Lyne candidates off and running in campaign to win seat at federal election on May 18

CANDIDATES: Jeremy Miller, Garry Bourke, Ed Caruara, Phil Costa and David Gillespie are all contesting the seat of Lyne.

CANDIDATES: Jeremy Miller, Garry Bourke, Ed Caruara, Phil Costa and David Gillespie are all contesting the seat of Lyne.

With a month until the federal election do you know all the candidates vying for your vote come May 18?

Prime minister Scott Morrison called the election at 8am on April 11, firing the starter's gun on a five-week race to the finish line in which many are expecting a new prime minister at the end.

Neither major party is expected to win majority control of the Senate, with half of the 76-seat upper house up for grabs.

Further, after a national redrawing of seat boundaries after the last election, the coalition starts with 73 seats (down from 74) with Labor on 72 (up from 69).

But what about locally? The seat of Lyne is currently held by Dr David Gillespie but in the race to election day there are five candidates trying to secure your vote.

Lyne itself covers 16,099 square kilometres from Port Stephens to just south of Port Macquarie taking in Taree and Forster-Tuncurry but also includes Hawks Nest-Tea Gardens, Gloucester, Dungog, Laurieton and Wauchope.

Dr David Gillespie is The Nationals candidate.

Dr David Gillespie is The Nationals candidate.

The Nationals: Dr David Gillespie 

Dr David Gillespie is contesting the election as the incumbent and heading into the election campaign said he was keen to show what his government had achieved.

"As we continue to fix government finances and the nation's economy, the Federal Nationals in government has been able to introduce programs and significantly increase our investment in infrastructure which is important to regional Australia," Dr Gillespie said.

"We have now completed all the duplication of the Pacific Highway through the Lyne electorate, dozens of new mobile phone towers have been constructed and we have increased aged care funding in our electorate from $90-million a year to $135-million a year.

"We have allocated more than $40-million in Federal funding for the Bucketts Way upgrade. There has been $20-million announced for Clarence Town Road, funding to upgrade Park Street in Gresford and Dowling Street Dungog."

He said there have also been a significant number of projects that have come to fruition during his time in parliament and is hoping to continue that after the election.

"I believe we have been able to achieve a lot together since I was elected the Member for Lyne, and I am very much looking forward to continuing to secure record funding for our region over the next term in government," he said.

"This election is about trust, responsibility and common sense."

Country Labor's candidate Phil Costa.

Country Labor's candidate Phil Costa.

Country Labor: Phil Costa

Phil Costa was formerly the state member for Wollondilly and served as NSW state water minister.

"My wife and I always loved the Mid North Coast and that's why we moved here a few years ago as locals we want to make it an even better place to live," Mr Costa said.

"I have been a councillor, mayor, principal and a state minister and when I commit to something I stay with it.

"I spent 30 years in education, over the years I have been on over 100 community boards and groups and I have always lived on the land."

Mr Costa said since he moved to Nabiac with his extended family more than three years ago he has tried to immerse himself in the local community.

"I am the kind of person who is unafraid to say yes to something," he said.

"When I was asked to nominate as a candidate I went to all the local branches and spoke to them before officially becoming the candidate because I believe I can do some good in the region.

"A focus for me would be youth unemployment and trying to change that. Young people are our future and if we invest in them through funding TAFE and bringing back penalty rates that can only help our communities.

"Another area of focus is climate change and doing our bit. Anyone who says climate change is not real is barking up the wrong tree and as a primary producer for many years I know first hand the impact climate change is having on the world."

In Lyne, Mr Costa plans to focus on youth employment and jobs, climate change, health and education.

The Australian Workers Party candidate Ed Caruana.

The Australian Workers Party candidate Ed Caruana.

Australian Workers Party: Ed Caruana

Mr Caruana has done a Masters in Business Administration and now owns a business and is a deputy captain in the Rural Fire Service. He says his reasons for embarking on this political journey is change.

"I'm tired of looking at stupid decisions, fed up of seeing our businesses close, sick of listening to non-gender bias political correctness, watching our car manufacturing go overseas, seeing our farms starve while offering foreign aid, seeing our lands destroyed and sold off by big corporations and gas fracking," Mr Caruana said.

"We need to change, we need a national treaty with our first peoples. We need big business to prosper and make money, paying their fair share of taxes. We need our military and their families supported.

"We need Australia to remain a unique mix of peace and a society that respects individuals' rights to religious and personal freedoms.

"We need to hold executives and politicians accountable and remove the philosophy of entitlement.

"We need a better place for a grandchildren and their grandchildren. I love Australia and where I live, I'm over short-term politics and want to improve our country for the better."

Lyne Independent Jeremy Miller.

Lyne Independent Jeremy Miller.

Independent: Jeremy Miller

Independent candidate for Lyne, Jeremy Miller said that people are feeling left behind and are looking for new energy to represent our community.

"Every day I'm hearing from people who have voted Nationals all their lives but now they feel the party doesn't represent them anymore and they're looking for a safe alternative," Mr Miller said.

"I've been holding kitchen table meetings throughout the electorate and people are contacting me through email, Facebook and Twitter. The overwhelming message is that it is time for a change."

Mr Miller said that he is looking forward to the challenge between now and the election.

"I'm listening to people and we're coming up with policies and solutions together, as a community,' he said.

"Anyone who wants to join the conversation is very welcome to contact me on Facebook or through the website. Or come and say hello at the many community meetings we're holding.

"We have a huge hill to climb this election but I'm putting everything into it. If we work together and make some noise, make ourselves heard, we can make a lasting difference for our region."

United Australia Party's Garry Bourke.

United Australia Party's Garry Bourke.

United Australia Party: Garry Bourke 

Garry Bourke was born in Sydney and growing up lived on the Central Coast moving to Alstonville in Northern NSW later in life and started contracting and building with the Public Works department in 1989. He still sub contracting to the Public Works department today.

Out of the numerous jobs, Mr Bourke built the underground toilets in the Byron Bay Lighthouse and demolished the mental health unit at the back of Lismore Hospital, to name a few. Mr Bourke lives on a 100 acre property at McLean Ridges.

Along with fellow his neighbours' there are plans for a Championship Golf course, 3,500 house sites; all on solar and off the grid. With the Housing, Hotel, and on site accommodation for golfers.

"The site that we want to build is being held up by bureaucracy and at all government levels is something I want to address," Mr Bourke said.

He said one of the other things he would advocate for was for the Bruxner Highway from Wollongbar to Richmond Hill to be widened and remove all dangerous intersections for our locals and national and international guests.

The 2019 federal election will be on May 18.

April 18 is the last day to enrol or update your electoral details and early voting will begin on April 29.

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