Nationals’ new era in Coffs Harbour politics
OZ GROUP chairman Gurmesh Singh won pre-selection for The Nationals in the seat of Coffs Harbour.
Mr Singh was voted by the party membership ahead of fellow candidates, real estate agent, business owner and former councillor Kerry Hines, senior ranking police officer Detective Inspector Darren Jameson and local solicitor and former police officer Brett Marshall.
Incumbent Andrew Fraser is set to retire in March, with the party now drawing on fresh blood to take them forward.
The party has held the seat of Coffs Harbour since its inception in 1981 through MPs Matt Singleton and Andrew Fraser.
Mr Singh said he was focused on ensuring The Nationals are re-elected at the next state election.
“We’re entering a new era with Andrew retiring and Luke Hartsuyker retiring ... we’re about to see a whole lot more new representation for Coffs Harbour,” Mr Singh said.
Mr Singh, who is also the vice-president of the Australian Blueberry Growers Association, said he hopes to build on the great work of the current government if elected.
“I think it’s important that we continue to sell our great economic message,” he said.
“The Nationals have done great things for the state over the last eight years and we’ve built up a really good budget surplus and good cash reserves.
“Now when it’s time to spend that money it should be the people who have built up those reserves who are able to decide where it gets spent.”
Andrew Fraser said he was impressed by the quality of the four candidates and is looking forward to guiding Mr Singh.
CHANGING OF THE GUARD: Gurmesh Singh and Andrew Fraser chat after Mr Singh was the winning candidate in the Nationals pre-selection.