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2013 Federal Election guide to the seat of Page

THE federal seat of Page covers an area of approximately 16,143sq km from Yamba in the south to Ballina in the north on the coastal side, and from Hernani in the south to the Queensland border on the inland side.

The main towns include Alstonville, Ballina, Casino, Evans Head, Grafton, Iluka, Kyogle, Lismore and Yamba.

The main industries are dairy and beef cattle, pigs, maize, tropical fruit, sugar cane, fishing, prawning, oysters, butter and dairy factories, timber mills, several abattoirs and tourism.

The Division is named after Rt Hon Sir Earle Page, the first leader of the Country Party of Australia and the caretaker Prime Minister of Australia after the death of Joseph Lyons in 1939.

Originally, much of its current territory (including Page's home of Grafton) was located in neighboring Cowper.

 

Link to larger electoral map for the Northern Rivers seat of Page

 

THE CANDIDATES

Incumbent: Janelle Saffin (Labor)

Saffin held a number of jobs - including at an abbatoir and the law - before winning a state upper house seat in 1995, which she held until 2003.

She was a policy adviser to East Timroese foreign minister Jose Ramos Horta.

Upon returning to Australia in 2007 she won Labor pre-selection for Page and later that year won the seat vacated by Nationals stalwart Ian Causley in the 2007 election.

Click here to see more stories about Janelle Saffin

Kevin Hogan (Nationals)

This is the former teacher's second tilt at Page after he saw off a pre-selection challenge from popular Clarence Valley Mayor Richie Williamson.

Common sense dictates this will be the small businessman's final shot at wresting the seat back from Labor.

Click here to see more stories about Kevin Hogan

2010 RESULT (two-party-preferred)

Janelle Saffin 54.19% (+1.83% swing)

Kevin Hogan 45.81%

THE VERDICT - TOO CLOSE TO CALL

With Tony Windsor (New England) and Rob Oakeshott (Lyne) not recontesting their seats, the Nationals are in the enviable position of being able to pour additional resources into winning seats like Page.

And they will need to if they are serious about removing Ms Saffin, who has been a popular local member.

Proof of her rapport was on display at the 2010 election when she improved her vote, bucking a nationwide swing against Labor.

Even before the return of Kevin Rudd boosted Labor's fortunes, Ms Saffin was still considered an reasonable chance of holding Page despite Labor's atrocious polling.

One issue is set to dominate the contest in Page: coal seam gas.

Both candidates have been in a race to position themselves as anti-CSG.

The carbon tax will also be a factor, but not as much as some regional areas with a higher concentration of conservative voters.

INTERESTING FACT

Page has gone with the party that forms government at every election since 1990.

Topics:  election guide, federal election 2013, janelle saffin, kevin hogan, page


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