Rick Colless.
Rick Colless. Adam Hourigan

Pollies take pot-shots in parliament over election results

NEW South Wales politicians spent more than an hour in parliament taking pot-shots at each other over the results on the North Coast in the recent State Election.

In a time-consuming effort to deride Labor, Nationals MP Rick Colless brought a motion calling for the upper house to "congratulate (Luke) Foley and his North Coast Labor team for delivering Tweed and Lismore back to the Nationals".

"Mr Foley and the New South Wales Labor Party treated the three seats of Ballina, Lismore and the Tweed with such contempt that they parachuted into the area supposedly fierce campaigners from Victoria and Queensland," Mr Colless said.

"These campaigners knew nothing about the local issues, they knew none of the local people and they certainly did not know the power of the Nationals and our team of local campaigners on the ground.

"These blow-ins did not respond to the community's wants and needs; the Nationals did."

The Nationals had a 21.5% swing against them in Lismore, 18.5% in Tweed, 22.2% in Clarence and the loss of a seat in a 27.8% swing against them in Ballina.

Shadow Minister for the North Coast Walt Secord said the Nationals' decision to reignite debate about the North Coast was a bizarre tactic.

"Rick Colless revealed his hidden talent - that he is a man with a great deal of satire," he said.

"What else could explain the Nationals members wanting to refer to their near-death experience on the North Coast?

"By any measure they were all disastrous.

"But the Nationals members now seek to commend themselves."

By the end of the debate, the motion was amended to congratulate the Greens for winning Ballina and making a strong challenge in Lismore.

"It is obvious this motion seeks to belittle the efforts of the Labor Party and to deny the success of the Greens in an area that for too long has been considered the Nationals' heartland," Greens MP Jan Barham said.



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