Na­tion­als’ new era in Coffs Har­bour pol­i­tics

The Coffs Coast Advocate - - NEWS - SAM FLANA­GAN sam.flana­[email protected]­s­coas­tad­vo­

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.

Photo: Sam Flana­gan

CHANG­ING OF THE GUARD: Gurmesh Singh and An­drew Fraser chat af­ter Mr Singh was the win­ning can­di­date in the Na­tion­als pre-se­lec­tion.

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