COUNTRY Labor have announced its candidate for the state election – nine months before the vote.
Armidale Regional councillor Debra O’Brien will stand for the seat of Northern Tablelands but it’s not her first time having a crack.
“I ran for the state election in 2015, and it was all about services, fighting against privatisation and selling off our assets. But I’m afraid as the new election is coming up that the same issues are still there … they have come home to roost now,” Ms O’Brien said.
“I’m more confident this time.”
The candidate will have to defeat incumbent state member Adam Marshall who has held the seat since May 2013.
But the community service worker said she has for a vision for regional NSW but especially for the Northern Tablelands.
“I believe in an Australia where ordinary Australians, the salt of the earth, have a voice again and live in a country where they can hope for a future instead of always fearing what might happen next,” the former high school teacher said.
“Where institutions, like TAFE, offer pathways towards a better life instead of being a crippling financial burden on those least able to afford them. Where institutions, like power suppliers, once again provide an essential service instead of gouging outrageous profits to benefit invisible shareholders.
“It’s about time we became a priority too.”
Ms O’Brien added she would be putting keeping the northern railway corridor in public hands as a top priority.
“Why is it considered a huge crazy expense to open up our Great Northern line? In Sydney, they spend billions of dollars on stadiums … Then they laugh at us, the poor country cousins, wanting to take a train to Brisbane,” she said.
“We have put in motion to never sell off this corridor. It is our heritage but it is our future as well.”
The next state election is scheduled to be held on March 23, 2019.