NSW Farmers host Meet the Candidates event at Nana Glen

Local farmers Ian Ellem and Garry Dew, Katie Sibio from Ulong, Member for Coffs Harbour Gurmesh Singh and farmer Rodger Pryce, who serves as a City of Coffs Harbour Councillor.

THE Coffs Harbour Branch of NSW Farmers hosted a community forum to meet the candidates for the 2023 State Election on Monday 20 March at Nana Glen Hall.

Nana Glen Hall Committee member Garry Dew, a long-time local farmer, officially welcomed attendees to the event.

Mowers & More Coffs HarbourAdvertise with News of The Area today.
It’s worth it for your business.
Message us.
Phone us – (02) 4981 8882.
Email us – media@newsofthearea.com.au

The intent of the meeting was for the candidates to deliver, and the attendees to ask for, views on key agricultural issues affecting farmers in the region.

The six candidates in attendance were: Sally Townley (Independent), Ruth Cully (Sustainable Australia Party), Tony Judge (Labor), Gurmesh Singh (Nationals), Tim Nott (Greens) and Kellie Pearce (Animal Justice Party).

Each spoke and participated in an audience Q and A session officiated by Paul Shoker, Chair of the NSW Farmers Coffs Harbour Branch.

With the focus on farming and rural life, candidates shared their opinions and policies on topics including agriculture practices and economies, soil, pesticides, fencing, local food supplies, exports, new technologies and waterway health.

Education came up as a hot topic towards the end of the meeting.

A question was put forward on why local TAFE colleges are not teaching certain agricultural courses, including machinery maintenance.

A local farmer expressed frustration at having to send his trainees to Taree TAFE – meaning he has to pay travel and accommodation fees – believing it would be sensible to have such courses offered here in the Coffs LGA.

Frustrations were also heard over weed management and perceived government inaction on agricultural issues.

“The bigger discussion is ‘do we need three levels of government which is resulting in paralysis?’,” Paul Shoker told News Of The Area.

Giving a shout-out to the venue, Paul said, “The Nana Glen Hall is a great example of three levels of government – local, State and Federal – working well together to fund this backbone of the community.

“In times of emergency it becomes a Rescue Centre.”

Around 60 people attended, with farmers travelling from Woolgoolga, Bucca and the Orara Valley.


Leave a Reply