Nationals pre-selection for Lismore: candidates speak in Tenterfield

Tenterfield mayor Peter Petty is standing for pre-selection for the Nationals.
Tenterfield mayor Peter Petty is standing for pre-selection for the Nationals.

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Tenterfield mayor Peter Petty runs for pre-selection

Tenterfield heard from the three candidates on Thursday night who are vying to represent the National Party at the next state election.

Mayor Peter Petty is in the running, alongside Lismore real estate agent Andrew Gordon and Tregeagle farmer Austin Curtin.

The Tenterfield Business Chamber's Candidates Forum was held at Our Place Wine & Espresso Bar, where the three candidates all spoke and fielded questions.

Watch the forum here:

Following the announcement by incumbent MP Thomas George that he will resign at the next state election in 2019, the Nationals started its pre-selection process to find a replacement.

For the first time in this electorate, everyone on the electoral roll (not just National Party members) get a say in who the final candidate will be, thanks to the ‘community’ pre-selection method.

All will have the opportunity to vote for their preferred candidate on November 18, with polling places at Murwillumbah, Lismore, Kyogle, Bonalbo and the Tenterfield School of Arts.

Outgoing MP Thomas George

Outgoing MP Thomas George

Voting is not compulsory, but Mr Petty has previously said it raises awareness and gets the candidate’s profile out in public.

Recent polling suggests the successful pre-selection candidate will have a battle on their hands to keep Lismore in National Party hands.

A ReachTel poll shows the Nationals primary vote at 32.8 per cent, Labor on 23.9 per cent and the Greens on 22 per cent. One Nation is on 6.8 per cent, others on 5.6 per cent and nine per cent are undecided.

On a two-party preferred basis, the poll has Labor leading the Nationals by 57 per cent to 43 per cent, based on preferences stated by the 753 residents surveyed earlier this month.

Tenterfield was moved into Lismore from Northern Tablelands following a redistribution of electoral boundaries. Tenterfield’s voters, favoured Mr George at the last state election in 2015, which prevented him from losing the seat to the Greens in a close election.

The next state election, which is more than a year away, will be held on Saturday, March 23, 2019.