Animal party bags donkey vote in Richmond
ANIMAL Justice Party candidate Angela Pollard has drawn the top position on the ballot paper for the Federal seat of Richmond.
The Dorroughby lawyer was "stoked" to win the top slot when the ballot was drawn at the Australian Electoral Commission's Tweed Heads office in Wharf Street yesterday, by divisional returning officer Vicki Kapernick.
The draw was witnessed by four of the six candidates who will contest the seat locally.
"I knew it was going to come, because of course the Animal Justice Party (AJP) should have the donkey vote," Ms Pollard joked when advised of her poll position as she could not make the draw.
"Statistically for the people who vote informal, it's well known that it gives you about 1%."
The 54-year-old is the former CEO of the Northern Rivers Community Legal Centre, an organisation she helped found.
For the last year she has been working for the first AJC member to be elected to the NSW MLC - Mark Pearson.
Ms Pollard said 70% of laws that were passed in the Federal Parliament affected animals, and her candidacy had been well received in the electorate.
"So far I've had nothing negative at all," she said.
"The big issues for us is we want to end live export of cattle and sheep and neither of the big parties are prepared to move on it.
"The other issue we're concerned about is the loss of koala habitat in this area and providing safe- corridors."
Neil Smith for One Nation was drawn second, followed by Dawn Walker for the Greens, Justine Elliot for Labor, Russell Kilarney for the Christian Democrats and Matthew Fraser for the National Party.
Postal vote applications are now being accepted.
The first pre-poll voting booth will open on Tuesday, at Shop 7/75-77 Wharf St, Tweed Heads.
Pat Tate from Banora Point Ratepayers Association, who attended the draw, said she believed locals were more interested in independent candidates than previous years.
The association is staging a candidate forum on June 20.