Hard labour for Page ALP candidate

By Alex Easton WHOEVER wins Labor preselection for the Federal seat of Page on July 14 must be prepared to begin full-time campaigning immediately, the party's Lismore president has said. Local party members were jubilant yesterday after hearing they would be allowed a rank-and-file preselection vote next month. Party leaders in Page were told of the decision to open preselection on Thursday afternoon, giving prospective candidates until 5pm next Thursday to get in their nominations. Four party members have confirmed their intention to stand for preselection: former NSW MP Janelle Saffin, businessman Isaac Smith, Barkers Vale Public School principal Peter Lanyon, and university student Adam Atkins. Clarence Valley mayor Ian Tiley, who at one stage was tipped to be anointed candidate by Labor's head office, is yet to confirm whether he will stand and remains a wildcard in the poll. With Nationals candidate Chris Gulaptis having been given a four-month free run between his preselection and Labor's, and with an election likely any time after the APEC Leaders Conference in September, Labor Lismore president Kevin Bell agreed whoever won preselection would have to start full-time campaigning immediately. "I'm sure all candidates who have put up their hand are willing to give 100 per cent," Mr Bell said. Preselection candidates spoken to by the Star yesterday agreed. Isaac Smith said he expected the field to widen between today and Thursday as more party members decided to have a go at representing the seat. "From my point of view, I've always thought there would be people coming in at the last minute," he said. Mr Bell said regardless of who was elected as the party's candidate, the main election battle would be between the party leaders in Canberra.

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