Handing the democracy sausages out at Banora Point High School are Michael and Lee-Anne Rice
Handing the democracy sausages out at Banora Point High School are Michael and Lee-Anne Rice Scott Powick

Federal Election 2019: Your guide to voting in Richmond

THE sausages are sizzling once again as voters head to the polls to this time decide who will lead the electorate of Richmond.

Covering the area from Tweed Heads down to Ballina, the Richmond electorate has been held by Labor since 2004.

Incumbent Labor MP Justine Elliot will like her chances of retaining the seat with a Tweed Daily News poll and pre-polling showing she is very much the overwhelming favourite.

But the seat is marginal, and Greens candidate Michael Lyon and Nationals candidate Matthew Fraser will be watching eagerly in what could be a tight race to the finish line.

Not sure where to vote? Here is your complete list of polling locations.

And in case you're unsure of who to vote for, we asked each candidate why you should vote for them.

Justine Elliot,

Labor

 

Labor MP Justine Milne believes the budget does not rectify errors made by the government over the last six years.
Justine Elliot. Contributed

AS YOUR local Labor MP, I'm always fighting to make sure we get our fair share from Canberra and I'm proud to have delivered more than $2 billion for local roads, schools, health and community resources.

On Saturday, May 18 I'm asking for your vote so that Labor can form government to get our country back on track.

Labor has a Fair Go Action Plan that puts people first so every community has quality public schools and hospitals.

We will ease the pressure on family budgets and we'll end the Medicare freeze as well as give tax breaks to workers and stop the cuts to penalty rates.

We'll take real action on climate change and renewable energy and help push energy prices down and we'll build a strong economy that works for all of us.

Labor will also invest $2.4 billion in a pensioner dental plan so local pensioners can access $1000 worth of free essential dental care, covered by Medicare, every two years.

Labor will deliver a fair go for all Australians. In contrast, the Liberals and Nationals are out of touch and their cuts, chaos and disunity have hurt our community.

Matthew Fraser,

Nationals

 

Nationals candidate for Richmond Matthew Fraser.
Matthew Fraser. Contributed

MY wife and I have been in small business for over 20 years and having been actively involved in the community - supporting local sports teams and animal welfare charities - has been given me a true understanding of the everyday issues that concern people.

As a National, my main focus is making sure the people of regional communities don't miss out, and aren't forgotten by the city-centric parties. I'm absolutely proud of the great infrastructure projects The Nationals have delivered over the years, but I'm passionate about giving young people their first job, having safe and secure communities for our families and making sure this continues to be the best place in Australia to live, work and relax.

Talking to people around the region, they're concerned about Labor's retiree tax that will take money out of seniors' pockets.

The Nationals have released some very positive announcements including a new Cancer Treatment Centre in Tweed Heads and a $503.1 million Youth Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan that is the largest suicide prevention strategy in Australia's history. It will ensure that government activities are co-ordinated, services are delivered to young Australians at risk and support is available for friends and families.

Michael Lyon,

Greens

 

Greens candidate for Richmond Michael Lyons
Michael Lyon. Scott Powick

I'VE lived in this community for 10 years and until recently was the general manager of local business Santos Organics, which when I started seven years ago was a for-profit enterprise that was effectively bankrupt.

I took the reins and united staff, shareholders and the community around a common purpose, overseeing a transformation of the business to a not-for-profit social enterprise that now donates up to $100,000 per year to local and national environmental causes.

I was elected to Byron Shire Council in 2016, became Deputy Mayor in 2018 and have been in the role of Acting Mayor since February.

I'm running because I'm an honest, intelligent and dependable person who works hard for our community and the health of our planet. Both major parties are conflicted and continually put the interests of their big corporate donors ahead of us.

We need a new breed of politician who will work for us instead of big corporations, someone who is an adult in the room and prepared to make the right calls on climate action, with the vision to know the cost of inaction will be far greater.

Ray Karam,

Independent

 

Ballina Shire Council mayoral candidate Ray Karam
Ray Karam.

RAY Karam is a renowned Northern Rivers based business owner, former president and board member of the Ballina Chamber of Commerce and also the Lismore Chamber of Commerce and a former police officer.

Community life and relationships to people and their well-being are central to all Ray's projects and businesses.

He is the owner operator of Nourish Bulk Health Organic in the Wigmore Arcade in central Ballina, the owner operator of In-Detail Car Cleaning which centres around Ballina, Byron Bay and beyond but is mobile within the whole Northern Rivers and the owner operator of Nourish Distributors NSW, the distribution arm of the highly successful retail store.

