Tenterfield mayor Peter Petty, vice president of the Lismore Chamber of Commerce and Industry Andrew Gordon and Tregeagle farmer Austin Curtin are the three candidates to be voted on at the Nationals community preselection in November.
Tenterfield mayor Peter Petty, vice president of the Lismore Chamber of Commerce and Industry Andrew Gordon and Tregeagle farmer Austin Curtin are the three candidates to be voted on at the Nationals community preselection in November. Photoshop compiltation

Lismore MP 'delighted' with final candidates

Update Monday 3.40pm: LISMORE MP Thomas George is delighted that three locals from the region were selected to contest the community preselection in November.

"Community preselection is unique to the National Party and gives the membership and locals a direct say on who they want to represent them," he said.

"As the Member for Lismore since 1999, I am proud to see our local membership leading the way on this truly democratic process where the community will have the final say on who they want to represent them."

Mr George congratulated all the candidates involved and noted the strength of the field.

"I would have been honoured to work with any of the candidates and look forward to continuing to work with Austin, Peter and Andrew."

 

Original story: A BUSINESSMAN, a farmer and a councillor are the final three the Lismore electorate will be voting on at the community pre-selection in two months' time to determine the next Nationals candidate.

The three men battled it out in an intense Nationals pre-selection at the weekend that involved a total of seven candidates.

Their victory marks the beginning of the campaign into the run into the November vote to replace out-going incumbent, Thomas George.

The Northern Star has profiled our three candidates and asked them questions on key issues the electorate is facing.

 

Tregeagle farmer, Austin Curtin.
Tregeagle farmer, Austin Curtin. Facebook, Austin Curtin

Austin Curtin

What is your stance on same-sex marriage?

A supporter of same-sex marriage, Mr Curtin said he would be voting yes in the on-going same sex marriage survey.

"It is contentious and divided between the elder community of the party and what you'll see coming out of the young Nats," Mr Cutin said.

"Personally, the LGBTI community are our sons, our daughters, our friends and our family and we all come into this world the same way and we all go out the same way.

"My personal belief is that people enter into marriage not just to pro-create, its about the commitment they are making to each other."

Name your top three priorities for the Lismore electorate

Supporting health, specifically about rural health force shortages west of Lismore, education and the promotion of agriculture, industry and small business are Mr Curtin's key priorities.

"They are key to driving ourselves forward," he said.

Why do you want to be Lismore's next state MP?

"I think Lismore needs a young, progressive, high-energy and driven person to help Lismore move forward, not just over the next five to 10 years but well into the future," he said.

"I'm not proposing I'm going to be that person going ahead, but we really need to start that process now.

"We need fresh ideas, we need a new face, someone that can go to Sydney and articulate the needs and desires of our community up here and to do that well.

"I have the skills, the education to do that."

Do you think there will be any residual resentment over the CSG issue given the swing at the next election?

Mr Curtin said the issue was "dead, buried and cremated" after the Nationals brought back the coal-seam gas licences across the electorate.

"I think the community should understand we are moving forward and they should move forward with us," he said.

"We have listened to them and we understand that it is not what the community in the seat of Lismore want going forward and we have buried it totally.

"Thomas (George) has done that and I applaud him for doing that."

 

Andrew Gordon.
Andrew Gordon. Cathryn McLauchlan

Andrew Gordon

What is your stance on same-sex marriage?

At this stage, Mr Gordon said his beliefs have him leaning towards "the no camp" voting against same-sex marriage.

However, he said he was still trying to work through the debate.

"I am undecided to be honest because I see the weight of the argument on both sides and I just think there are qualifications that need to be made prior to me making that opinion," he said.

Name your top three priorities for the Lismore electorate

Mr Gordon's key focus for the community include jobs creation, opportunities for the next generation and a "happy and vibrant" business community.

He said a "happy and vibrant" business community would be a catalyst for a lot of the issues, such as youth unemployment, that the region is confronted with at the moment.

Why do you want to be Lismore's next state MP?

A passion for his community is what has driven Mr Gordon to contest the Nationals candidacy.

"There are two things that are really important to me: my family first and foremost and this community is next," he said.

He said his involvement with various community groups places him in a strong position to deliver for the electorate.

"Trying to ensure planning and succession are not forgotten and I want to see that opportunity thrive," Mr Gordon said.

"It's really, really important to me that kids are given the best opportunity going forward."

Do you think there will be any residual resentment over the CSG issue given the swing at the next election?

Mr Gordon said buying back the licences symbolised the Nationals were listening and acting to community needs.

He said he hoped that "everyone would recognise that the issue has been dealt with".

"I'd imagine most people would respect that that request was met and done admirably," he said.

 

Kate and Peter Petty.
Kate and Peter Petty. Emma Boughen

Peter Petty

What is your stance on same-sex marriage?

A "yes person" was how Tenterfield mayor Peter Petty summed up his stance on same sex marriage.

He said that stance was formed after a move by Tenterfield Council to support same sex marriage back in 2014.

When the council made that decision, he said his position was solidified when his children, 31 and 29, called and congratulated him.

Cr Petty, who is a raised Catholic and a church-goer, said he respects the views of both sides of the debate but said it was important all people "felt comfortable in their own skin".

Name your top three priorities for the Lismore electorate

Growing small business and employment as well as tourism are key priorities Cr Petty will be campaigning for in the lead up to the community pre-selection vote.

He also specified he was dedicated to building on the State Government's work in improving health facilities across the electorate.

Why do you want to be Lismore's next state MP?

North Coast born and bred, the Tenterfield mayor said the timing was right to try his hand at state politics.

He cited strong family contentions around the region and his experience as to why he would be the pick to take up the helm.

"I am comfortable and feel that I bring strength to the position where I know all of the area," Cr Petty said.

Do you think there will be any residual resentment over the CSG issue given the swing at the next election?

Cr Petty doubted the issue would influence the vote at the 2019 election and cited that the CSG debate was "done and dusted".

"I support the view of the National Party that we need to get on with the job now," he said.

"I fully support any development on our North Coast but that's something that the people of the NC said they were unhappy with and the party should listen to that."



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