New Ballina MP Tamara Smith.
New Ballina MP Tamara Smith. Cathy Adams

Political opponent congratulates Smith, thanks supporters

CONGRATULATIONS to Tamara Smith on becoming the new Member for Ballina.

I'm sure that she'll do a great job representing our area.

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Congratulations also to Kris Beavis and Paul Spooner who campaigned solidly for about 10 months. I'm sure that they, as I do, feel satisfied with their efforts and I'm sure they have both made many new friends and supporters.

I'd like to thank everyone who voted for me and supported my campaign.

Jeff Johnson, who stood as an independent candidate for Ballina at the NSW election.
Jeff Johnson, who stood as an independent candidate for Ballina at the NSW election. Contributed

It was certainly an intense election with all the major political parties making several important funding promises for our region.

I'm sure most people are glad it's over and that the never-ending supply of leaflets has finally stopped.

One would assume that since the Baird Government was re-elected, the promises made on behalf of the Baird Government from Nationals Candidate Kris Beavis would be honoured. Only time will tell.

The best thing about this election is the fact that both Ballina and Lismore are now very much marginal seats, which means that all political parties will put more effort (and funding) into our area.

It was disappointing that the long awaited Indoor Sports Centre wasn't a bipartisan policy from all candidates. This centre is long overdue and the State Government will need to support the project for it to be progressed.

The first thing the government can do is to transfer the ownership of the Old Depot site to Council so that the planning for the sports centre can begin. Additional grant funding can then be sought from either the State or Federal Government to make this important facility a reality.

The other project that I was campaigning on, and will continue to support, is the proposed Ocean Pool for Shelly Beach. This project has received overwhelming community support and I look forward to the day when it becomes a reality.

* Jeff Johnson is a former member of the Greens who ran as an independent candidate in Ballina at the state election.,


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