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‘We’re getting another bloody politician’

Posted by on 01/07/2018

‘We’re getting another bloody politician’ Hamilton South Public School: Running the cake stall, Henry, Tim and mum Sarah Breusch. Picture: Brock Perks
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Charlestown Public School: Two-year-old Evelina out in support of her father, Charlestown Independent candidate Arjay Martin. Picture: Simone De Peak

Hamilton South Public School: Voter Marie Reid of Merewether. Picture: Brock Perks

Seen at Hamilton South Public School: John Robertson and Fred Nile.

Voter Susan Evans at New Lambton South Public School.

Chris Bosworth with children Ava, 6, and Angus, 8, at New Lambton Public School.

Assunta Martinelli New Lambton South Public School.

Charlestown Public School. Picture: Simone De Peak

Jessica Tranter, Ryan Tranter and Katie Reidy at Hamilton South Public School.

Don Knott at the Kotara High School voting station.

Hamilton South PS: From left, Silvana Nero (wife of Fred Nile), Brian Tucker, (Christian Democrats candidate in Charlestown), Fred Nile MLC, and Milton Caine (Christian Democrats candidate for Newcastle). Picture: Brock Perks

Hamilton South PS: Fom left, Kirsten Molloy, Jenny Francis with son, Jack. Picture by Brock Perks.

Hamilton South PS: Tim Crackanthorp the Labor candidate for Newcastle. Picture: Brock Perks

Hamilton South PS: Tim Crackanthorp the Labor candidate for Newcastle and John Robertson. Picture: Brock Perks

Hamilton South PS: Tim Crackanthorp the Labor candidate for Newcastle with from left, Cassie McLeod, Julie Robertson, John Robertson, Lara Crackanthorp. Picture: Brock Perks

Newcastle East Public School: Volunteer Sinade Francis-Coan with the Greens Lee Rhiannon. Picture: Brock Perks

Newcastle East Public School: Working the BBQ, school principal John Beach, Adrian Thompson and Michael Giles. Picture: Brock Perks

Newcastle East Public School: Volunteer Cheree Flanagan. Picture: Brock Perks

Newcastle East Public School: Volunteers from left, Cheng Smart, Brian Regan, Curtis Edwards and Professor Montage with Pearlie Holt. Picture: Brock Perks

Newcastle East Public School: Enjoying a cupcake Caitlin and Zoe Thompson. Picture: Brock Perks

Hamilton Public School: Sixteen-year-olds Teyan Blears and Kieren Moore hand out how-to-votes. Picture: Brock Perks

Hamilton Public School: The BBQ Quartet, from left, Michael Hayes, Heath Wild, James Cobb, Ethan, Lillian, and dad, David Perry. Picture: Brock Perks

Hamilton Public School: Kerri Atkin and Karen Mayo. Picture: Brock Perks

Charlestown Public School: Voters line up to vote. Picture: Simone De Peak

Charlestown Public School: Candidates Jodie Harrison and Jane Oakley. Picture: Simone De Peak

Charlestown Public School: Voters head into vote. Picture: Simone De Peak

Charlestown Public School: Casting her vote, Labor candidate Jodie Harrison. Picture: Simone De Peak

Charlestown Public School: Labor candidate Jodie Harrison and her husband Bruce. Picture: Simone De Peak

Charlestown Public School: Greens candidate Jane Oakley talks to Marina and Bill Topic. Picture: Simone De Peak

Charlestown Public School: Candidates from left, Jodie Harrison, Brian Tucker, Suellen Wrightson and Luke Cubis. Picture: Simone De Peak

Charlestown Public School: Clive Palmer candidate Suellen Wrightson with the Reverend Fred Nile. Picture: Simone De Peak

Charlestown Public School: Independent candidate Luke Cubis far right. Picture: Simone De Peak

Charlestown Public School: Carmel Tebbutt, Mark Powell and Steve Jones. Picture: Simone De Peak

Stockton Public School: Candidate Jacqueline Haines handing out how-to-votes. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

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► Where to vote in Charlestown

FROM HAMILTON SOUTH PUBLIC SCHOOL

IT had the makings of being agreat stand-off, but insteadLabor leader John Robertson and the Christian Democratic Party’s Reverend Fred Nile wished each other luckoutside theHamilton South Public School polling station.

