The Labor Party has pinned its hopes on a retired teacher from Tanilba Bay to take on Paterson MP Bob Baldwin in September’s federal election.
Bay Marshall said he could not match Mr Baldwin’s election campaign expenditure but said true campaigning was about connecting with constituents which was inexpensive and provided a personal approach.
Mr Marshall – who is spruiking the Country Labor brand – said a Labor focus in Paterson would provide residents with better health care, education and transport initiatives.
He said there was a severe shortage of GPs in the Port Stephens area which needed to be rectified as more people moved to the area, and he wanted a super health clinic built in Nelson Bay.
“When I moved here it took me 11 times to find a GP because all of their books were full – people need to be able to see a doctor,” he said.
Mr Marshall praised the findings in the Gonski report into education but warned high-quality teaching required more than just funding.
His teaching career spanned 40 years and took him to Sydney, where he taught students from non-English speaking backgrounds and the Northern Territory where he taught Aboriginal children.
“We need to be keeping up with the rest of the world, but instead we seem to pick up the trend once it is old overseas and something new is available,” he said.
Mining royalties paid to the government are also on his agenda. He wants to see more money come back to the electorate, especially for roads.
Mr Marshall moved to Tanilba Bay four years ago. He is a long-time member of the Labor Party and served one term on Rockdale City Council.
“While I understand council and federal politics are very different the experience has given me some exposure to it and I have gained a lot of knowledge from age and experience,” he said.
Mr Marshall is involved with the Tilligerry Habitat group, St Vincent De Paul and the Mallabula Men’s Shed.
“I am interested in helping people who are less well off than the affluent,” he said.