The electoral district of Ballina is a seat in Northern NSW. Ballina covers all of Ballina Shire and Byron Shire, including the main towns of Ballina, Lennox Head, Byron Bay and Mullumbimby.
According to 2016 Census data, Ballina has:
A population of 73,276 (47,458 voters turned out in 2015 out of 54,958 enrolled);
A higher than average median age at 46;
A higher than average level of highest educational attainment with 20.9% of constituents achieving a Bachelor Degree level and above; and
A lower than average median weekly household income of $1,153 (vs. $1,486 for NSW).
Ballina was created in 1988, however another seat Ballina existed from 1894 to 1904. Ballina was held by the Nationals continuously from 1988 until 2015. Don Page won the seat continuously from 1988-2015, holding the seat until his retirement. In 2015 the seat was won by Greens candidate Tamara Smith, with a 20% swing after preferences.
The current member, Tamara Smith, holds the seat for the Greens.
Tamara Smith (GRN)
Prior to entering the Parliament, Smith was a secondary school teacher and later a solicitor, working across social justice, aboriginal affairs and public education advocacy and having an interest in energy law. Smith's family have lived in the Northern Rivers area for four generations.
In 2015, Smith ran for the seat of Ballina. There was no incumbent. Smith won the seat with a 20.1 point swing. Smith won 53.1% of the two-candidate-preferred vote. Smith was the first woman to represent the electorate of Ballina and the first Greens MP in a regional seat in any Parliament of Australia.
Ben Franklin (NAT)
Franklin is the National Party candidate for Ballina in the 2019 election. Franklin is currently a Member of the New South Wales Legislative Council since 2015, representing the National Party. In January 2017, Franklin was appointed Parliamentary Secretary for Renewable Energy and Northern NSW. He is also the current Deputy Government Whip in the Legislative Council, a role he took on in May 2015.
Prior to his election, Franklin served as the State Director of the Nationals between 2008 and 2015. Franklin was previously Communications Director for UNICEF Australia.
Franklin is currently lives in Byron Bay and is an active member of the local community.