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EXCLUSIVE: NSW Liberals Accused Of Trying To Manipulate North Shore Bye Election

By David Richards | Wednesday | 08/03/2017

The NSW Government has been accused of attempting to stall the issuing of Writs for the North Shore bye election in an effort to limit campaigning time for independent candidates to "the shortest possible time" following the resignation of former Health Minister Jillian Skinner.

The move that has been described as deliberate and disgraceful and a move that prevents other candidates from raising campaign money before the issuing of writs, has been slammed by Mosman Councillor Carolyn Corrigan who has indicated that she will stand as an independent candidate in the seat that the Liberal Party has still not nominated a candidate for, despite the local election being scheduled for April 8th.

Click to enlarge
Carolyn Corrigan Independent Candidate North Shore

She claims that the current NSW Government is deliberately rorting the electoral system by applying undue pressure on the Electoral commission to keep out candidates who want to compete for Skinners former seat which some analysts claim could fall to an independent.

Corrigan claims that the residents of the North Shore have had a "gutful" of the way that the Liberal party, Skinner and the NSW Government have treated the electorate in the past.

"The Labor party took the view that the seat was unwinnable so they never invested in the electorate. The Liberal Party on the other hand believe that this their seat that they will win easily every time there is an election". 

"As a result, they have not invested in the North Shore, because they believe that they have the electorate in their pocket".

"Now there is a serious swing in the seat and there is the real possibility that an independent could win this seat if the sentiment of residents that I have been talking to have anything to go by".  

Click to enlarge
Gillian Skinner former member, accused of failing to deliver for residents of the North Shore.

"What the Liberal party machine is engaging in is skulduggery and manipulation in an effort to minimise campaigning time".  

"What a lot of people don't realise is that three Liberal branches in the electorate including Mosman voted against Skinner and the proposed amalgamation of Mosman Council".

"Voters are also angry that Skinner was a no show at public meetings to discuss the amalgamation of Mosman and North Sydney Councils" she said. 

Corrigan claims that after speaking to the NSW Electoral Commission twice in the last few days, they have confirmed that the timing of these by-elections is in their words is "unprecedented". 

She said that with no other by election in NSW has there ever been less than 3 weeks before writs are issued and the election held.

She believes that after the Government lost the seat of Orange they have decided that they will in the future not allow time for independents to have a chance at campaigning for the seat.

She said that residents of the North Shore are "angry" with the current Liberal Government. 

They are being treated as third rate residents of NSW despite being the electorate that delivers the highest level of tax for the NSW Government and the biggest contributor to Charities in Australia.

On the issue of the Spit Bridge and the lack of a tunnel or the widening of the Spit Bridge which she claims the Liberal has been promising for decades she said  "North Shore residents, have been paying to cross the Sydney Harbour bridge for decades, yet despite the massive contribution they have made to the NSW economy the current Government and past Governments has made no commitment to invest in a tunnel across the Spit Bridge to ease traffic on Military Road which is one of the busiest roads in Australia". 

"160,000 people cross the Sydney Harbour bridge every day, yet despite this the only thing that current politicians have handed out to residents of the North is a two-finger salute and suck up and wait attitude". 

Click to enlarge

"Young people in the electorate struggle to get to work when Military road comes to a standstill and trades and business executives are losing out because appointments and meetings have to be cancelled when the roads around the bridge become gridlocked which is becoming a weekly occurrence". 
Corrigan claims she is an independent candidate that right now is prevented because of NSW electoral laws from raising any money as an independent until the writs have been issued by the State . 

The Liberal Party on the other hand is not bound by these electoral laws as an existing political entity. 

 According to sources within the Electoral commission it is unlikely writs will be issued, until the 24th March which is a Friday so the banks are closed, which will leave barely 2 1/2 weeks for any independent candidate to open an account, to raise any funds to take on the Government.

Corrigan claims that this is a blatant misuse of power by the State, "Electoral manipulation on this scale is reminiscent of the rum corps era and this does not bode well for a new Premier that says she is listening, one has to question as to who, I suspect the Liberal Party back office who are pulling her strings" she said.

She is calling on the electoral commission to stand up to the Government and declare warrants by this weekend. 

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