Van Lieshout to contest seat
TWEED councillor and former mayor Joan van Lieshout has confirmed she is nominating as a Liberal Party candidate to contest the Federal seat of Richmond presently held by Labor MP and Minister for Ageing Justine Elliot.
The decision is also a direct challenge to the National Party which traditionally held the seat but has so far failed to publicly identify any potential candidate.
“Nominations are open for Richmond. I’m nominating,” said Cr van Lieshout yesterday.
“But I have to go through pre-selection and that will be a decision by head office and the local branches.”
Cr van Lieshout said although the Liberal Party state secretariat had yet to decide when nominations would close, that was likely to be “very soon” and she did not know of any other party members intending to stand.
Cr van Lieshout stood on a Liberal Party ticket during last year’s council election and her husband, millionaire eco-village developer Peter van Lieshout, was instrumental late last year in resurrecting the struggling Murwillumbah branch of the Liberal Party.
Cr van Lieshout said she could contribute more for the people of the Tweed as a Federal MP but would remain a councillor if elected.
“I believe I have done a lot of ground work in council this year,” she said. “I would still remain a councillor.
“I have a passion to see this shire continue with positive outcomes for environmentally sustainable and economic growth.
“I would like to see the Tweed have a choice. I would like to see them have a choice of perhaps a conservative government.
“I feel all my life until now has prepared me to be in this position.”
“I would like to continue working for the people of the Tweed.”
No one has yet put up their hand as a likely National Party challenger for the seat of Richmond even though nominations were expected to close last weekend.
Tweed National Party electoral council chairman Murray Lees said last week he was still confident the Nationals would have “an outstanding local champion” contest the seat.