Ellem to give Nats a run for money
THE Nationals shouldn't get too far ahead of themselves if they think they've got the Clarence by-election in the bag.
The Labor candidate, Peter Ellem, is taking the fight to The Nationals, reminding them the community wouldn't tolerate "scandals" or jobs for the boys.
"I think people would have been disappointed and somewhat angered by the events that led to this by-election," he said.
"People didn't really want to be going back to the polls six months after the State election, and I can understand that.
"And really, people expect people in public office to keep a certain standard of behaviour and the NSW National Party network is really not that well-placed to restore public confidence in the office."
Mr Ellem was quick to distance himself from the former State Labor government.
"A new-look candidate from Labor with no baggage from the previous State government can actually provide (restored public confidence)," he said.
"I can provide strong leadership and probity, and I can listen to local communities and deliver things for them, even from opposition, because I can use diplomatic skills with governments Local, State and Federal to achieve improved infrastructure and services."
Mr Ellem was in Yamba yesterday to launch a petition calling for a 24-hour police station for the town.
"Local residents and business owners are understandably worried about the recent increase in criminal activity in our region," he said.
It was put to Mr Ellem that the former Labor government had 16 years to give Yamba a 24-hour police station but failed to do so. Mr Ellem turned the tables back on Steve Cansdell.
"John Turner, the member for Myall Lakes - a fellow National - actually convinced the former Labor government to provide a 24-hour police station in Forster, but Steve couldn't do it up here in the Clarence," Mr Ellem said.