Six vie for Nationals candidacy in Page

Six hopefuls are running for preselection as the Nationals candidate for the seat of Page in this years federal election. Four of those have confirmed their preselection hopes to The Echo former Richmond MP Larry Anthony (pictured), Kyogle mayor Ernie Bennett, local doctor Sue Page and Maclean councillor Chris Gulpatis.

The Nationals have also confirmed that 2LM radio announcer Neil Marks and Ballinas deputy mayor Sharon Cadwallader have also thrown their political hat into the ring.

Mr Anthony, who ran for the federal seat of Richmond five times and was successful on three of those occasions, said he was running for Page instead of Richmond this year as ongoing boundary changes mean Page now encompasses much of the old Richmond electorate.

When asked about his chances of preselection success, Mr Anthony said his previous experience did not make him a shoe-in.

I have to earn my stripes again its a Melbourne Cup field, he said. But I have a passion for public life.

Commenting on the large number of contenders for the Nationals candidacy, Dr Sue Page said, Its a fortunate situation where the Nationals have more than one choice in this electorate there are people who are not afraid to put in the long hours because they care for the community.

Dr Page has had a long involvement with rural health issues. She is currently senior lecturer at the Northern Rivers University Department of Rural Health.

And her focus is on country people and services.

Its about equity and getting a fair go for rural people, she said.

Kyogle mayor Ernie Bennett believes the country is in a good state and wants to continue the work of retiring member for Page Ian Causley. Being born and bred in the area he said he has a passion for the electorate.

Former mayor of Maclean and now a councillor and development consultant, Chris Gulpatis, reckons he wants to improve individual wealth within Page and provide better basic services.

On March 31, 370 members of the Nationals will vote on who will be the candidate for Page.

Due to recent boundary changes, Nimbin is now in the seat of Richmond and Alstonville joins Page.

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