Party to pick candidate

By LUIS FELIU

FORMER Tweed mayor Warren Polglase's bid for the Nationals pre-selection for the State seat of Tweed is entirely in the hands of the party's local membership, according to NSW Nationals leader Andrew Stoner.

Mr Polglase, who along with the other Tweed shire councillors was sacked by the State Government last year after a public inquiry found council had become unworkable and that the majority of councillors were seen as "puppets" of developers, is a front-runner to take on sitting Labor MP for Tweed Neville Newell in next year's election for the reshaped electorate of Tweed.

He is the only National Party member to have publicly raised his hand as a potential candidate after the party called for nominations late last year.

But concerns that his sacking could affect his chances of toppling Mr Newell were acknowl- edged by Mr Stoner who said a decisionwould be made solely by the local Nationals membership at a pre-selection meeting in March.

"I don't want to influence that decision in any way ... the local membership is aware of these sort of issues and will make their decision," he said.

"I encourage candidates to step forward ... and the local membership will decide on the best candidate.

"There's a lot of support for him, he's a longstanding National Party member ... but there are other candidates - I think it'll be a good contest," Mr Stoner said last week.



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