With his wife Sarah he is also a partner in the The Belle General Cafe on Shelly Beach. Most recently he was instrumental in bringing a new venture, Belle Central, to Ballina which opened its doors in April 2016 also in the Wigmore Arcade opposite Nourish Bulk Health Organic.

He stood for Local Government election for Ballina in 2016 and remains committed to represent people.

Ray is running as an independent for the Federal seat of Richmond. With key focusses on the environment, small business, social media and health, all Ray's values and policies are based on a common sense and sustainable approach to the needs of the people on the ground.

Ronald McDonald,

Sustainable Australia

 

Ronald McDonald
Ronald McDonald

I'M Ron McDonald of Banora Point, your Sustainable Australia candidate for Richmond. I am a retired Telecommunications Technical Officer and was drawn to the Sustainable Australia Party's policies because of the unsustainable direction many decisions of past and present governments are taking Australia.

Sustainable Australia is an independent community based party from the sensible centre. Our main focus in this election is better planning to stop over-development. The first step to achieve this is to reduce population pressure by lowering immigration from a record 200,000+pa back to the long-term average of 70,000pa - on a non-discriminatory basis.

This would then allow the government to distribute a fair share of funding to our region instead of allocating it to play catch up with city infrastructure.

If secure jobs, affordable housing, better planning and a sustainable environment are important to you then please vote 1 Sustainable Australia.

Morgan Cox,

Christian Democratic Party

 

Christian Democratic Party Candidate Morgan Cox.
Christian Democratic Party Candidate Morgan Cox.

LITTLE is known about Christian Democratic Party candidate Morgan Cox, who was nowhere to be seen when leader Fred Nile visited Ballina last week.

Local campaign co-ordinator David Felsch admitted not much was known about Mr Cox.

"We don't know a real lot about him," he said.

"I can't offer you anything in depth about him.

"We know he's a devoted Christian and he has made himself available to be on the paper.

"I know that he's a family man with a couple of kids."

While Mr Cox's own policies remain a mystery, the party's policies include zero tolerance for domestic violence and child pornography, and freedom of speech and religion.

Others includes the removal of "Safe School" transgender programs from Australian schools, Pro Life - no abortion and no euthanasia.

The party also support traditional marriage, One Law - No Sharia Law and Sharia Courts, an increased intake of Christian refugees, an increase in police numbers, increases in drought relief for farmers and affordable housing.

It claims to be the only party in parliament with Christian values.

Hamish Mitchell,

United Australia Party

 

Hamish Mitchell.
Hamish Mitchell. Contributed

AS WE enter the election, we are faced with an important decision at a national and regional level that could potentially change the viability and stability of our regional economy long into the future.

We need to vote with our head and not our heart and inject leadership and direction into our region. We need to ensure we are not influenced by the negative commentary surrounding the other parties and their candidates. I am only influenced by the policies that are structured and built on common sense for the growth and development of our region and our citizens.

The United Australia Party policies are built on grassroots politics, with business, people and families at the forefront of our agenda, not profits.

Building our security, infrastructure, employment, education and health care, reducing tax and driving our economy with much-needed funding for our industry, farmers and retirees - these are the key focus points of my commitment to you.

We cannot afford another four years of neglect in our region and we cannot afford a weak candidate in Canberra.

Tom Barnett,

Involuntary Medication Objectors

 

STEPPING UP: Tom Barnett, the Involuntary Medical Objectors Party's candidate in the northern NSW electorate of Richmond, expects good support from voters in Mullumbimby and Byron Bay.
Tom Barnett.

WHILE facing ecological and economic collapse, human rights are being eroded at an alarming rate. People are becoming apathetic towards the bigger parties and we're seeing a rise in popularity of the independents and smaller parties.

Despite being incorrectly labelled as an "anti-vaxxer", I'm standing for our rights to choose what we do with our bodies. Giving our freedoms away to a government that serves corporate interests and not the common person will later be regretted by everyone. People should vote for me because I don't bow down to coercion or corruption, and don't appreciate the lies and agendas in politics. If I'm willing to stand for the most contentious of issues, you can bet I'll stand for anything else that threatens our basic human rights.

I've helped people overcome physical and mental health conditions as a practitioner, and am all for sustainability, having worked on organic farms. Our party's policies support a healthy internal and external environment, by saying no to forced medications (but supporting the right to have vaccines, fluoride and any other medication via informed consent), looking into the erosion of natural health therapy choices, supporting sustainable environmental policies, and less government intervention into the lives and business of Australian citizens. A vote for me is a vote for your personal rights and freedoms.

Stay tuned to the Tweed Daily News as we bring you election updates throughout the day.