D-day dawns for NSW Labor rule

TODAY'S state election will be a referendum on the controversial plan to build a dam at Byrrill Creek, west of Mt Warning, according to sitting National Party MP for Lismore Thomas George, who holds the seat with a 10% margin.

Andrew Moy, his Labor challenger for the seat, which includes Murwillumbah, agreed the dam had been a major issue, while Greens candidate Susan Stock vowed to fight the dam.

In the seat of Tweed, which covers the Tweed Coast and Tweed Heads, National Party incumbent Geoff Provest, who sits on a 3% margin, vowed to tackle cross-border issues, including better co-operation with the Queensland Government and a level playing filed on a range of state taxes, if the Coalition wins power tonight.

His Labor challenger Reece Byrnes warned that a Coalition victory today would mean cuts to jobs and services, particularly in the Tweed.

Greens candidate Andrea Vickers yesterday listed uncontrolled growth, the lack of public transport and health funding as well as “problems” with Tweed Shire Council as the main issues.

In the Tweed electorate, 48,880 people 18 and over are enrolled to vote, while in the seat of Lismore the number is 50,276.

Mr George said the main issue voters had raised with him was “being able to get health services at hospitals”, but in the Tweed Shire growth had emerged as a major concern, putting the council's plans for the Byrrill Creek dam at the forefront.

“In Tweed Shire we are facing population growth. To be able to handle that growth we need infrastructure,” Mr George said.

“If that means building Byrrill Creek and getting water that way, we need to take that forward. It's quite clear the election is a referendum on what we do in Tweed Shire to be able to handle the growth.”

Mr Moy said hospitals, gas fraccing and consequent water pollution as well as the dam were major issues.

Mr Provest vowed to tackle the disadvantage Tweed businesses faced through higher charges and taxes than their Queensland competitors, and provide infrastructure for hospital services, police and transport.

Mr Byrnes said voters had been telling him they were worried the Coalition will “shut down local schools and cut hospital beds here in the Tweed to fund their Sydney promises”.

Ms Vickers has accused Mr Provest of “last-minute scare-mongering” in an advertising campaign she said was aimed at spooking voters from voting for her.

“I ask Tweed voters to show their disapproval by voting for the Greens on Saturday,” she said.

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