Provest could contest seat

By PETER CATON

THE battle for the seat of Tweed is heating up as National Party members weigh up the options of who should stand against sitting Labor MP Neville Newell.

Former Tweed Heads Bowls Club manager and Tweed Shire's 2000 Citizen of the Year Geoff Provest has refused to rule out being a candidate.

Mr Provest, whose name is being touted as a possible contender among National Party ranks, yesterday said he had "not yet made a decision" on whether to stand.

If he does, that will pit him against former Tweed Mayor Warren Polglase, who is the only contender so far to put up his hand.

National Party Tweed branch chairman Murray Lees yesterday said he hoped a strong showing by contenders could mean the party could make a decision on a candidate by Christmas.

That would give the candidate a clear run through all of 2006 for campaigning up to the March 2007 election.

Mr Provest who runs a business consultancy is also chairman of the federal government's Far Northern New South Wales Sustainable Region Committee.

The committee is currently advising the government on expenditure of $12 million of grants in the Lismore, Ballina, Byron, Kyogle and Tweed areas.

Mr Polglase has confirmed he will seek preselection, a move widely tipped for months.

"I'm going to put my name forward and we will see what the outcome of that is," he said.

"Any competition is good competition. It makes people perform better."

Mr Polglase dismissed concerns about a three-cornered battle should the Liberal Party also decide to run a candidate.

"We are all on the same side of politics. We can work together," he said.



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