Comments on the Candidates for Bega after the 2019 State election

The Beagle Editor,

Constance (Liberal) – a well liked local member who is now a polished performer after 16 years as the local MP. He has well and truly ‘grown into’ the job and does do a lot of local work. He is well abreast of his facts and figures and doesn’t need to consult to remember them (generally). At the Bermagui forum he came out, in front of a hostile crowd, and stated unequivocally that he supported the Timber industry AND gave cogent reasons. He has to wear the fact that in 2019 the electorate is becoming tired of a two term Government. Bega has started to see some significant infrastructure work down here at last, we hope it continues. He scored 49.23% of the primary vote. Atkinson (Labor) – have seen her in action a few times this election and spoke at length to her at a specific recreational fishing function. Unfortunately as a candidate, rather than a member, she will never be totally across what ‘head office’ will be thinking and this showed. She would ‘ask Mick Veitch’ for the position or policy and she couldn’t rattle of figures as well as Constance. This was her third tilt at Bega and despite being approachable and ‘nice’ I suspect lacks some political skills that probably only comes for almost everyone AFTER being elected. There’s no degree course at University for politicians. Until 2011 Bega was disadvantaged under State Labor with very little in the way of works and development occurring – but that is now 8 years ago and people start to forget the desert of work down here in that period. She scored 30.71% of the primary vote Douglas (Greens) – Only saw him in action at Bermagui at an event run by the National Parks Association and various other extreme conservation groups. He was in his element, any populist saying about the timber industry, agriculture or climate change was lapped up and he gave it to them in spades. Used the Greens buzzword – ‘transition’ coal or forestry workers out of the industry etc. The occasional Green policy has sense, mostly they are designed to pander to inner city voters and it shows with the seats they won, Newtown and Balmain, as inner city Sydney as you can get. Ballina is the hippie heartland. Should the Greens be taken seriously? With the vote declining to 9.5% since 2015, with Perger (10%) who was a poor candidate and 2011 with Swift (12%) who was a well known candidate I suspect they will never become a serious force in their own right. They will forever be a useful preference source for Labor. With their manifesto they will never join Labor. Shoobridge (Australian Conservatives) – absolutely know nothing about AC, or him, at this election. He scored 1.52% of the primary vote. Anderson (Animal Justice Party) – a micro party that didn’t attract many votes in Narooma despite excellent devotion to duty by the two helpers. In my ‘tours’ at Narooma there was always one handing out cards. It was amusing to watch on the Saturday the lady (forgotten her name) who had two areas to watch. If she noticed someone coming the other way she would scamper over to give the card and the spiel – I think this rather unnerved some people! They were rewarded at Narooma with 3% of the booth count, compared to 2.66% for Bega as a whole – well done. At Narooma in the preference count, several votes went to the Greens, with Labor getting most. Also quite a few were exhausted with no 2nd preference. The votes to the Greens and no 2nd preference were exhausted. Thomas (Shooters, Fishers & Farmers) – For me, in Narooma, the surprise candidate. I suspected they would do quite well with a campaign run by Sydney based recreational fishers on a facebook site (Stop the Lockout with 75K members). To my surprise many seemed to put their support behind the SFFP, even though their HTV cards for several electorates supported Labor with a #2 spot. There was absolutely no presence with HTV at Narooma for either pre-poll or on Saturday. In the wash up they received about 4.9% of the vote, mostly no 2nd preference – some to Constance, a couple to Labor and unbelievably (to me) one to AJP! Overall in Bega received 6.35%, so they must have been handing out HTV somewhere. Philip in Narooma (name and address supplied)


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