No grey areas in voters' choices
WHEN it comes to party preference in the Page electorate, Lorraine Kite and Albert Enzerink are both life-long loyalists.
But that is about all they agree on politically.
With the Federal election just a week away, the politically aware retirees are informed about who they will vote for and why.
A strong believer in health and education, it is no surprise Mrs Kite is a fan of new Prime Minister and former education minister Julia Gillard.
“I think a lot of Labor principles are also the things I hold close to my heart,” the mother-of-one said.
“I always like good community issues and how candidates address these issues.
“I have been looking at some of the important things Janelle Saffin has done in three years, like the Heartfelt House funding and the dental clinic in Ballina.
“Janelle Saffin works really hard. Living in Cumbalum, I have seen infrastructure implemented that is making things safer for local people.”
Growing up in the Illawarra region before moving to Ballina, Mrs Kite spent her life working as a Commonwealth public servant.
The 59-year-old was positively affected by Labor's infrastructure choices when she recently helped her disabled brother move into one of the Federally-funded housing developments established in the Page electorate.
“Janelle Saffin is the type of person that takes community issues to Canberra and she has the ears of the ministers,” she said.
“I have always had the belief that you need to work to help those people that don't have the same educational opportunities as we have and I feel the Australia Labor Party is there for those people.”
While Mrs Kite is fond of her local politician, Mr Enzerink is more of a political party-focused man who admits he has never liked politicians.
After moving to Australia from Holland, Mr Enzerink owned various properties throughout Australia working as a farmer, which inevitably led him to follow the rural–friendly Nationals party.
Despite moving to urban Ballina in retirement, Mr Enzerink stuck with his party preference.
“I believe that politicians should do two or three terms, share their experiences and then move on,” Mr Enzerink said.
“I have seen a lot of nice young men become politicians and they are great when they start off black and white. Then they become grey and loose their identity.
“At least The Nationals have people like Barnaby Joyce, who is a character who will never loose his identity.
“I think Kevin Hogan understands economics and, let's be honest, to provide the services you need the money.”
Aside from wanting to see Federal funding more evenly distributed outside metropolitan areas, and for the Coalition to stand up for making readjustments to the Fair Work policy, Mr Enzerink believes the closed Casino-Murwillumbah rail line is an important community issue which should be addressed.
“I was disappointed with (Nationals Leader) Warren Truss's disregard for the train,” he said.
“This is a project that has created quite a few passionate followers.
"That is just an example of how cynical (politicians) are.”