Labor anoints Tony Judge as Coffs Harbour candidate
FORMER Commonwealth Government employee Tony Judge has been endorsed as Country Labor's candidate for Coffs Harbour at the next state election.
Now living in retirement in Woolgoolga with wife Dianne, his work career covered immigration, communications and finance at senior executive level.
A volunteer with Lifeline in Coffs Harbour, Mr Judge says that position has him convinced "being a listener" is probably his best qualification for life at the political coalface.
"When Dianne and I moved to Woolgoolga we found this great community of diverse, caring and welcoming people," he said.
"I have been looking for opportunities to put something back into the Coffs Harbour community."
He feels strongly about rising inequality and the effect it is having on communities
"People at or below average income are feeling the pinch and poorer people are really struggling.
"Australia has always prided itself on being a cohesive and fair but for the first time in my memory people are worried their children and grandchildren will be worse off than them.
"Youth unemployment in the Coffs Harbour electorate is nearly 20 per cent and adult wages are well below the state average."
Other priorities in his bid to unseat The Nationals will include a focus on aged care and mental health services, the Coffs Harbour bypass and other local road projects.
"I want to spend time really listening to people about their hopes and their concerns for themselves and their families.
"Too often people go into politics thinking they have all the answers but I want to know about things important in the lives of people in this electorate and the way to do that is to actually listen to them."