Richmond's National Party candidate revealed
TWEED Heads businessman Matthew Fraser has been selected as the National Party candidate to contest the seat of Richmond at the next Federal election.
It will be the third time Mr Fraser has contested the seat after he ran in both 2013 and 2016 but lost to current Labor MP Justine Elliot.
He told the Tweed Daily News he was hopeful of replicating former Nationals MP Larry Anthony who ran "three times before he was elected".
"It's an honour to be the Nationals candidate once again, I think there's certainly an appetite for a change in Richmond with Justine there since 2004," he said.
"Justine in my opinion has been a big disappointment and really delivered nothing visionary for the region.
"Richmond deserves better."
Mr Fraser, who owns the Hungry Jacks in Tweed Heads South and also operates a range of international retail and distribution businesses, said he had previously received the majority of primary votes but Mrs Elliot "got over the line by receiving the majority of the Greens preferences".
"We are certainly the underdogs going into this, it will be hard campaigning against a career politician whose sole purpose will be to win at all costs," he said.
"I hope we can reduce Justine's primary vote by putting forward someone who will actually be a credible candidate with entrepreneurship vision, strength and tenacity."
Mr Fraser said he "cared" about the people of the Richmond electorate which was reflected through his business.
"At my business, we take on a lot of young people and people who have a disability and I want those people to succeed," he said.
Mr Fraser caused controversy last month when he referred to protesters at a hospital site rally outside Tweed MP Geoff Provest's office as "the great unwashed".
He later apologised for the comment but accused Mrs Elliot of "manipulating good people as pawns in her own personal political game".
Following the announcement of Mr Fraser as the Nationals candidate, Mrs Elliot released a statement claiming there were "three reasons why Matthew Fraser does not deserve your vote".
"Matthew Fraser is unfit for public office after calling members of our community "the great unwashed" in a video that he posted on Facebook on 5 October 2018," she said.
"This disrespectful and arrogant attack on our community is unforgivable."
Mrs Elliot also criticised previous calls by Mr Fraser to cut age pensions and penalty rates.
"If Matthew Fraser gets his way then thousands of locals working in jobs that rely on penalty rates will have their take-home pay slashed," she said.