Skinner surprise: Past Tweed mayor to contest Richmond

Kevin Skinner will run for the seat of Richmond as an independent.
Kevin Skinner will run for the seat of Richmond as an independent. John Gass

FORMER Tweed Mayor Kevin Skinner has put his hand up for the seat of Richmond as an independent.

It was only on Monday that Mr Skinner submitted his nomination with 120 signatures to the Australian Electoral Officer.

He said people should vote for him because of his "strong love of the area".

Although still formulating his main points, Mr Skinner said he was passionate and had great ideas to take the Tweed forward, starting with health.

I'd like to see the Tweed Hospital recognised for having 50% of their customer base come from South East Queensland," he said.

"I'd like to see the Federal Government recognise that as an absolute fact."

Mr Skinner, who owns and runs the Chinderah Motel with his partner, wants the hospital to be recognised as a regional hospital to "received the necessary and required funding to cater for the massive demand in the public health system".

He also wants a world-class health training facility built for people to come from all over the world and learn in "due to the proximity to an international airport".

"They can come here to train and learn," he said.

"And become helpers in this critical aging population we have."

He also said education was big on the agenda and said he wanted to implement Mandarin as a compulsory language to learn in public schools.

"I can see quite clearly at this point in time, under the present and the previous government, we're selling off the farm and the main buyer are the Chinese," he said.

"We might as well learn to speak their language.

"But the education system itself needs so much help in so many different areas; Pottsville (high) school is just one example."

Mr Skinner said he wanted to increase investment in renewable energy sources and make solar panels affordable for all homes.

"So they (people) have the ability to reduce their electricity costs," he said.

"The environment is very, very dear to me and just like anyone else who's lived here for a long time I don't want to see it ruined."

When it comes to CSG Mr Skinner said he was against it in the Tweed and had voted against it in council.

And when talking about refugees he said genuine refugees had a right to seek asylum in Australia.

Mr Skinner also said he had big plans for roads (including Kennedy Dr), the economy and aged care.

Nominations close on Thursday so there's still time to put your hand up if you want to stand up for the Tweed.

Topics:  federal election 2013 kevin skinner

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