Residents worried about health
THE leaders may have changed, but the issues worrying voters in the Richmond electorate have changed little over the past three years.
In 2007 the electorate's top three issues were education, health and the then-Howard Government's controversial WorkChoices legislation. This time it's about health, the economy and education, in that order.
The issues follow a solid three years of debate about overhauling the health system, argument over whether Labor saved us from the global recession with a well-timed stimulus package or sent us needlessly into debt with the problem-plagued Building the Education Revolution and poorly planned Green Loans scheme and insulation grants.
More recently, it follows debate within school communities about the Government's My School website, plans for a national curriculum and proposals to offer incentives to high- performing teachers.
The Casino-Murwillumbah train has fallen off the top 10 issues this year, coming in at 12th spot after being the electorate's eighth-hottest issue in 2007.
The disappearance of WorkChoices appears to have pushed climate change and the environment up a slot, from number five to four. However, the 22 per cent of Richmond voters to raise climate change as an issue included a mix of those demanding action to cut greenhouse emissions and those angry at the Government for “falling” for the climate change argument.
Of issues parties can act on immediately, and locally, are aged care, which came in sixth on the list, improving local roads (ninth) and health.
So far the only one that's seen any real action is health, with the promise of a GP Super Clinic at Tweed Heads by the Labor Party early in the campaign.