I'm sure you're all breathing a collective sigh of relief as we reach the end of another personality-driven election campaign.
At the top, the major parties started off playing the man not the policy, but dozens of gaffes, gotchas, stumbles (and one crash tackle) later, it all boiled down to the core business of policy costings and social and economic management. Even then, no silver bullet was fired in the fight against inflation, unaffordable house prices, rental shortages, underpaid healthcare workers, and climate change.
Early polling figures for the Mid North Coast were much higher than expected; largely because of convenience but also because voters are weary and weather-beaten and simply want the campaign "over and done with".
But if you're among those yet to vote, cast an eye over the results of the Port Macquarie News reader poll. The majority of respondents nominated climate change as their No.1 priority, followed by housing affordability, environmental management and the cost of living. All but one Cowper candidate told us how they would address these issues. Regardless of who wins, these will remain a source of anxiety for so many in the Hastings Valley.
My responsibility, and that of all journalists, is to keep up the scrutiny long after the polls are closed, and to ensure that promises are kept and solutions to these complex issues are workshopped in consultation with you, our readers.
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I look forward to the pollie dust settling and discovering all the Hastings Valley's post-election stories yet to be told.
Editor, North Coast
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