Fraser 'won't follow the crowd'

Bilambil Heights' Matthew Fraser has been chosen as the Nationals candidate for Richmond.
Bilambil Heights' Matthew Fraser has been chosen as the Nationals candidate for Richmond. John Gass

NATIONAL Party candidate for the federal seat of Richmond Matt Fraser says the party is totally committed to winning the seat and believes he has a good chance of making it to Canberra.

Looking at the polls, the Labor Party only received the support of around 28% of voters and were obviously in trouble, Mr Fraser said.

When Richmond Labor MP Justine Elliot was first elected she probably had some great plans for the region and intended to do the right thing, Mr Fraser said..

However, toeing the party line meant having to defend unpopular decisions such as the carbon tax and had quite possibly hurt her chances for re-election, Mr Fraser added.

Mr Fraser said toeing the party line was something every politician faced however if his party's approach was the wrong one for Richmond he would not support it and go his own way.

"I won't stick rigidly to the party line if I believe it's not the right thing for my constituents," he said.

Mr Fraser said his strengths were his honesty and integrity and these qualities were reflected in the way he dealt with people. "Where I usually exceed is when I get in front of people and relate to them."

He believed the reasons why he won pre-selection were his youth, which gave him longevity in the party and politics in general, his business experience and his potential appeal to swing voters.

The Labor Party's electoral problems gave rise to his belief he could well be in Canberra after the next election and he hoped to be able to make some of his plans for Richmond a reality.

"I'd like to do more for young people in the area and ensure there were more permanent jobs and more facilities to enjoy themselves."

Mr Fraser supported a return to the border protection policies of the Howard years and reinstating offshore processing, temporary protection visas and even turning back the boats should be an option.

Leadership of the Labor Party continued to be a mess and offered the National Party some very clear opportunities during the next election, Mr Fraser said.

All the Coalition had to do was show the now famous "There will be no carbon tax under a government I lead" sound-bite to show the Prime Minister could not be trusted, he added.

Local issues remained top of his agenda with the economy the most pressing issue.

"What I want to do is bring more money into the area, through tourism, development and infrastructure," Mr Fraser said.

"This will have a ripple effect and flow through to local shops and their employees."

Topics:  national party political candidate richmond

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