This could be a huge problem for the new Federal Government

NEXT week's double dissolution election is driven partly by the Coalition's desire to clean out the Senate crossbench, but research indicates increasing diversity in the Upper House is a symptom of voters' disillusionment with Labor and the Coalition, not a cause of it.

A report from The Australia Institute released yesterday showed some 40% of voters did not vote Liberal or Labor in 2013.

It said that result was part of a long-running trend of people voting for independents such as Nick Xenophon or Glenn Lazarus, minor parties such as the Greens, or "donkey voting" rather than supporting the major parties.

TAI's Richard Denniss said most voters were seeing the Senate crossbench as "the norm" and the trend away from the majors was likely to be "more pronounced" next week.

Topics:  federal election 2016 federal government hung parliament new

Timeline given to Jetty Foreshore development plan

The State Government is starting a community engagement process over the development of crown land on the Jetty Foreshores.

Have your say on the continued development of the Jetty Foreshores

What's on this week

Save the date for the Coffs BCU Tri.

Check out the latest events happening on the Coffs Coast.

Mum would rather another crash than getting caught in a rip

CLOSE CALL: Woolgoolga local Kathy Haines (centre) and her two sons Nickolas and Jamie were rescued from a rip at Woolgoolga's Main Beach at the weekend.

A mother of two is lucky to be alive after being pulled from a rip

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