Labor's sitting MP Meryl Swanson said she is happy with her position on the ballot following a draw last Wednesday to determine the order in which the Paterson candidates will appear on voting slips in next month's federal election.
There are six candidates standing for the Paterson electorate, which takes in most of Port Stephens, in the May 18 federal election.
The candidates standing, in order of how they will appear on the ballot, include Sachin Joshi (Liberal), Neil Turner (One Nation), Meryl Swanson (incumbent Labor MP), Jan Davis (Greens), Graham Burston (United Australia Party) and Christopher Arthur Vale (Christian Democrat Party).
"The ballot draw is a necessary formality, and I'm counting on my strong record as the Member for Paterson to get me through this election," said Ms Swanson following last Wednesday's draw held in East Maitland.
"In the past three years, I've been a tireless advocate for our community.
"My office has helped thousands of people navigate federal issues like the NDIS, NBN, Centrelink and immigration, I played a vital part in the expansion of Newcastle airport welcoming international flights, I've secured a commitment for the long-awaited M1 extension and I've had contact with over 60 per cent - or around 93,000 people - in the electorate."
The Liberal's Mr Joshi was philosophical about his top position on the ballot paper. "It's good to have No. 1 spot but ballot is a ballot. It's more about having an opportunity to connect with, and serve, this wonderful community."
Mr Joshi said that he would busy at the pre-poll centres.
The Greens candidate Jan Davis said that she was disappointed with the draw and that "there are not more progressive candidates" for Paterson.
"However, we are happy to be in the contest, and working hard to achieve re-election for our Greens Senator Mehreen Faruqi who will fight for a renewable future for us all and the planet."
In the Senate, Port Stephens resident Jewell Drury, known for her tireless work with COPSY as media and marketing officer, is standing as an Australian Better Families (ABF) candidate.
"I am the only female candidate in NSW standing for the fathers, parents, grandparents and extended families who have been alienated from their children due to the broken family law system which continues to tear families apart," Ms Drury said.
"As a mother of eight children, grandmother to five and a foster parent, I understand the importance of family relationships and the dangers of broken attachments between parents and their children.
"I have decided to stand as a candidate to ensure that Australian families benefit before all others from government policies and I am proud to say that all of our policies will ensure this happens.
Ms Drury said that the ABF party featured 21 policies with Australian families at the core.
"I stand for the child who has been alienated from his non- custodial parent and grandparent due to our failed family law system. I stand for the fathers who are in danger of taking their lives because they have lost their relationship with their children due to false allegations.
"I stand for reform to mental health that would see funding redirected to health hubs and community centres in rural areas.
"I stand for older Australians who are being mistreated and neglected in nursing homes, and for Australian infrastructure, assets, farmland and residential housing to be Australia owned and protected for future generations."
Port residents living in the Seaham and Karuah areas, who are part of the federal electorate of Lyne, will have nine candidates to vote for.
The Lyne candidates in ballot sheet order are:
- Phil Costa - Australian Labor Party
- Dr David Gillespie - The Nationals (incumbent MP)
- Garry Bourke - United Australia Party
- Ryan Goldspring - Fraser Anning's Conservative National Party
- Dean McRae - Liberal Democrats
- Ed Caruana - Australian Workers Party
- Jeremy Miller - Independent
- Catherine Zhao - Christian Democrats (Fred Nile Group)
- Stuart Watson - The Greens
While pre-polling in some electorates has been open since April 29, both Nelson Bay and Raymond Terrace pre-poll centres will not open their doors until next Monday, May 6.
In the Bay, people can vote at the All Saints Church in Stockton Street, while in the Terrace the centre is located at 33 Sturgeon Street, from 8.30am to 5.30pm weekdays and on Saturday, May 11, from 9am to 4pm.