Coffs Coast Advocate

Coffs Harbour's Most Influential - Part 11


Many desire it, only a select few command it and measuring it is a precarious task.

The Coffs Coast Advocate is doing exactly that, naming the women and men who in 2018 are influencing the future of Coffs Harbour.

Chins will wag, glass jaws will shatter and the only certainty is that no one will agree.

This online series will provide a unique snapshot of the way power is wielded in our great area.

And it comes in all sectors, business, politics, the arts, sport and health.

The only thing everyone on the list invariably share is a passion for our city and a drive to effect change in Coffs Harbour.

Indeed many are on the list on the strength of the work they have done to better the community and the wider Coffs Coast.

Much of this work is done without expectation of kudos or a 'return on investment.'

It's about civic pride and the desire to give back.

Here's the latest instalment to our list as nominated and decided by our committee.


A lack of large rocks is holding up construction of the north wall upgrade. Andrew Fraser.28 sept 2017
State Member for Coffs Harbour Andrew Fraser has been instrumental in recent years bringing change and development to the Jetty Foreshores. Trevor Veale

4. Andrew Fraser, State Member for Coffs Harbour

Andrew Fraser could never be accused on sitting on the fence.

Never afraid of speaking his mind and calling it exactly as he sees it, Andrew's fiery brand of local advocacy has seen him achieve some great things for the people of the Coffs Harbour electorate.

It has also won him a great deal of support (and more than one detractor).

After 28 years in State Parliament, Andrew last month announced he would be standing down at the 2019 State Election in March.

Kennards hire 2016 wrc Rally australia Launch at Coffs harbour SLSC. Andrew Fraser.23 th august 2016.
Andrew Fraser has been instrumental over the past decade in establishing Rally Australia, the round of the World Rally Championships, as Coffs Harbour's signature event. Trevor Veale

The passion Andrew has for his North Coast electorate comes from over 26 years as a dedicated Nationals party member, working closely with local Coffs organisations and community groups.

Prior to entering State Parliament in 1990, Andrew owned a number of small businesses including a takeaway shop and caravan park.

Advocate Golf Day At Bonville Golf Resort.Kerrie and Andrew Fraser member for Coffs Harbour.. 10 MAY 2018
Kerrie and Andrew Fraser at the Coffs Coast Advocate Golf Day. Trevor Veale

He has also held a variety of roles within the community as the past President and Member of Apex since 1973, Member of the Apex Board in Coffs Harbour for 10 years serving as Youth Director and as Community Service Director, President and Member of the Tyalla P&C Association, Trustee of Coffs Harbour Showground Trust and Chairman of the Australia Day Awards Committee.

During his time in Parliament, Andrew has served as Shadow Minister for Corrective and Emergency Services as well as Shadow Minister for Rural Affairs, Natural Resources, Small Business, Housing, Forestry, Primary Industries and Road Safety.

He has also been the Chairperson for Regional Development and Small Business and National Party Whip and currently holds the position of Assistant Speaker in the Legislative Assembly.

He lives in Bucca with his wife Kerrie.


Shadow regional communications minister Luke Hartsuyker listens during House of Representatives question time at Parliament House Canberra, Wednesday, June 15, 2011.  (AAP Image/Alan Porritt)  NO ARCHIVING
Luke Hartsuyker pictured in Federal Parliament in 2011 as the Shadow Regional Communications Minister. ALAN PORRITT

3. Luke Hartsuyker, Federal Member of Cowper

Luke Hartsuyker, the Federal Member for Cowper, has represented the electorate of Cowper since the 2001 election.

With his focus firmly on better outcomes for his local electorate, Luke was Chair of the Education and Vocational Training committee from 2004 to 2007, producing the "Top of the Class" report into teacher education.


launch of Australian water saftey strategy at park beach.member for cowper Luke Hartsuyker..  28 April  2016.
Federal Member for Cowper Luke Hartsuyker has delivered Federal Government funds for the Coffs Harbour Pacific Highway Bypass. Trevor Veale

He has also been a member of the Ageing committee, Economics committee, Employment and Workplace Relations committee and most recently the Joint Standing Committee on the National Broadband Network.

On his re-election to the Parliament in 2007, Luke was appointed to the Shadow Ministry with responsibility for Consumer Affairs, Financial Services, Superannuation and Corporate Law.

In 2010, he took on the role of Shadow Minister for Regional Communications, Youth and Sport and the Deputy Manager of Opposition Business in the House of Representatives.

Luke was born and educated in Muswellbrook and gained a Bachelor of Commerce at Newcastle University.


Member for Cowper Luke Hartsuyker with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.
Member for Cowper Luke Hartsuyker with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. Contributed

Following his graduation, he had a career in real estate and institutional property investment and development, as well as managing his family's tourism business in Coffs Harbour.

Luke has previously served as the Assistant Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment; Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister; Minister for Vocational Education and Skills; Assistant Minister for Employment and Deputy Leader of the House.

CHCC general manager Steve McGrath.

Photo Bruce Thomas / The Coffs Coast Advocate
Coffs Harbour Council General Manager Steve McGrath. Bruce Thomas

2. Steve McGrath, Coffs Harbour City Council General Manager

Since 2010, Steve McGrath has been bridging the wants and needs of community and council, through his role as the General Manager of Coffs Harbour City Council.

His tenure has been characterised by an unwavering commitment to community.

He has been instrumental in encouraging a greater level of community engagement and implementing initiatives to upgrade and improve facilities.

CHSC General Manager Steve McGrath's first day on the job.

pic: Rob Wright
Coffs Harbour City Council General Manager Steve McGrath. Rob Wright/Coffs Coast Advocate

Steve's understanding of local government systems and governance and has allowed him to improve Council outcomes through evaluation and strategic planning - and by engaging the community to add their voice to the process.

Steve has cited his passion for working with council organisations and communities in "creating place" (striving for a sustainable environment and social fabric for a community) as one of the main drivers for maintaining his involvement in local government.

Coffs Harbour City Council general Manager Steve McGrath.

Photo: Trevor Veale / The Coffs Coast Advocate.
Coffs Harbour City Council General Manager Steve McGrath. TREVOR VEALE/ The

Steve has a strong reputation in the local government sector, having in the past achieved the NSW State Presidency and National Presidency of Local Government Managers Australia (LGMA).

See the Advocate's Most Influential person for 2018 as determined by our committee tomorrow night.