News Release: Andrew Woodward selected to take on Luke Hartsuyker in Cowper

171113 A new voice for Cowper 800 x 400

News Release, Monday, 9 April 2018

Andrew Woodward selected to take on Luke Hartsuyker in Cowper

The Australian Labor Party has selected Andrew Woodward of Bellingen to be the candidate for Cowper at the upcoming federal election.

Mr Woodward, 52, is a father of two and runs his own management consulting and marketing communications practice, specialising in climate change, renewable energy, sustainable development, conservation and environmental advocacy. Andrew first moved to the mid-north coast over 30 years ago and returned just two years ago, permanently relocating to Bellingen.

In a varied career in the corporate world, Andrew started as a journalist before taking on senior roles in marketing, corporate affairs and management consulting in Australia and overseas. He played a key role in Sydney’s successful bid for and staging of the 2000 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Andrew also held executive positions with Tourism Australia and Visa Inc. Andrew lived in San Francisco for three years and was a senior global marketing executive for Visa at its Silicon Valley Headquarters. Andrew holds a Master of Business and Technology (2007) and Master of Environmental Management (2017); both from the University of New South Wales.

Andrew has been an active lifelong supporter of the party and worked in Keating and Carr Labor Government ministerial offices. He is also a member of LEAN, the Labor Environment Action Network, which is making a significant contribution to Labor’s progressive policies on climate change and other issues. Andrew was the party’s candidate in the Sydney seat of Warringah against former Prime Minister Tony Abbott at the last election.

With the likelihood of the election of a Labor Government led by Bill Shorten, Mr Woodward said his key message is that Cowper will be better off having a Labor member in a Labor Government.

“Quite simply, with a Labor member in a Labor Government, we will get more done. Labor has gone close to winning Cowper over the years. I hope to join Frank McGuren as only the second Labor member for Cowper since it was established In 1901 and the planets are aligning better than they have for more than half a century,” Mr Woodward said.

“The changing nature of the coast; Labor’s positive policies on important issues like schools, hospitals, housing affordability, climate change and NBN and, the Nationals’ move to the extreme right are pushing Cowper Labor’s way. It makes sense having a Labor voice in a Labor Government that delivers for the many and not the few.

“The current dreadful state of the Abbott/Turnbull/Nationals Government is also making Cowper winnable for Labor. The government is in a political and policy mess and it will only get worse. If they’re not wanting new coal-fired power stations, they’re talking about deploying nuclear power stations on the north coast; they’re constantly undermining and knifing each other and, at a state level, they’re putting things like stadiums before schools and hospitals. Both the Liberal and National parties have lost the plot. They’ve gone mad and turned government into a soap opera.

“The local member, Luke Hartsuyker, has also made himself an issue. Ask anyone in Cowper about politics and you get one consistent answer – people are over him and his party. In Luke Hartsuyker, we have a demoted, passed-over, retirement-bound, out-of-touch and complacent local member. He’s run out of puff and turned on cruise control. His time has come.

“The Nationals have become further out of touch and can no longer claim to represent regional and rural Australia. Four of Cowper’s biggest income generators are tourism, agriculture, nature and retirement living. Climate change is the biggest medium to long-term threat to all of these. Yet, the Nationals champion a long-term future for coal and its use – the main cause of climate change.

“The Nationals are actively and consciously killing the incomes and businesses of farmers and small business tourism operators. With retirees, many have shares in companies at risk from climate change and the market is moving. Further, some retirees live in low lying areas and these are under threat from sea-level rises. The real estate industry is waking up to this and reducing property values accordingly. Yet the majority of the Nationals’ party room has joined an internal “Monash Group” to promote coal. It is pure madness.

“The key to representing Cowper is to understand the diversity in the electorate. Cowper is incredibly diverse – modern urban centres, pristine wilderness, sparkling coasts and diverse primary industry. We have retirees, young families, tree and sea changers, farmers, those who love the beach culture, office workers and many living in environmental enclaves, like Bellingen.

“We make our money through health, retail, construction, tourism, education, services, primary industry or live off our pensions or savings. In many parts, we are your typical Australia. In other parts, there are the well off. In many parts, there is great disadvantage and many who need a hand.

“Understanding the diversity is why I think an Action Agenda for Cowper will attract voters to Labor. First, we need to ensure that we get the right government services in Cowper and protect them and peoples’ rights. With the basic services right, we can start to address inequality – between city and country, between women and men, for older and younger and help those that need a hand.

“We also need to get back to that old phrase – Let’s Advance Australia. We need thinking that sets us up for the future, like harnessing renewable energy and future-proof broadband internet, rather than looking in the rear-vision mirror as the Nationals do now.

“Most importantly, we need to take action on climate change and make sure that we have a home, region, country and planet that is liveable for not just us but future generations. It is all about Advancing Australia, fairly, by caring for country and putting people first,” Mr Woodward said.