Nats pre-se­lect Port so­lic­i­tor for Cow­per

Con­aghan vows to re­pay the party’s faith

The Coffs Coast Advocate - - NEWS -


PORT Mac­quarie so­lic­i­tor Patrick Con­aghan has pre­vailed in a four can­di­date pre-se­lec­tion for the Fed­eral seat of Cow­per.

Mr Con­aghan won the party's pre-se­lec­tion bal­lot of mem­bers ahead of newsagent Chris Gen­ders, elec­tri­cian Jamie Har­ri­son and phar­ma­cist Judy Plun­kett in Macksville.

“I want to thank the mem­bers of our party for the trust they've placed in me and I am com­mit­ted to work­ing hard for the peo­ple of Cow­per,” Mr Con­aghan said.

“I also want to thank Luke Hart­suyker for his years of ser­vice to the Party and our com­mu­ni­ties.”

NSW Na­tion­als chair­man Bede Burke said it was crit­i­cal the peo­ple of Cow­per con­tin­ued to have a strong voice in Par­lia­ment and he be­lieved Mr Con­aghan was the right per­son for the job.

“Patrick Con­aghan has al­ready demon­strated a com­mit­ment to the com­mu­nity and has a de­sire to work hard for the peo­ple of Cow­per,” Mr Burke said.

“It's im­por­tant we con­tinue to have a strong voice in Par­lia­ment. I'm con­fi­dent Patrick will be an­other strong Na­tion­als MP that will work hard for the peo­ple.”

Mr Con­aghan will rep­re­sent the party at next year's Fed­eral Elec­tion af­ter long-stand­ing Coffs Har­bour-based in­cum­bent Luke Hart­suyker, who has held the seat for 17 years, an­nounced his re­tire­ment at the next elec­tion.

All four party pre­s­e­lec­tion can­di­dates were based in Port Mac­quarie, mak­ing the Coffs Coast vote all im­por­tant at the next elec­tion, with La­bor Can­di­date An­drew Wood­ward based in the north­ern half of the elec­torate along with the Greens can­di­date Coffs Har­bour City coun­cil­lor Sally Town­ley.

Mr Con­aghan's has pre­vi­ously worked as a Syd­ney­based so­lic­i­tor, a po­lice of­fi­cer and a po­lice pros­e­cu­tor.

He will start cam­paign­ing safe in the knowl­edge that Cow­per has been held by the Na­tion­als and Coun­try party for all but two years in its his­tory.The four-way Port Mac­quarie-based pre­s­e­lec­tion may prove a strong move for The Na­tion­als con­sid­er­ing that for­mer in­de­pen­dent mem­ber for Lyne, Rob Oakeshott who con­tested the last Fed­eral elec­tion in Cow­per is yet to con­firm whether he will stand again.

The Na­tion­als Coffs Har­bour branch will meet in a fort­night’s time to pre­s­e­lect a can­di­date to re­place Mem­ber for Coffs Har­bour An­drew Fraser, who is re­tir­ing at the State Elec­tion on March 23 af­ter 28 years in State Par­lia­ment.

The Na­tion­als have pre­s­e­lected so­lic­i­tor Patrick Con­aghan.

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