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Labor, Greens will have to play catch up: OPINION

Lismore MP Thomas George, Austin Curtin and his wife with NSW Nationals' leader John Balilaro, on Saturday.
Lismore MP Thomas George, Austin Curtin and his wife with NSW Nationals' leader John Balilaro, on Saturday. Contributed

WHILE the Nationals have already nominated their candidate for the seat of Lismore at the next state election, Labor and the Greens are yet to announce who's running for them.

Sure, the election is not until 2019, but the Nats have stolen a march on the rest of the field.

And they have done so by involving the community in a high profile and very expensive pre-selection ballot.

It has unearthed Tregeagle macadamia farmer Austin Curtin, a grassroots candidate with no previous political experience.

While Mr Curtin may have been an unknown entity before the pre-selection process, his name is well and truly out there now.

Labor and the Greens are going to have to select a reasonably high profile candidate to beat him otherwise they are going to have to play catch-up if they select someone without a 'name'.

There's a lot at stake in Lismore which became a marginal seat at the last state election due to backlash over the CSG issue.

Mr Curtin won't carry the same baggage outgoing Nats members Thomas George had on this issue.

The Nats will be banking on a fresh face in this seat putting a new spin on things.

Lismore has always been staunchly National party territory which is why they have put so much spade work into cementing it for the 2019 poll.



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