Alfredo Navarro said he is not a suit and tie sort of politician: “What you see is exactly what you get.”
Alfredo Navarro said he is not a suit and tie sort of politician: “What you see is exactly what you get.”

Change is needed, says Country Labor candidate

COUNTRY Labor's candidate for Cowper has launched his campaign with a promise to act for the local community, and by challenging the incumbent's 11-year record.

Alfredo Navarro, who arrived with his parents and three siblings from Uruguay when he was just two, announced his candidacy before a gathering of party faithful yesterday.

"I moved to Coffs Harbour in 2004 to change my life and for a better lifestyle," Mr Navarro said.

"It was a great decision and I love it here but I'm frustrated that I haven't seen a lot of change since. We have been a safe seat for far too long, we need to change and I am committed to real change for everyone in this community."

Mr Navarro works as a union organiser, dealing on an everyday basis with community and childcare workers, cleaners and maintenance personal.

The director of Good Start Childcare at Moonee, Sarah Grant, launched Mr Navarro's candidacy by highlighting his input into the government's recently announced $300m early childhood package.

"Alfredo has tremendous connections in the community, he is optimistic for the future and he stands up for what he believes in," Ms Grant said.

"He is a tremendous advocate for positive social change."

Mr Navarro said lessons he learnt as the child of immigrants have sustained him to try to be as good as he can be.

"Education is the key to everything. I believe everyone should have the right to a good education and to be treated fairly in their jobs," he said.

"I am just like you. I pay rent, I buy petrol and I go shopping, and just like everyone, I want to work and to contribute.

"My attitude is that in public service you need to take on responsibility for the community, and that is why I am standing for Cowper."

While his launch was short on detailed policy, Mr Navarro said his priority would be to always put Cowper first.

"Last week I attended the opening of the Kempsey bypass which was fully funded by the current government and got to help cut the ribbon. I want to do the same for Coffs Harbour. We need to embrace the views of the community and not be held back by the agendas of individuals," he said.

He also cited the NBN, the National Disability Insurance Scheme, the Anzac Centenary Grants, the School Kids Bonus Scheme and record Federal funding on the Pacific Highway and local roads as evidence that Labor has been good for the region.

"We are a world-leading economy and that didn't happen by chance.

"But we need more infrastructure here to attract business and more opportunities for people to better themselves through good jobs and access to education," he said.

Alfredo Navarro

  • Single, lives in Orara Valley
  • Born 1967, Montevideo, Uruguay
  • Arrived in Australia 1970
  • First Job: MacDonalds Liverpool
  • Currently regional organiser United Voice
  • Interests: Great outdoors, social justice, workers' rights, education, community engagement

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