Coffs Coast First group announce candidates for December 4 elections


COFFS Harbour City Councillor George Cecato announced on Thursday that he will be a Mayoral candidate in the upcoming Local Government election.

Cr Cecato will be supported by former Member for Cowper Hon Luke Hartsuyker, who is running for a Councillor position.

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The full group, known as Coffs Coast First, includes Cr Cecato, Hon Luke Hartsuyker, local father Jesse Young, and well-known Coffs Harbour businessman Paul-Thomas (PT) Clarke.

Having served five years as a Councillor delivering results for the community, Cr Cecato said his decision to run for Mayor came after much deliberation.

“Coffs Harbour has a bright future, and I have the vision and passion to lead our city as we grow and develop.

“I intend to run a positive campaign, focusing on policies that will support local businesses, address housing availability, improve critical infrastructure, and deliver the big projects our city needs as we grow,” Mr Cecato said.

Mr Hartsuyker acknowledged that his candidacy may be a surprise to some, but said his commitment to Coffs Harbour has never dulled.

“I’ve never lost my passion for Coffs Harbour.

“I’ve spent most of my adult life serving this city in one way or another, and serving our community in local government would give me another opportunity to make a contribution.

“George is the right man to lead the next Coffs Harbour City Council, and I have no hesitation in throwing my full support behind his campaign for Mayor,” Mr Hartsuyker said.

Mr Hartsuyker represented the federal electorate of Cowper, centred around Coffs Harbour, between 2001 and 2019.

He secured federal funding for the Coffs Harbour Bypass and Pacific Highway upgrades at Pine Creek and Sapphire to Woolgoolga.

He also delivered funding for the new SCU Allied Health building and C.Ex International Stadium Upgrade.

He is currently on the Board of the Mid North Coast Area Health District, and is Chair of the Australian Government’s Regional Telecommunications Review.

Jesse Young has extensive experience as an Australian Government policy adviser in the portfolios of communications, employment, education, and sport.

He currently works in the residential building industry, while also serving as a volunteer in a faith-based youth program.

Jesse’s family has connections to Coffs Harbour going back over 100 years, with his Great Great Grandfather ministering at the Presbyterian Church in 1920, and his Grandfather managing the Walton’s Department store which stood on Harbour Drive.

He is motivated to leave the city in a better position for his four sons and the next generations.

Paul-Thomas (PT) Clarke is a well-known local business owner and entrepreneur.

He’s been involved in small business since his teenage years and is passionate about supporting the local small business community.

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