Meet the candidates for the seat of Richmond in the next federal election.
Meet the candidates for the seat of Richmond in the next federal election. Trevor Veale

Richmond electorate: Who's who in the political zoo

AS voters prepare to head to the polls in six weeks to vote in the federal election, we take a look at the local candidates hoping to secure the most votes to become the next Member for Richmond.

The federal election of the 46th Australian Parliament will be held Saturday, May 18.

To nominate as a candidate the lodgement of nomination period for both House of Representatives and Senate candidates closes occurs at exactly midday on Tuesday, April 23.

The electorate of Richmond covers an area from the New South Wales/Queensland border in the north to Ballina and Pimlico in the south.

The main towns include Ballina, Bangalow, Brunswick Heads, Burringbar, Byron Bay, Hastings Point, Kingscliff, Lennox Head, Mullumbimby, Murwillumbah, Suffolk Park, and Tweed Heads.

Tally room assessment: Richmond is still a marginal seat, even though Labor has held on here for well over a decade. The Greens also have ambitions of winning this seat. They are still some way off overtaking Labor or the Nationals but are worth watching.

 

Member for Richmond Justine Elliot
Member for Richmond Justine Elliot Scott Powick

Labor - Justine Elliot (incumbent)

The former police officer has held the seat of Richmond since winning office in 2004. The electorate traditionally included Tweed and Byron Shires and part of Ballina Shire as far south as Lennox Head, but prior to the 2016 was expanded to include the town of Ballina (formerly part of Page). Richmond was a fairly safe Labor seat, but at the last election Elliot suffered a 4 per cent swing against her and the seat now considered marginal. Before becoming a Federal MP, Elliot also worked as a Youth Justice Convenor with the NSW Department of Juvenile Justice.

 

Nationals candidate for Richmond Matthew Fraser.
Nationals candidate for Richmond Matthew Fraser. Contributed

Nationals - Matthew Fraser

It will be the third time Mr Fraser has contested the seat after he ran in both 2013 and 2016 but lost to current Labor MP Justine Elliot. The Tweed Heads businessman owns Hungry Jacks in Tweed Heads South and also operates a range of international retail and distribution businesses. Mr Fraser has been vocal on social media in recent months on Labor policies and promises, including the debate over the re-location of the Tweed Hospital.

 

Green's candidate for Richmond, Michael Lyon
Green's candidate for Richmond, Michael Lyon Contributed

Greens - Michael Lyon

The 44-year-old has been a Byron Shire Councillor since 2016, when he was elected as part of the Greens ticket on a platform of supporting local sustainable agriculture and a chemical-free shire. He was heavily involved on the committee of the last Richmond Campaign as Treasurer, which saw a swing of 5 per cent to the Greens. He holds a Bachelor degrees in Law and Commerce and a CIMA professional qualification. He has been the General Manager of Santos Organics for the last six years, and turned the company which was near bankruptcy into a thriving not-for-profit and community hub for sustainable living.

United Australia Party - Hamish Mitchell

As a small business owner operating in asbestos removal, demolition and remediation, Mr Mitchell is running as a UAP candidate after he lost faith in the major parties. His candidate profile on the United Australia Party stated he "is fed up with present day politics which seems to be more about self-preservation than serving the people." Originally from Victoria, Mr Mitchell has lived in the Richmond electorate since 1997 and enjoys acting, cricket, AFL, athletics and golf.