Fraser's in for the long haul
ANDREW Fraser has 20 good reasons to kick up his heels this weekend.
The National Party MP is marking two decades representing Coffs Harbour in State Parliament and he reckons he’s got plenty of good years left in him.
The 57-year-old will be toasted at a gathering of the party faithful tonight at Bonville International Golf Resort, where Opposition Leader Barry O’Farrell will join the party.
“I’m as keen today as I was 20 years ago and hopefully with prospects of government in a few months’ time,” Mr Fraser said.
“It’s been a long, tough road in many ways. Sometimes it’s felt like 20 minutes and other times like 20 years. I’m still enjoying the job very much, especially when you can help people.”
When asked about any prospects of retirement, Mr Fraser was quick off the mark.
“I’ve always said if I lose my sense of humour or I don’t want to get up and go to work I’d resign, but that hasn’t happened yet. But my sense of humour has been sorely tested at times.
“We’ve got a great opportunity to go to government in March (the state election). The last time we were in office the new Coffs Harbour hospital was approved and we actually saw the Pacific Highway upgrade planned.
“I think apart from the Coffs Harbour jetty upgrade, which was opened by Labor and started by us, the greatest achievement of all is the Coffs Harbour Education Campus. I’m extremely proud that it’s unique in NSW and has meant there’s a hell of a lot of local kids that can be educated here without leaving town.”
When asked about the downsides to his career, he recalled his celebrated stoush with Labor Minister Joe Tripodi on the floor of parliament and “not winning government at this stage”.
“While it’s still hard in government with the huge responsibility of budgets it is easier in government than it is in opposition, especially when you have a government at the moment that only looks after Newcastle, Sydney and Wollongong.”