Turnbull 'good for the Tweed'

THE selection of Malcolm Turnbull as the new Federal Liberal leader could be good news for the Tweed, according to National Party Senator Fiona Nash, who has special responsibility for the NSW North Coast.

Senator Nash told the Tweed Daily News yesterday that while the leadership of the Liberal Party was a matter for her Coalition partners, Mr Turnbull was somebody she "could do business with".

"From a Tweed perspective, Malcolm would be aware of many of the local issues from his wife Lucy's time as a Tweed Shire Council administrator," Senator Nash said.

"In his first speech as Liberal Leader he emphasised fairness and opportunity, and from our perspective as Nationals, that means a fair share of funding and opportunities for non-metropolitan areas like the Tweed."

Senator Nash said the change of leadership was unlikely to change the Opposition's policies insofar as they affect the North Coast.

"Chief among those is getting a fair deal for the Tweed's many struggling seniors, and holding Labor MP Justine Elliot to her election promise last year that "Kevin Rudd will fix our hospitals'," Senator Nash said.

Mr Turnbull however did come under fire previously from Labor MP Justine Elliot over his role as former Federal water minister in a proposal which would have seen a massive dam built at Rocky Creek west of Murwillumbah to supply water to the Gold Coast. The proposal was withdrawn during the Federal election campaign.

Yesterday Mrs Elliot was unavailable for comment prior to publication deadline.

In Canberra Mr Turnbull was applauded by colleagues after telling them the Coalition would win the next federal election.

Mr Turnbull, who entered Parliament in 2004, became Opposition leader after winning a Liberal party room ballot 45-41 against incumbent Brendan Nelson.

Three hours after the ballot Mr Turnbull addressed a joint meeting of the Coalition parties as Opposition leader, saying it was a "momentous morning" and the Coalition "can and will win in the 2010 election".

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