Nationals candidate hits the streets in bid for Richmond
COALITION candidate for the federal seat of Richmond Matthew Fraser has started his campaign and although the election is still some time off, Mr Fraser is knocking on doors to introduce himself to the electorate.
This week Mr Fraser visited a number of businesses in Tweed Heads South and first stop was the Tweed Growers Wholesale Fruit and Veges shop owned by young Banora Point businessman Grant Cook.
After handing Mr Cook the obligatory National Party leaflet Mr Fraser, owner of two Hungry Jacks outlets, and Mr Cook discussed the issues facing small business at the moment.
Mr Cook said he welcomed Mr Fraser's candidacy and was happy to see a business owner like himself enter the political arena and run for a seat in Canberra.
"It's nice to know who you're dealing with and particularly to see someone who has been in the real world.
"You want to know who is representing you.
"I'll definitely vote for Matthew and think he has a good chance."
"That's my honest opinion anyway," Mr Cook said.
Mr Cook explained that earlier this year his main competitors, Coles and Woolworths, had offered customers especially low prices for fruit and vegetables and had out competed him but over the last few months business had certainly picked up.
"People seem to be spending a little more nowadays," Mr Cook said.
After Mr Fraser's visit to the shop he made his way to the Border Brewing Supplies store managed by Melani Bradfield from Tyalgum.
On the way a passerby recognised Mr Fraser and told him to "give it up, mate, my vote goes to Justine" before walking off quickly.
Mr Fraser shrugged off the comment and continued on his way.
After Mr Fraser introduced himself Ms Bradfield confessed to being a swing voter, still unsure who to vote for at the next general election.
Mr Fraser explained where he and the Coalition stood on issues such as immigration and carbon tax and seemed to hit a nerve with his policy towards illegal boat arrivals.
"They just seem to keep on coming," Ms Bradfield said.
Mr Fraser spoke of the coalition's policy to turn back boats when this was possible and Ms Bradfield wholeheartedly agreed.
"If people want to come here, they should use the correct channels and get a visa," Ms Bradfield said.
Ms Bradfield, who is also a teacher, then challenged Mr Fraser on the issue of education and cuts to funding.
"What are you going to do for schools," Ms Bradfield asked.
Ms Bradfield explained she had lost a lot of teaching hours due to a lack of funding and this was the reason she was working at the brewing supplies store.
Mr Fraser said his mother was also a teacher and he understood Ms Bradfield's frustration.
"The government wastes an enormous amount of money each year, which could and should be used for education," Mr Fraser said.