Campaigning officially begins in the Far South Coast's two high-profile electorates

natsandgreens (1).jpg

Campaigning officially starts: The Nationals' Katrina Hodgkinson is standing in Gilmore, and Greens' Pat McGinlay is running in Eden Monaro. 

The Eurobodalla Netball Association has been promised $475,000 for an upgrade of the netball courts at Broulee, by the Federal Government.  

The announcement was made yesterday by the Nationals candidate for Gilmore, Katrina Hodgkinson. 

The Prime Minister called the election yesterday morning. Meaning the Government is now in caretaker mode.  

The Coalition holds Gilmore with only a 1.5 per cent margin. The current sitting member for the Liberals, Ann Sudmalis is not recontesting the seat because of publicly-stated unhappiness with her treatment by a number of people within the party.  

At this stage East Coast Radio understands there are six candidates for Gilmore, Katrina Hodgkinson; Milton Leslight, from United Australia; Carmel McCallum, Greens; Warren Mundine, Liberal; Fiona Phillips, Labor and Grant Schultz, Independent.

Grant Shultz, originally won preselection to stand for the Liberal Party in Gilmore, but then failed to be endorsed by the Liberal Party executive, which then parachuted in high-profile Warren Mundine as the candidate. Grant Schultz then decided to run as an independent and confirmed he wouldn't preference the Labor Party. 

Then the Nationals Katrina Hodgkinson, the former Primary Industries minister in the NSW Government, was endorsed to run in the seat, for the Nationals. Her second preferences will naturally go to the Nationals' Coalition partners the Liberal Party, and Mr Mundine. 

While Ann Sudmalis won't be recontesting, she has still been busy unofficially campaigning, over the last few weeks making a number of major announcements for the Eurobodalla, including a new Headspace for Batemans Bay and a new rehabilitation centre for the area. 

Eden Monaro 

Pat McGinlay, Greens candidate for the seat of Eden-Monaro, just south of the electorate of Gilmore, began his campaign in Bega yesterday. He says he "strongly condemns" the federal environment minister’s approval of the proposed Adani mine’s groundwater management plans, made this week before the government went into caretaker mode. 

Mr McGinlay says the minister's announcement was made under "intense internal pressure," and showed a government that was both "desperate and in disarray".

The Government's decision was due to come under scrutiny in Senate estimates yesterday and today, with staff from the CSIRO to face estimates over the Adani approval. However with the election called yesterday Senate estimates was cancelled. 

The incumbent in Eden Monaro, Labor's Mike Kelly, is running again. He holds the electorate by nearly 3 per cent. East Coast Radio understands the other candidates in Eden Monaro at this stage are, Fiona Kotvojs, Liberal; Patrick McGinlay, Greens; David Sheldon, Independent; Chandra Singh, United Australia; Andrew Thaler, Independent; Sophie Wade, Nationals. 

Preferences will flow between the Nationals and Liberal candidates. The federal election has a preferential voting system, which differs to the optional preferential system in the state of NSW. So preference flows are important to all candidates. Which party the Greens will preference is not known at this stage. In the recent state election the Greens candidate Will Douglas expressed surprise many Greens voters had exhausted their vote opting to only vote for the Greens.

Under the federal system, a number must be placed in order of preference against all candidates standing in the lower house, so Dr Kelly will be looking for support from the Greens, particularly as he's been a strong supporter of renewable energy in the electorate and championed Clean Energy for Eternity projects. Earlier this year the Labor Party announced Tathra and the Far South Coast would be the first area to receive $10 million in seed funding for a Community Power Hub.