BOYD PLAYS CARDS CLOSE

By ED SOUTHORN

INDEPENDENT candidate Julie Boyd will not reveal how she will direct her preferences until Friday ? one day before the state election.

Both the major party candidates in the Tweed electorate agree that Green and independent preferences could decide the result in Tweed, one of the most marginal electorates in NSW.

At last Friday night's Great Debate, each of the Tweed candidates was asked to explain how they would direct their preferences.

Only Ms Boyd declined to give an explanation, although anti-immigration candidate Will King did not attend and remains uncontactable.

Green Tom Tabart, independent Gavin Lawrie and Nationals Geoff Provest confirmed they are not directing preferences to any candidate, while Labor's Neville Newell revealed his preferences would be directed to Ms Boyd.

Ms Boyd, of Hastings Point, has worked as a psychologist and educator and wants Tweed villages protected from development, which she believes ought to be confined to CBDs.

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She said on Friday night she was "not a Labor stooge", although she criticised Mr Provest for changing his mind about a development proposal for Creek Street, Hastings Point.

She also said Mr Provest must have a "money tree" to pay for his election promises, but she wondered which lifestyle Mr Newell was protecting.

Ms Boyd said yesterday she was still waiting on answers from the other candidates in response to questions from her.

She said she had registered multiple how-to-vote cards before making a final decision which she will announce on Friday.

Mr Newell agreed it would be fair to say voters deserved more time than just one day to consider how a candidate was directing preferences.

Mr Newell said it was "quite likely" the Tweed result would be determined by preferences, although he does not believe Ms Boyd will receive as many votes as Mr Tabart. He also agreed it was possible Ms Boyd could have a "split ticket", with how-to-vote cards showing her supporters how to direct preferences either to Mr Newell or Mr Provest.

Mr Provest on Friday night said the Tweed election would be very close and could be decided by Green and independent preferences.

Yesterday he said voters deserved to know how every candidate would be preferencing in advance of polling day, rather than the day before.

He said Ms Boyd's preferencing strategy raised questions about "back room deals".

Ms Boyd said she was giving "deep and careful" consideration to preferencing.

She wants Mr Newell to clarify how he will ensure Labor supports Tweed residents, as Labor "appears to have abandoned him on occasions and only reappears in the weeks prior to elections".

Ms Boyd has asked Mr Provest to confirm how he intends to implement his multi-million-dollar promises if he is in opposition.

Ms Boyd said she was concerned that two candidates (Mr Provest and Mr Tabart) were asking voters to simply vote 1 for them.

"This may be confusing to voters who want their votes to determine the outcome of the election," she said. "If voters only mark one square, then their vote will only count in the first round and expire after that."



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