HEALTH is the number one concern of voters in the Tamworth electorate for the upcoming state election, according to the latest polling.
More than 300 people took part in The Leader’s online survey, which asked voters to choose one of six prominent issues as their biggest priority for the March 23 election.
Health was the clear favourite, attracting more than a quarter of the votes.
The environment was second with 19 per cent, followed by drought assistance (15.81 per cent) and big infrastructure projects (15.16 per cent).
Surprisingly, two of the traditionally big-ticket state election items, education (12.58 per cent) and roads (11.29 per cent), polled the poorest.
A number of the region’s health issues have already reared their head throughout the campaign trail, with multiple candidates pinning the area as a key battleground to win the hearts and minds of voters.
Shooters, Fisher and Farmers candidate Jeff Bacon has started a petition calling on the state government to fund a large-scale drug-and-alcohol rehabilitation facility in the electorate.
Mr Bacon also asked other candidates to put politics aside and present a united front on the issue – so far, independent Mark Rodda and Labor’s Stephen Mears have pledged their support.
The same candidates have also expressed disappointment in the ability of sitting Tamworth MP and Nationals candidate Kevin Anderson to secure funding for a new Banskia Mental Health Unit.
The staffing level of nurses at Manilla hospital is another area of community concern.
With the impact of the drought still hanging over the region like a dark cloud, it’s no surprise the environment and drought assistance polled second and third respectively.