Misinformation? played big part
By ED SOUTHORN
NEVILLE Newell has been in the political wilderness before and now he's back there again.
Labor's defeated Tweed candidate was yesterday relaxing at home outside Murwillumbah and revealed his wife Kylie had already drawn up a list of urgent things for him to do around their bush property.
Before he won the Tweed electorate way back in 1999, Mr Newell spent three years out of the political limelight after losing the federal seat of Richmond.
During that time, he worked as a casual teacher, but yesterday he had not made up his mind about his future, saying only that he would take a long break and "recharge the batteries".
Mr Newell maintained the withdrawal of the Murwillumbah train service was a "minor issue" in determining his political fate.
He argued a Nationals campaign of misinformation had hit home with many voters, including claims that Labor had approved a Terranora quarry, wanted to develop the Jack Evans Boat Harbour, had not delivered any new hospital beds and would create local roads chaos around Sexton Hill.
"All these things are completely untrue," Mr Newell said.
"But seeing I've come second, I have to say maybe we should have done some things (in the Labor campaign) differently.
"I'm about 2000 votes behind, that's too many to make up."
Mr Newell insisted that the Nationals' Geoff Provest would be unable to provide effective representation in opposition.
"We've lost our voice in government, the Tweed is the big loser in that regard."
Mr Newell said he had been unable to congratulate Mr Provest on his win, but would do so today.
He confirmed he had qualified for the NSW parliamentary superannuation scheme.
Tweed Monitor spokesman Jerry Cornford said the election outcome was "probably the worst result we could have".
"The government did not really support (Mr Newell) on a lot of important local issues," Mr Cornford said.
"But I'd be surprised if they did not punish a new National Party member."