New England by-election: Letters to the editor

COUNTDOWN IS ON: More than 2000 people have already cast their vote in Armidale in the lead-up to the December 2 New England federal by-election. Photo: Rachel Baxter
COUNTDOWN IS ON: More than 2000 people have already cast their vote in Armidale in the lead-up to the December 2 New England federal by-election. Photo: Rachel Baxter

On Saturday, December 2, we have to make a choice.

Do we reinstall Barnaby or install someone else who will speak for all the community? Such a man is Armidale’s Rob Taber who is standing as an independent.

His website policies disclose he has a broad grasp of the needs of the people. Re the environment, he supports banning coal seam gas or mineral mining on arable land or where our artesian aquifer or unique forest areas will be adversely affected.

He’ll push for meaningful R & D in alternative energies with a view to the overall solution to the issues of global warming and climate change.

He wants increased rigour on oversight of our waterways, water allocation and usage and establish timely and complete public disclosure of regulatory policing data.

He’ll push for the establishment of a policy outlining a sensible Federal Future Energy Policy. Re education, he supports the philosophy of the Gonski Educational Reform, thinks it would provide an essential step into developing Australia as a world leader in education.

He believes the University of New England deserves support in order to become a major tertiary education facility in New South Wales. He believes rail is a necessity for Australia, we should be investigating all avenues for building rail and future proofing rail networks. Building rail infrastructure will reduce the number of truck trips between the major cities.

He questions the building of the second Sydney airport at Badgery’s Creek as opposed to investigating an international airport in the central west, e.g. Orange - Parkes area and link to Sydney via high speed rail.

This would be a huge step forward in assisting the growth of regional NSW.

Re agriculture, he believes we should begin to aid the growth of the agricultural industry through stronger support and removing red tape as it affects agricultural production enabling us to better compete against imported produce from low cost countries.

We should give farmers more control over the rights to their land particularly in the event of pressure from the oil, gas and mining industries.

We should phase out the live cattle trade and value add to our produce prior to export. He would seek to promote the establishment of a Government owned bank for rural purposes, a Rural Bank’.

Re health, he sees the lack of funding cripples the development of much needed regional health infrastructure.

He wants more affordable healthcare and reduce the travel time for those who require immediate medical help.

He’d push for greater recognition of mental health in the healthcare system and more funding and support to service our growing future needs.

Re finance, he’d push to investigate issues of equality relating to the distribution of GST revenue, ensuring rural communities receive their equal share.

He’d encourage states to distribute income in a fair and equitable manner, ensuring that monies collected from taxes is returned, in part, to the regions from whence they came.

He’d allow superannuation funds to be utilised by first home buyers, knowing that the money must be returned to the superfund in full if the house is sold.

He wants superannuation funds be required by law to invest a proportion of revenue back into the community from which it was sourced. He’d also push for legislation that ensured all companies operating within Australia pay their legal share of tax.

Re youth, he’d encourage higher volumes of people to consider opportunities in trades and rally behind organisations like Backtrack and Pathfinders who assist disadvantaged youth into work and provide advice that directs people into employment that suits their lifestyle and skill set.

He’d push for youth in remote areas to receive better access to higher education coupled with increased financial support.

Warren Brown, 


I thank Chris Wharton for his letter of November 23. Chris, your feisty, though non-sensical response was amusingly inaccurate.

I don't lament the demise of the anti-council Facebook page, but I was intrigued by it. Your William Shakespeare allusion was unoriginal and dull.

The term "floaties" does puzzle me, I must admit. I only knew of two definitions prior to your stunning enlightenment: as an aquatic device, or those little bits of food left in the bottle when you share a drink with those of questionable habits.

So only in Glen Innes, right? Chris, I believe I'd much rather be a floatie than someone who has been anchored like a mollusc, to the same boring rock, having the same tide wash over them, never experiencing other places.

I'm not talking about a ten-day drunken rampage through Bali, either ... Ah, but the Ned Kelly bit! Very good, Chris! Maybe you like the Mick Jagger version? Such is life ... in Glen Innes.

May I respectfully suggest Chris, that before you post another video on YouTube, you have some rudimentary elocution lessons? Or are you speaking a form of localised Gaelic which only emanates from Glen?

Adrian Simpson, 


Voters are urged to consider all choices in the coming New England by-election, not just blindly follow the mob. Be informed. 

For those who are sympathetic to Mr Joyce being put through a by-election, or annoyed about going to the polls again so soon, be aware that the serious concerns about former MP's role on a number of issues are yet to be tested. 

If you are alarmed, then do not re-elect the players. Be aware how a quick buck from coal mining and CSG, a sell out to overseas interests, impacts on our agricultural industry. 

While the rest of the world is phasing out fossil fuel, ask why Nationals policy is stuck pushing coal and oppose transitioning to renewable energy? 

Should we allow the LNP continue to sell out our farmers? And now the Government's resistance to a banking enquiry will likely show more dirty dealing. 

There are 17 choices in this election. On your ballot, make a mark for a progressive future and put Barnaby last. ​

Gail Galloway,