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The Labor candidate for Cowper says the Coalition government has steadily dismantled “one brick at a time” some of our traditional services.

 

He says more services are being outsourced meaning there are fewer public servants employed to work for a growing population.

 

“It is the fundamentals that makes Australia what it is that are being pulled out brick by brick,” he said.

 

“What the Coalition are leaving is the empty shell without the staff or services.

“We are seeing the erosion of services in our traditional areas like the ABC, TAFE, Parks and Wildlife Services, Centrelink and others.

 

“This constant pulling out of bricks is starting to impact on peoples’ lives.

“I want to work to restore these services,” he said.

 

The electorate deserves leadership and imagination, he said.

 

Mr Wodoward said he supports building major infrastructure items like hospitals and schools but government also needs to ensure trained and capable staff can fill the jobs required.

 

He says his election platforms include employment, environment and equality, particularly in relation to the NBN.

 

“With some energy and expertise we can bring people together,” he said.

 

With some energy and expertise we can bring people together.

Andrew Woodward

He says jobs can be created in the environment, solar, energy, organic foods, renewable energy exporting, carbon farming, and the better utilisation of under-performing farm lands.

 

“People are telling me about the anomalies in regards to the NBN too.

 

“They want the issues of speed and reliability fixed, increase the service to fibre to the kerb and eventually restoring Labor’s original NBN plan.”

 

He says there is a mood for change with a groundswell of support for Labor, even from rusted-on conservative voters.

 

“Someone up at Dorrigo said to me the other day: we’ve changed, Australia has changed, the world has changed but the Nats haven’t changed,” he said.

 

“Voters are saying to me that it is time for change.

 

“There is a real sense that we will see Labor win government so it makes sense to have a Labor voice inside government representing us here in Cowper.”

 

He said the electorate was changing too with new residents coming into the area.

The Labor candidate says he feels in striking distance of taking the seat.

 

“We are going to be investing time and money to show that we are a viable alternative,” he said.

 

“We believe we will be competitive.”

 

Cowper MP Luke Harsuyker announced his retirement from federal politics in August.

Patrick Conaghan will face the voters for The Nationals while Dr Sally Townley is The Greens candidate.

 

Independent candidate at the 2016 election and former federal Lyne MP Rob Oakeshott is yet to confirm if he will contest the next election.