Provest hits back at Labor

By PETER CATON

THE National Party's head office in Sydney has been accused of imposing its choice of candidate on the Tweed electorate.

Labor politician Christine Robertson has told the NSW Upper House the Nationals had promised a hotly contested preselection for the seat but other candidates including former mayor Warren Polglase had pulled out.

Only business consultant Geoff Provest put his name forward.

Ms Robertson said she believed the Nationals' Sydney head office had a role and asked if threats were made or inducements offered.

But Mr Provest yesterday hit back, suggesting Ms Robertson was speaking from knowledge of how the Labor Party works, not the National Party.

"We work differently to that," he said. "I think this is rather hypocritical when the national headlines are splashed with the interference of the Labor Party head office in preselections."

Ms Robertson told the NSW Upper House on Wednesday night the sudden withdrawal of other National Party members from the race to be the candidate for Tweed raised questions.

"All of a sudden the locals did not get a say," she said.

"Their right to select a candidate was thrown out the window. Almost everyone in the Nationals is keeping quiet about this matter and covering it up."

Mr Provest said as far as he was aware there was no interference from the Nationals' head office.

Although he could "not speak for the other candidates" he believed "they withdrew of their own volition".



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