Mayor set to take on Hogan for seat of Page
AFTER denying he was pressured to withdraw from standing for Labor state pre-selection, Lismore mayor Isaac Smith has confirmed he will stand for the party's federal pre-selection in the seat of Page.
Speaking exclusively to The Northern Star on Tuesday, Cr Smith said he believed local government gave the ideal grass-roots grounding and experience to be effective at the national strata of government.
Cr Smith said after more than a decade in local government, the reasons why he first became involved are still as strong as ever.
"You don't get involved in local council unless you want to help people," he said.
"What got me involved in politics 12 years ago were the big issues such as employment and now I have come full circle, my great passion is to make sure my family and everyone's families have a prosperous future in this country."
It's an ambitious goal as the ALP last held the seat between 2007 and 2013 when Nationals member Kevin Hogan outed Labor's Janelle Saffin.
In a political twist, Ms Saffin in now standing for Labor state parliament pre-selection and Cr Smith was accused of bowing to party pressure to stand down from this competition, an allegation he denies.
Cr Smith said his tilt at federal politics had a time limit as he wanted to get in, be effective and then get out.
"Politicians often lose sight of what people need," he said,
"I'm planing to get in for a short time to get things done, I won't be there 20 years."
While he acknowledged being involved in local government was an incredibly good method to make positive changes for the community, Cr Smith said now he felt it was time to have a go.
"I think it's the practicality over what I have been doing over the past 11 years makes me well qualified to step up," he said.
"I think we worry when people step straight in federal government from unions or business without any local government experience, because this is where you come across every issue in the local community."
The seat which Is currently held by Nationals' member Kevin Hogan, covers 19,342sqkm from Sapphire Beach in the south to Nimbin in the north on the coastal side, and from Nymboida in the south to the Queensland border on the inland side.
Page covers key towns including Lismore, Casino, Dunoon, Evans Head, Grafton, Iluka, Kyogle, Nimbin, Sapphire Beach and Wooli.