POLITICAL BREAKFAST: Candidates for the Tweed Electorate answering questions ahead of the state election.
POLITICAL BREAKFAST: Candidates for the Tweed Electorate answering questions ahead of the state election. Michael Doyle

Candidates under the spotlight over small business issue

FOUR of the five candidates who will contest the seat of Tweed were at the Tweed Heads Bowls Club facing questions from the Tweed Chamber of Commerce.

While the hospital saga has been a prominent issue in this election cycle, Tuesday's breakfast challenged the political hopefuls on issues of small business in the region.

Cross-border issues, building small businesses and employment were front and centre during the community forum.

Incumbent MP Geoff Provest was firm on his government's efforts appointing a cross-border commissioner.

Mr Provest told the crowd, of roughly 50, his government was able to secure an agreement which meant several trade licences are recognised in both NSW and Queensland.

"It is all about supporting our local businesses to be able to freely cross that border and not be inhibited by the various changes,” Mr Provest said.

His main political rival, Country Labor candidate Craig Elliot, was keen on focusing on education as well as failings of the government.

When asked about helping small business in the region, Mr Elliot focused on the needed prosperity of festivals and large community events.

However, while taking a swipe at the government, Mr Elliot failed to give examples of festivals in the Tweed region.

Splendour in the Grass and Falls Festival were Mr Elliot's examples, both outside of the electorate.

Mr Elliot was firm in his desire to better the TAFE system in the region, stating the 600,000 free TAFE courses would have a flow-on effect for business prosperity in the Tweed.

Susie Hearder from the Animal Justice Party emphasised her party's position on animal welfare throughout the breakfast.

She said a national licence for a variety of different industries should be looked at to overcome border issues.

Greens candidate Bill Fenelon placed much of his emphasis on TAFE, to improve small business and youth unemployment.



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