Clarence Valley Mayor Richie Williamson says the council supports a second bridge.
Clarence Valley Mayor Richie Williamson says the council supports a second bridge.

Mayor hoping to win NSW seat

THE Mayor of the Clarence now wants control of the NSW seat of Clarence.

An electoral race many thought would be a shoe-in for incumbent Member Steve Cansdell has become a lot more interesting with the confirmation yesterday that Richie Williamson will run as an independent in the March 26 poll.

The announcement, which saturated North Coast media yesterday, said “the days of Clarence being overlooked by state governments had to end”.

Mr Williamson told The Daily Examiner he was hoping to win the seat but if he didn’t, he believed his competition for Clarence would attract funding and promises.

“The seat needs the full attention of government to ensure the electorate does not continue to be overlooked by the state on important issues like health, police, transport – including reopening the Casino to Murwillumbah railway line – and major infrastructure projects like the Pacific Highway and a second Grafton Bridge,” Mr Williamson said.

“These are just a few of the many issues I’ll be focusing on during my campaign.”

Mr Williamson said the response from the community had been overwhelming after he confirmed two weeks ago he was considering standing for the seat of Clarence as an independent.

“The community is looking for people, not parties, to represent them on the issues facing the electorate, and support for an independent has been strong.” he said.

“The response from the community has been strong with a number of people pledging support and volunteering time and energy for the campaign. Without this very generous support it remains difficult for an independent to launch a serious campaign and I thank the community for their input.

“I believe in the people of Clarence, and I want them to feel like this is their campaign, a campaign all about securing a fair go for this electorate.”

Having lived and worked in the Clarence his entire life, Mr Williamson’s passion for the area is well known.

Mr Williamson served on the Caringa board as president and was a member of the Helping Hands committee.

He was elected to the first Clarence Valley Council in 2005 and has been mayor since 2008.

He chairs the Pacific Highway Taskforce committee.

The Examiner will seek Mr Cansdell’s response to the announcement today.

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