Duo in battle to run for the ALP
ONE candidate has worked in local government for more than a decade and the other has a solid career in social justice, and they both want to win Labor pre-selection for Page.
Lismore mayor Isaac Smith, 43, and social worker Patrick Deegun, 44, have each announced they will be standing for pre-selection for the ALP in order to contest the seat at the next federal election.
The two men, each of whom is married with children and has extensive community connections, are ready to fight for their electorate.
And if campaigning continues in the manner it started, we are in for a doozey.
Cr Smith, who was elected to Lismore City Council a decade ago, said he was concerned when people with no political expertise were elected for federal roles.
“I think we worry when people step straight into Federal Government from unions or business without any local government experience,” he said. “Because this is where you come across every issue in the local community.”
But Mr Deegun disagreed: “The leader of our party (Bill Shorten) came in from a union background, so this is strange comment for Cr Smith to make.”
Mr Deegun said he felt he was a good candidate based on years of working with disadvantaged people in the social justice area.
“Currently I manage a nonprofit service and live in Casino and I believe for this role we need someone who understands everyone in the electorate who can fight for the community,” he said.
Mr Deegun said for him the lightbulb moment came when he realised the traditional party for rural families was in fact selling them out.
“The National Party said it serves country people, but I see them voting with the Liberals for big business tax cuts, cutting penalty rates and attacking Medicare,” he said. “They are making cuts to pensions and taking funding out of schools, TAFEs and universities.”