‘I assumed with a small amount of equity and a second term as an MP, I could get a loan to buy a suitable home to accommodate my family’s needs in my electorate.
‘Like so many single-income earners, the banks set a maximum amount that I could borrow that did not come close to buying a house in either Byron or Ballina Shire. So I looked further and further west and was very privileged to be able to buy a house just outside the electorate that met the needs of my family.
She added, ‘I’m incredibly proud to be a member of a political party that stands for reforms in housing that are not in my own self-interest. I am not ashamed to live 10km outside of my electorate, because for the last eight years, I have spent six days a week either in my electorate, or in parliament, advocating for our community’.
Booyens’ online comment attracted 19 comments and ten shares as of Monday March 20, all critical of Smith. Ballina councillor, Kiri Dicker, however, wrote: ‘People hate seeing politicians trash talk each other. It just looks desperate’.
The Josh, he ain’t having a great time of late.
The Josh was busy defending his mob and its ‘checks and balances Pork Barrelling’, which didn’t play too well, so go Plan B, go at the Tamara, which hasn’t gone any better.
Perhaps the Josh should just shut it. The more he opens his gob, the less smarter he makes himself look.
I have the video recording of the answer that Tamara gave on the Q & A night , it gave the impression that in 2023 she couldn’t afford to live in her electorate.
In 2016 and again in 2017 she bought 2 investment properties in Alstonville that she could easily have moved into to be living in her electorate. Porkies spoken on the night too appease the crowd on the night .
Tamara is a true blue politician now , avoiding the truth when asked .
So since becoming a Greens MP you now own three properties ? Wow. Good career move indeed. Lets hope your.affordable housing plan sits comfortable with that.