Lack of pre-poll votes means seat of Reid is really up for grabs

Labor’s Sam Crosby, a former state and federal government staffer, has been campaigning for over a year.

He is up against Fiona Martin – a child psychologist and first-time candidate, pre-selected only last month after Mr Laundy pulled out.

Mr Crosby has nominated a lack of services for the area’s development as a pivotal issue. By contrast, Dr Martin said the area’s central concern was the economy, as well as Labor’s proposed changes to property and investment taxes.

“We’ve already had a huge amount of growth and then you’ve had the state government slate another 50,000 homes for Rhodes, Wentworth Point, Homebush, Olympic Park and Lidcombe,” said Mr Crosby who, prior to running for Reid, was the executive director of the Labor-aligned think tank, the McKell Institute.

Mr Crosby said his approach to the issue was not to say that federal Labor could fix all the problems, but to focus on service improvements: money for Concord Hospital, $3 billion for a new Western Metro rail line, and funds for schools.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Liberal candidate for Reid, Fiona Martin, during a visit to Burwood.Credit:Alex Ellinghausen

Reid was won by Mr Laundy by 4.7 per cent at the 2016 election, though it had been held by Labor almost continuously prior to 2013. Mr Crosby is considered a slight favourite.

On Tuesday, Dr Martin, who has a PhD from the University of Sydney and who owns her own practice specialising in child psychology, announced a $5 million commitment to a high performance cricket training facility at Wilson Park, in Sydney Olympic Park. Both sides of politics have also promised funding for an upgrade of Concord Oval.

Although she was late to campaigning, Dr Martin said she first joined the Liberal Party more than 20 years ago.

“I grew up hearing from my father the stories of the struggles of small business,” she said. “Hard work shouldn’t be penalised. Why should we be taxed for trying to get ahead and working hard?”

An early voting report compiled by the AEC shows 9.8 per cent of the Reid electorate had voted. Another marginal Sydney seat, Banks, also had a relatively low turn-out, with 12.3 per cent of electors having voted.

The seats with the highest proportion of electors to have voted were Richmond (27.4 per cent) and Gilmore (26.5 per cent).

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