Just metres away, two men leaving the polls discussed how little it mattered.

“All we’re getting is another bloody politician,” one observed.

Mr Robertson said voters’ frustration was “certainly heightened” and laid it at the door of the Liberal Party, who are standing no candidates today.

Labor’s John Robertson and the Reverend Fred Nile at Hamilton South Public School.

►Live byelections blog from 5pm: Join the Herald online for updates, news and the result.

“The government called the byelections then decided not to stand in them,” Mr Robertson said.

“The message I have been saying to people is they aren’t running but they are watching.”

While bookmakers have installed Tim Crakanthorp and Jodie Harrison as unbackable favourites, Mr Robertson said he was less confident it was a foregone conclusion.

“I’m not a punter,” he said.

Reverend Nile said he was hopeful his party would perform well even if they didn’t take either seat.

He said his party’s clear policies would leave voters in no doubt as to what the candidates stood for.

“It’s a good chance for people to actually vote for a minor party rather than an independent,” he said.

For newlyweds Jessica and Ryan Tranter, onethe first things theydid after their honeymoon was cast theirvote.

Hamilton South PS: Jessica and Ryan Tranter and Katie Reidy.

The pair, who returned from the Whitsundays on Friday afternoon, had to make their decision quickly.

The pair joined friend Katie Reidy at Hamilton South Public School, casting their vote before heading off to unpack their bags.

“I didn’t know about this until we listened to the radio on the way back,” Ms Tranter said.

She said she followed advice from Mr Tranter, who said the region would benefit most from a marginal seat.

“The liberals came in for one term and dumped a heap of money,” he said.

FROM KOTARA HIGHSCHOOL

Voters quietly made their way to the polls as the heat of the day took holdat Kotara, with a team of volunteers and candidates settled in the shade forming a gauntlet.

“I’m more disillusioned than angry”: Don Knott voting at Kotara Public School.

Long before they reached them, voters were sharing the same mutters about “being back in March” and “a million and one independents”.

Don Knott said he “couldn’t bring himself” to vote Labor as he shuffled independents’ leaflets at the door.

“I think [this byelection] is something that’s been foisted upon us by Liberal candidates or whoever that will probably prevent them ever getting back into this seat,” Mr Knott said.

“I’m more disillusioned than angry.”

One voter, who declined to be named, said she chose the Greens to “balance out” Newcastle’s industrial past.

Kotara’s Andrew Thomas said there was a heavy mood of resigned apathy.

“It’s not an enthusiastic, chanting crowd,” he said.

While he said the byelection was “the least of the country’s troubles”, he said he was glad to vote.

“Part of the process is part of the process, you have got to participate,” he said.

FROM NEW LAMBTON PUBLIC SCHOOL

Seeking wisdom atthe battle-tested barometer of elections, the BBQ outside the polling place, brought little extra information.

Wade Jordan said it was relatively quiet atthe normally busy New Lambton Public School polling place, where he was manning the BBQto raise money for the school.

Chris Bosworth with children Ava, 6, and Angus, 8, at New Lambton Public School.

“Half our area don’t event vote today,” Mr Jordan said.

While they were voting early, many heading to the polls by 9am would prefer not to vote so often.

“I just picked,” Adamstown’sRosa Volpe said.

“I have no idea who anyone is.”

Chris Bosworth headed to the polls with children Ava, 6 and Angus, 8.

The normally conscientious swing voter said he saw no point to the short-lived term for thebyelection’s winner.

“I’m getting it out of the way so i can play golf,” Mr Bosworth said.

“I still haven’t decided, I’m thinking I might just tick my name off and not vote.”

“I’ve never done it before but this is a waste of time.”

Susan Evans of New Lambton echoed the apathy of many voters.

“Honestly there hasn’t been much information about any of them,” she said.

“I think I’ll go home, read the paper and vote for an independent.”

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