Dam is not on agenda
THE lacklustre NSW election campaign for the seat of Lismore stepped up a gear yesterday as sitting National Party member Thomas George opened a campaign office in the heart of Murwillumbah.
But Mr George steadfastly refused to be drawn on the one issue which the Labor and Greens parties have been trying to push to the fore – Tweed Shire Council's plans for a controversial dam at Byrrill Creek.
“They have every right to run their political agenda but I'm not going to be dictated to on how to run our agenda,” Mr George said.
“I'm seeking more information and when I get more information, we will handle that prior to the election.”
Instead Mr George said the big issues facing Murwillumbah included returning services to Murwill-umbah Hospital, which is running under capacity; controversial planning rules for rural land; and the current State Government's use of ministerial powers to override Tweed Shire Council in approving major developments.
Mr George said he was being criticised for not making a decision either in favour or against Tweed Shire Council's proposal for a dam at Byrrill Creek but the Coalition parties had never had details of the proposition put to them for a policy decision.
He had also been criticised for not attending a range of forums for candidates in Murwillumbah, but said he had always made it clear he would only be able to accept one invitation for a forum in each of the town's in his Lismore electorate.
He said the Tweed Daily News was the first to formally invite him to its planned forum next Thursday night in the Murwillumbah Civic Centre and he had accepted that.
“One of the main issues as far as I'm concerned is that the North Coast Area Health Service has wound back the Murwillumbah Hospital,” Mr George said.
Mr George's campaign office was opened by local business man and Riding For The Disabled charity worker Don Baxter in the former Escape art gallery and cafe in Brisbane St.