State Member for Coffs Harbour Andrew Fraser and Federal Member for Cowper Luke Hartsuyker are retiring from politics at the next elections.
State Member for Coffs Harbour Andrew Fraser and Federal Member for Cowper Luke Hartsuyker are retiring from politics at the next elections.

Nationals move to preselect political candidates

THE Nationals will today reveal the party's plans to preselect candidates to contest the soon to be vacated State seat of Coffs Harbour and Federal seat of Cowper.

Both Coffs Harbour-based political seats have been tightly held by the party for decades and will be vacated next year with the retirements of Cowper MP Luke Hartsuyker and Member for Coffs Harbour Andrew Fraser.

The State Election has been confirmed for Saturday, March 23 while the call on the upcoming Federal Election date rests with the Prime Minister.

The NSW Nationals head office has confirmed pre-selection for the Federal Seat of Cowper is set to commence and will remain open until Friday, September 21.

From there a preselection meeting will be held in October.

In the State seat of Coffs Harbour, the Electoral Council met last month and has opted to have a party member pre-selection vote, rather than the 'town hall style' community preselection models adopted elsewhere.

Further details on both preselection processes will be announced later today.

Both Mr Hartsuyker, the Federal incumbent for 16 years and Mr Fraser, the State incumbent for 28 years, will continue to serve in office until the next elections.

The Nationals have held the Federal Seat of Cowper for the past 55 years since it was held by Labor's Frank McGuren from 1961 to 1963. 

The party has also held an iron grip on the State seat of Coffs Harbour since its creation in 1981 when first occupied by Matt Singleton, who had previously served as the Member for Clarence.