Matthew Fraser and The Hon Bronwyn Bishop in the Tweed Photo: John Gass / Daily News
Matthew Fraser and The Hon Bronwyn Bishop in the Tweed Photo: John Gass / Daily News John Gass

Bronwyn Bishop spins into Tweed to support Fraser

LIBERAL MP Bronwyn Bishop made a visit to Tweed Heads South on Wednesday to throw her support behind Richmond Nationals candidate Matthew Fraser.

Mrs Bishop, who shadow minister for seniors, said supporting Mr Fraser would mean better living standards and government support for Tweed residents, especially senior citizens.

"If we can be successful in having Matthew elected it means the seat of Richmond will have a strong voice in a Tony Abbott government," Mrs Bishop said.

"At the end of the day, to get a change in government we need a change in member."

Mrs Bishop criticised the Labor Government for its treatment of seniors, claiming the carbon tax was a blight on the living standards of pensioners and low-income residents.

"The same issues come up again and again, no matter which part of Australia you're in," she said.

"A woman I was talking to, who was just across the border in Queensland; what she was doing was putting one of those garden solar lights out during the day and at night putting it in the bathroom and the toilet so they didn't have to turn on the light.

"That's not the Australia that we can have for our people."

Mr Fraser said he had doorknocked more than 7000 Tweed homes over the course of his campaign.

"Cost of living is by far the biggest concern," Mr Fraser said.

"We're going to repeal the carbon tax, that's an obvious one.

I'd like to announce today a big announcement; that is the Coalition is going to cut the company tax rate by 1.5%. Now this is great for small business and companies all across Australia because this will get the economy going and create jobs.

Mr Fraser claimed Richmond MP Justine Elliot had a poor track record and all the Labor Government had achieved was increased costs for businesses, the consumer and the average Joe.

Justine Elliot responds:

Mrs Elliot disputed Mr Fraser's claim that she was not delivering for the Richmond electorate.

I'm proud to be Kevin Rudd's candidate and to have delivered more than $1.5 billion for our community," she said.

"This includes fixing Sexton Hill, upgrading 90 schools, delivering the South Tweed GP SuperClinic and building the Murwillumbah Community Centre."

Mrs Elliot also claimed Mr Fraser had a "pro-CSG drilling, fracking and expansion agenda".

"The issue of stopping coal seam gas mining is also very important. My position is very clear. I stand with the community and oppose CSG mining on the North Coast," she said.

"Locals have a clear choice at this election between Kevin Rudd's positive plan for the future and the negativity of Tony Abbott and the National Party."

Dawn Walker responds:

Australian Greens Richmond candidate Dawn Walker weighed in on Mr Fraser's comments, agreeing small businesses needed support, but said her party's plan starts earlier and is more economically responsible.

"Last night I spoke at the NSW Business Chamber small business road show in Tweed Heads, 'Small Business: Too big to ignore'," she said.

There I outlined my commitment to small business as a vital part of a healthy community and the need for legislators to take into account the effect that government policies and legislation can have on small business.

"The Australian Greens understand the pressure that small businesses are feeling and that is why I'm pleased to announce today that the Greens want to give small business a fairer go by lowering company tax from 30% to 28%."

Ms Walker was confident the Green's measures would make a real difference.

"This is a bigger tax cut for small business than Tony Abbott's plan announced by National's candidate Matthew Fraser yesterday."

Phil Allen responds:

Palmer United Party's candidate Dr Phil Allen agreed with Mrs Bishop that a new government was needed.

"Australia certainly needs a new government, but not one led by Mr Abbott," he said.

There's very little difference between Labor and Liberal on most points. And there's also very little difference between Abbott and Rudd.

"Both have shown they have failed Australia over the last decade as the economy has declined."

However, Dr Allen did agree with Mr Fraser and Mrs Bishop on one point, stating that pensioners were struggling with the cost of living and reductions to their entitlements.

Dr Allen said a Palmer United Party government would deliver a $150 a fortnight pension raise and also deliver a $640 million deal to boost the pensions and provide back pay to former defence force members and their families.

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Check out this week's Tweed Link

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