Ballot drawn for Tweed election
IT MAY not have had the same level of excitement as the barrier draw for the Melbourne Cup but for candidates contesting the Seat of Tweed in the upcoming NSW State Election, the interest in the ballot draw was just as intense.
Held at the Tweed Electoral Office at Tweed Heads South, the draw was supervised by Tweed electoral manager Joanne Fisher in front of candidates Craig Elliot and Bill Fenelon and incumbent Geoff Provest.
The names were dropped into the ballot draw container in order of candidates nominating, with Country Labor's Craig Elliot first and Nationals' Geoff Provest last.
For Mr Elliot, it may have been an omen, with him drawing the No.1 position on the ballot paper followed by Susie Hearder from the Animal Justice Party, the Nationals' Geoff Provest, Ronald McDonald from the Sustainable Australia Party and Greens candidate Bill Fenelon.
For Labor candidate Mr Elliot, the top spot on the ballot paper was secondary to what voters would be deciding on polling day, March 23.
"It will be all about issues that will influence voters' decisions on election day, not where you sit on the ballot paper," he said.
"The Nationals have long neglected the Tweed and only now are trying to show their interest.
"I am looking forward to the challenge and will be out and about when pre-polling starts on March 11."
For sitting member Mr Provest, the election would be about the provision of services, especially health in the form of Tweed Valley Hospital.
"We are investing $534 million in a new hospital, which we will have up and running by 2023," Mr Provest said.
"The government is looking at providing new schools, more police and delivering on services now and into the future.
"I have fought long and hard for the people of Tweed and look forward to continuing to do so. I go by our record of achievement - that's what is important, not where you sit on the ballot paper."
The Greens' Mr Fenelon has a philosophical approach to the ballot draw, which saw him in fifth spot on the paper.
"I never have done any good in raffles so it doesn't surprise me," he said.
"It doesn't mater what order you are on the ballot paper, it's up to the voters to decide in what order they allocate their vote.
"I may do well from those voters who start at the bottom - I just hope the Tweed voters weigh up what's important to them when they cast their vote."
Ms Header from the Animal Justice Party and Mr McDonald from the Sustainable Australia Party did not attend the draw.