Labor candidate concedes hard work is Fraser's legacy
WITH news of Andrew Fraser's retirement from politics, officially announced at the Nationals' State Conference in Cowra today, Cowper Labor candidate Andrew Woodward has recognised Mr Fraser's service to Coffs Harbour.
"I admire anyone from any political persuasion who undertakes a period of their life in public office," Mr Woodward said in a statement.
"It is a stressful, time-consuming and challenging role; all done under the microscope of public and media scrutiny and commentary, which is getting more and more forensic and ferocious by the day, particularly in the age of social media.
"While from the other side of politics, I commend Andrew Fraser for his service to the community and representing the area during three eras of government under ten premiers in 28 years," he said.
With the pleasantries aside, Mr Woodward said after nearly three decades under Andrew Fraser, Coffs Harbour needed 'a totally fresh approach.'
"When they awake from their nap, The National Party will just bowl up more of the same from their factory of mediocrity with their new candidate. They have form," Mr Woodward said.
"The Nationals are not fit for the future at a federal or state level.
"We have the most Sydney centric government in the history of the state at present.
"In Canberra, we have a chaotic government that is out of touch; with a National Party, that is out of ideas and, with a local member in Luke Hartsuyker who has run out of puff and is cruising to retirement. The Nationals are a party of the past.
"We don't need more of the same in Coffs Harbour. We need a totally fresh approach with a new party and new member who will get the basics right and take the area forward. That person is Labor's Tony Judge," he said.
Mr Fraser's resignation from politics has stirred conversation in Cowra at the Nationals Conference, while the Coffs Harbour branch of the Nationals is expected to call for potential successors to Mr Fraser next month.
The pre-selection ballot will determine who will serve as The Nationals candidate for Coffs Harbour to contest the 2019 State Election against Mr Judge in March.
Interestingly, Mr Fraser yesterday revealed to The Advocate he was initially tossing up whether to stand for The Nationals or Labor prior to winning the Coffs Harbour by-election in 1990, after approaches from both parties.
"I was always conservative by nature, that's why I stood for pre-selection with the Nats," Mr Fraser said.