Former federal MP, Rob Oakeshott today announced he will contest the 2019 federal election for the seat of Cowper.
The former state and federal MP says he has re-entered politics because an experienced local voice is required to ensure the concerns of the electorate are heard and that local communities get the attention and resources they deserve.
Mr Oakeshott says he is standing on a number of key platforms.
“Underinvestment in local infrastructure, aged care and education not keeping pace with big city electorates, and the need for small business reform to drive local economies are some of the urgent concerns I plan to address when I return to parliament,” he said.
“People in this region, whether they live in Coffs, Port, Nambucca, Kempsey, Bellingen, or South West Rocks, are frustrated at continually coming second to dysfunctional party politics in Canberra, or multi-billion dollar road and rail blowouts in Sydney.” Mr Oakeshott said.
“As we’ve seen in the past, Independent members of parliament can achieve great results for their electorates. This, combined with the retirement of the previous sitting member, presents a rare opportunity for voters to embrace change, but maintain experience.”
Mr Oakeshott says he shares the frustrations of local residents when governments fail to respond to the issues that matter to us.
He says he will deliver on local projects based on a proven track record.
Mr Oakeshott says his experience in navigating the wicked maze of public officials, departments and multi-layered bureaucracy is critical for results in the coming five years, is an important point of difference compared to first time candidates.
I’m looking forward to getting back into action for my community.Rob Oakeshott
As the federal MP for Lyne from 2008-2013 Mr Oakeshott says he successfully supported the relocation of Charles Sturt University to Port Macquarie, provided over $20 million for development of university and TAFE facilities in Port Macquarie, delivered a $19million allocation for upgrades to Taree, Port Macquarie and Kempsey airports, $80million toward the completion of the Oxley Highway connecting Pacific Highway to Gordon Street, funding to fast track the Pacific Highway works from Port Macquarie through to Kempsey, and $190 million of expansion works at Port Macquarie and Kempsey hospitals.
“I’m looking forward to getting back into action for my community,” he said.
“I am particularly looking forward to reconnecting with many I have worked with before, as well as embracing the fresh challenge of offering the Macleay, Nambucca and Coffs regions their first ever Independent MP in the history of the seat."
“This is a campaign driven by results, and I invite all-comers to help secure funding for projects that will make a real difference in local lives, whether a new Arts Centre in Coffs, the best possible Macksville Hospital upgrade, a new Aquatic Centre for Port Macquarie, better sporting fields in South West Rocks, and even a new basketball court in Smithtown.
“Let’s get the Pacific Highway upgrade completed and make sure no corners are cut in doing it. Let’s get NBN access and mobile phone coverage to the standard we need so small businesses can grow in our region.”
Mr Oakeshott said an independent representative can play a role in shaping national policies that benefit local communities.
“One obvious example is being a strong voice in parliament to help guide the nation toward sensible energy and climate policies so that this region can maximize its potential of renewable energy, be better prepared for stronger weather events that accompany climate change, and do all we can to protect and enhance local biodiversity and landscapes,” he said.
The past five years of policy uncertainty by current representatives has been nothing short of a disaster.Rob Oakeshott
“The past five years of policy uncertainty by current representatives has been nothing short of a disaster.”
Mr Oakeshott will attend the Coffs By-Pass Action Group meeting in Coffs Harbour on Wednesday and will spend the full day at the Bellingen Markets on Saturday.
Mr. Oakeshott, 49, is married to Sara-Jane. The couple have four children.
He is a contractor with the United Nations Development Program, and studies medicine at the University of NSW campus in Port Macquarie. Sara-Jane is a teacher at the local Hastings Secondary College.
Anyone wanting to ask Mr Oakeshott a question, provide good ideas, or is interested in helping in the campaign, can do so from their lounge-room on www.oakeshott.com.au
Also making news:
While you're with us, you can now receive updates straight to your inbox from the Port Macquarie News. To make sure you're up to date with all the news, SIGN UP HERE.