Find out here: Top three priorities for Ballina candidates
CANDIDATES for the seat of Ballina are promising to deliver a wide range of commitments if they're elected at the NSW State Election on March 23.
The four candidates - Tamara Smith, Ben Franklin, Asren Pugh and Cathy Blasonato - are promising to deliver better action on issues that matter to the community, including climate change, frontline services and the Richmond River.
Here's what each candidate has at the top of their priority list:
Greens candidate Tamara Smith
- Climate Change and Renewable Energy policy - The Greens have a target of 100 per cent renewables by 2030 for NSW and a detailed roadmap on how to get there will create thousands of jobs, reduce energy bills and cut carbon emissions.
- The Richmond River, which today is the one of the unhealthiest in the State, needs urgent action and real money invested to return the it to its former glory. The Greens are taking a 10-year Revive the River plan to this election that will end the blame game, restore the health of the river, assist farmers and create jobs.
- Public Transport - The Greens want public transport services returned to the Northern Rivers so that people have the freedom to get around and connect with one another.
Nationals candidate Ben Franklin
- Delivering community projects is a key priority for the current Member of the NSW Legislative Council, who has worked to deliver major infrastructure like the Ballina Indoor Sports Stadium and Byron Bypass to supporting local groups and sporting clubs.
- Supporting an innovative local economy to foster local and sustainable avenues for employment and innovation.
- Protecting our region by fighting to stop inappropriate development in our community or opposing the water extraction proposal on the plateau.
Labor candidate Asren Pugh
- Labor will put full permanent firefighters into Ballina, more nurses into Ballina and Byron hospitals, build a new ambulance station at Alstonville, recruit additional police and we will fix our local roads.
- Labor will build enough renewable energy to power every home in NSW to replace coal fired power, we will subsidise rooftop solar for 500,000 homes, tackle climate change, reverse deforestation and fix the Richmond River.
- I want to make sure my children can afford to live and study here when they grow up. Labor will re-regulate the electricity retailers to bring down power prices and increase rights for renters. We will make TAFE free.
Animal Justice Party candidate Cathy Blasonato
- The first priority for the AJP is to establish and Office for Animal Welfare and separate animal welfare from the Department of Agriculture.
- The second priority is land clearing legislation. NSW is currently clearing land faster than any other state, resulting in loss of habitat for many native species. We would like to see a ban on new developments on land inhabited by koalas and creation of new national parks.
- The third priority is legislation to ban battery hen cages. For too long the state government has bowed to pressure from battery egg producers, resulting in degraded definition of 'free range'. Battery cages are cruel and inhumane and it's time to make them illegal.