North Coast National Ben Franklin has been preselected to contest the seat of Ballina at next year’s State Election.

Since 2015 Mr Franklin has served the region as a Member of the Legislative Council, and was appointed Parliamentary Secretary for Renewable Energy and Northern NSW in January 2017. But a desire to work more closely with the local community grew, prompting his run for the lower house.

“I have loved serving the Ballina and Byron Shires as a Member of the Legislative Council for the past three and a half years,” Mr Franklin said. “People in the Ballina electorate want to have a community voice inside Government who is actually at the table when decisions are made, and can advocate every day on their behalf. I believe I can be that voice.”

During his time in Parliament, Mr Franklin has worked alongside the community to benefit the entire region, from securing funding and support for many local organisations like the Ballina Men’s Shed, the Byron Youth Service and the Wardell and Tintenbar Community Halls, to saving the old Mullumbimby Hospital site and the public land at Suffolk Park.

“I have passionately advocated from inside government for the best interests of our local area and I am proud of what I have been able to achieve, hand in hand with the local community,” Mr Franklin said. “If I have the privilege of being elected, I look forward to continuing to serve the people of the Ballina electorate as their local member.”