Election '10: Labor candidates off and racing

By Emma Shaw
Updated November 5 2012 - 1:34pm, first published July 18 2010 - 1:25am
Labor candidates Sharon Bird, Neil Reilly and Stephen Jones for the three major Illawarra seats of Cunningham, Gilmore and Throsby readied themselves for the run down to the election on August 21 with a joint launch yesterday in Wollongong.Picture: GREG TOTMAN

Labor candidates presented a united front for the first day of campaigning since Prime Minister Julia Gillard called an election.Throsby Labor candidate Stephen Jones said one of his priorities, should he be elected, would be the much-anticipated Maldon-Dombarton rail line."I'll be working closely with (Cunningham MP) Sharon Bird on Maldon-Dombarton to ensure over the next term we get that rail link built," Mr Jones said."There will be great economic opportunities for the region if we get that rolling."Mr Jones said improving infrastructure would be vital for the economic prosperity of the region, adding that the National Broadband Network would be a priority in helping to "bridge the tyranny of distance" for many commuters.Cunningham Labor MP Sharon Bird said an issue she is hoping to address is that of employment, and in particular youth employment, in the region.Ms Bird said voters were eager to know how the national health reform will affect the area and she would be speaking with constituents on the matter in the coming weeks.Environment and infrastructure, including the national ports strategy, are other issues Ms Bird expects to address.Health is a number one priority for Gilmore Labor candidate Neil Reilly, who said he would use his influence, if elected, to try and secure a GP super clinic for Nowra."I'll also be seeing what I can do to improve the mobility of constituents," Mr Reilly said."It's very hard for some people in smaller villages, like Sussex Inlet and Jervis Bay, to get into centres where they can address their medical needs."To a certain extent, it will be a case of business as usual in the coming weeks for Gilmore Liberal MP Joanna Gash. Mrs Gash said she kept a hectic schedule throughout the year, meeting with constituents to hear their concerns.Mrs Gash will have campaign offices open in Kiama, Ulladulla, Nowra and Shellharbour in the run-up to the election. She said crime and personal safety were big issues among her constituents, as was the Princes Hwy. If she is re-elected, Mrs Gash hopes to secure a police station for Sanctuary Point, and address a number of health issues, including the reduction of hospital waiting lists.Throsby Liberal candidate Juliet Arkwright said a political change would be beneficial to her electorate."The way I see it, and the feeling I get from the Illawarra, is it has been so completely Labor-dominated for so long, and when a party gets to that stage, they become arrogant," she said.Ms Arkwright said one of the key issues she hopes to tackle is that of jobs."There is lots of youth unemployment and one has to ask why, in comparison to other areas," she said."I want to listen to what people tell me. It will be a lively and robust campaign and I hope a fair fight, certainly on my part."Throsby Nationals candidate Alan Hay said he would be pushing for the completion of Maldon-Dombarton, and an inland hub at Moss Vale. Mr Hay said the Nationals would be running a grass roots campaign, engaging voters to find out their problems."I'm very much a people person and I enjoy door-knocking and going to events," Mr Hay said.

Get the latest Wollongong news in your inbox

Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.

We care about the protection of your data. Read our Privacy Policy.