Nationals Richmond candidate Matthew Fraser campaigns with former MP Larry Anthony in Tweed Heads South.
Nationals Richmond candidate Matthew Fraser campaigns with former MP Larry Anthony in Tweed Heads South. Facebook

Candidates bring out the big guns in pitch for Richmond

BUSTING out the political big-guns has always been a common election campaign strategy and some Richmond candidates have been sticking to that tradition.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd joined sitting Labor MP Justine Elliot in a Condong visit on August 19 and former Greens leader Bob Brown supported candidate Dawn Walker in Kingscliff on June 29.

Nationals candidate Matthew Fraser was joined by former Nationals Richmond MP Larry Anthony on Tuesday, Liberals MP Bronwyn Bishop on August 7 and Nationals leader and Federal Shadow Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Warren Truss at various points in his campaign.

Mrs Elliot said Mr Rudd "understands us and understands our area" and slammed Tony Abbott, saying he "isn't interested in the concerns of locals and hasn't visited here".

"The Prime Minister's recent visit to Condong was an opportunity to talk about our positive plans for the North Coast - more jobs, better schools, quality health care, and fast and affordable broadband," she said.

"Locals had a great opportunity to speak with Kevin at the Condong Bowls Club where he also announced $20 million for an important active ageing project."

Mr Fraser said he wanted to be a "local champion" for Richmond, but still part of a national team.

"When people like Warren are here to make positive announcements and talk seriously about the issues, then I think these visits are very important," he said.

"I've always been the underdog in this election and I've concentrated on gaining the public's attention and support through listening, developing good policy and clear thinking.

"It's a lot better than engaging in stunts or fear campaigns."

Ms Walker said she was thrilled to have Mr Brown visit the Tweed Coast and labelled him a "truly courageous man" in regards to his political life and environmental activism.

"Dr Bob Brown received a warm welcome from the Kingscliff community where he had lunch, had photos taken with locals and was cheered in the street as we walked to the Kingscliff Community Hall," she said.

"He made a point of coming to Kingscliff to support our federal election campaign and that of the lead Senate candidate, Cate Faehrmann and this further emphasised the importance of speaking up for our community and Tweed environment.

"Bob Brown was very supportive of the work we are doing here for the environment and the wider Tweed community."

Palmer United Party candidate Phil Allen said he didn't think political celebrities would impact his campaign in any way.

"I think people are tired and worn out from the same-old same-old," he said.

"They neither add or detract, they just add more noise.

"I don't think the policy messages of the major parties have much merit. Only our party has the revolutionary policies to bring our country forward."

Independent candidate Kevin Skinner and Christian Democratic Party candidate John Ordish did not comment.

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