Murwillumbah Local Court House.
Murwillumbah Local Court House. Scott Powick

Labor hits back at Nationals over Mur'bah courthouse

COUNTRY Labor candidate Janelle Saffin has hit back at Lismore MP Thomas George after he accused her of "scaremongering” over the Murwillumbah Court House.

Mr George was joined by Attorney-General Mark Speakman at Lismore Courthouse last week where he restated the NSW Government's commitment to providing registry services at Murwillumbah Courthouse.

"Labor needs to stop scaremongering and playing politics with the community's safety,” he said.

Nationals Candidate for Lismore Austin Curtin, NSW Attorney General Mark Speakman and Lismore MP Thomas George are pleased the Murwillumbah Courthouse registery will remain open.
Nationals Candidate for Lismore Austin Curtin, NSW Attorney General Mark Speakman and Lismore MP Thomas George at Lismore Courthouse last week. Contributd

The comments came after Ms Saffin previously accused Mr George of slashing services and jobs at the Murwillumbah Courthouse and NSW Firearms Registry.

However, Ms Saffin hit back, demanding the Nationals make their intentions for the Murwillumbah courthouse clear.

"It's a bit sad and a bit ironic that they chose to drag the NSW Attorney-General onto the steps of the Lismore Courthouse in order to offer the meaningless and inappropriate comment that 'the doors will remain open at the Murwillumbah Courthouse Registry services',” she said.

"What does this mean?”

Ms Saffin said the Nationals had "plenty of form” in attempting to make cuts to services including Murwillumbah TAFE, the NSW Firearms Registry and the nurse-to-patient ratio at the Murwillumbah hospital.

Labor candidate for Page Janelle Saffin
Country Labor candidate for Lismore Janelle Saffin. Contributed

"Let them be upfront about their intentions and let them make those intentions specific and clear and let them make their announcements in Murwillumbah, not on the steps of the Lismore Courthouse at the other end of the electorate,” she said.

"Local advocates made enough noise to prevent the complete closure by the Berejiklian Government of the Murwillumbah Courthouse, but Murwillumbah is still left with drastically reduced services.

"So don't accuse me of scaremongering.”

But Nationals candidate for Lismore Austin Curtin said keeping essential services like the courthouse and hospital in Murwillumbah were his number one priorities.

"The average clearance rate at Murwillumbah for January to May 2018 was approximately 103 per cent,” he said, referring to the courthouse.

"I will ensure registry staff and operating hours are maintained.”

The NSW state seat of Lismore includes Murwillumbah and surrounds.