Early voting is available for the NSW State election in Tea Gardens Council building

Early voting is available at the Tea Gardens MidCoast Council building.

EARLY voting in this year’s State Election has never been easier for the residents of Tea Gardens, Hawks Nest and nearby towns.

For the first time at a State election, the MidCoast Council Office at 245 Myall St, Tea Gardens is open for early voting, starting from Saturday 18 March until Friday 24 March (closed Sunday).

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Opening times are 8:30am-5:30pm for all weekdays except Thursday, closing at 8pm that day.

Local political party supporters are happy to see the pre-polling centre becoming available for this year’s State Election.

Labor supporter Melissa Gole, present at the pre poll, said, “Kate (Washington) has knowledge of values in the healthcare system, and fights for inclusion.”

One Nation supporter Pauline Pietsch, also at the pre-poll, said, “I have supported Pauline (Hanson) from the get-go; she says what she thinks, she’s honest and human.”

Supporters from other political parties were not present for comment at the time of reporting.

“I’m really pleased that residents in Tea Gardens and Hawks Nest who want to vote early, will be able to do it locally,” Kate Washington, incumbent Labor candidate for Port Stephens, told News Of The Area.

The location was chosen by the NSW Electoral Commission (EC) based on factors including voter demographics and historical voter behaviour in the area.

The previous Local Government election in 2021 saw the establishment of a pre poll voting location in Tea Gardens, at the request of MidCoast Council, and at that time the venue took in 2147 early votes.

“Prior to this, the next closest pre-poll location in this LGA was over an hour away in Forster/Tuncurry,” the NSW Electoral Commission informed NOTA.

For State Elections, according to the NSW EC, “Electors in Tea Gardens and surrounding areas had to travel over half an hour away to Raymond Terrace, in order to cast an early vote.”

Early voting is subject to meeting specific eligibility criteria, which can be found on the NSW Electoral Commission’s website at https://elections.nsw.gov.au/voters/voting-options/early-voting-and-pre-polling-in-person.

By Thomas O’KEEFE

On-site political supporters Melissa Gole (left) and Pauline Pietsch (right).

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