Red-hot state election favourite

IT’S a buoyant mood in Andrew Fraser’s camp as he heads toward the state polls on March 26.

He’s got every reason to smile, too, considering he holds Coffs Harbour by more than 17% and his Coalition is a red hot favourite to be swept to power.

Mr Fraser was surrounded by the Nationals’ faithful yesterday when his leader, Andrew Stoner, officially opened his campaign office in Coffs Harbour’s CBD.

“When we were last in government we achieved the university here in Coffs Harbour and bought the land for the hospital,” Mr Fraser said.

“We’re about providing basic services we need badly.

“A new Coffs Harbour police station/court house was on the table for the Coalition Government to start in 1996 when we lost power.

“We now have the worst police station in NSW and the Coffs/Clarence local area command is 49 officers down.”

Mr Fraser said a Coalition government would ensure NSW got its fair share of police and regional areas would be on par with city commands.

“We are understaffed and we intend to rectify that,” he said.

“When we open the till we will find a fair bit of dust and IOUs. It is up to the Coalition to rebuild NSW.

“(Coffs Harbour) is the largest provincial city in NSW, but we are the poor cousins.”

Mr Stoner, who could soon be the Deputy Premier, was naturally full of praise for his colleague.

“I don’t need to tell you Andrew Fraser is a legend in state and Australian politics,” Mr Stoner said.

“This is a bloke who hasn’t slowed down since (he was elected) in 1990 and he hasn’t lost one ounce of passion for Coffs Harbour. You see that on a daily basis in Macquarie Street.

“He’ll go down in history for doing what we were all thinking – expressing his frustration over the Pacific Highway and doing what we all wanted to do and chase Joe Tripodi and hold the minister to account.”

Mr Stoner also said Mr Fraser was a determined MP who had plenty of ticker and he would be a senior member of a Coalition government.

“(Winning the election) is not going to be as easy as what the polls say,” he said.

“Coffs Harbour is a seat we desperately need to win and we need to build a government seat by seat by seat.

“A Coalition government will be balanced in governing for all of NSW to make sure regional NSW will get its share.”

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