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Fraser weighs up his options

Coffs Harbour MP Andrew Fraser confirms his political future after criticising his government over the latest public housing bungle.
Coffs Harbour MP Andrew Fraser confirms his political future after criticising his government over the latest public housing bungle. Rob Wright

ANDREW Fraser has downplayed reports he is threatening to walk out on the Nationals and become an independent.

The Member for Coffs Harbour has also put to rest spectulation that he may even resign from politics after 21 years.

The possibility was raised after Mr Fraser criticised his own government over the bungled tenders awarded to construction company St Hilliers, which yesterday entered voluntary administration.

Mr Fraser said a simple comment of "watch this space" had been misintepreted. 

"I think that political future talk is coming straight out of the media, what I have said is 'watch this space'," Mr Fraser said.

"I have a number of options open to me and I am not going to rest until my contractors receive the payment they are due."

Asked directly if he was planning to walk away from the party in coming days, Mr Fraser could not entirely rule out the option.

"Anything is likely in politics I am just saying I have options open to me, which include putting legislation on the table of the house and I am quite happy to put that legislation in whether it is approved by Cabinet or not."

"That would be an embarrassment to the government because I have written to the government some months ago offering solutions to this type of market failure in relation to building companies."

Mr Fraser said he held no resentment towards the Coalition for not giving him a ministry.

"Everyone believes they should have a ministry, I didn't get one, we lost ministries in the National Party because of the huge number of Liberals who won seats in Sydney.

"I have no resentment, I'll get on and do my job.

"I will represent the people in my electorate as I have always done strongly and without fear.

"I'll be a member of the Nationals, the Nationals to me are a party I believe in, their principles stand up there we have got to be prepared in government to stand up to those principles and take them to our Coalition colleagues and ensure fiascos like this one don't continue to happened and that the contractors here are paid."

Mr Fraser denied reports he had a fractured working relationship with Finance Minister Greg Pearce who is under fire after his department awarded the public housing contracts to St Hilliers.

"I will have an even better relationship if he signs a cheque and pays the Coffs Harbour creditors.

Given the State Government is yet to pay St Hilliers for the work completed on the Harbour Dr project, Mr Fraser said the money should be paid directly to local contractors so the money is not lost to administrators.  St Hilliers was awarded work to complete 12 projects by the NSW Government as part of the Nation Building Economic Stimulus.

 

Topics:  coffs harbour mp, housing nsw, st hilliers


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