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This is a collective response I gave to numerous comments in response to a post I made to the “Kempsey Cinema Action Group” Facebook Group on 1 August 2018.  In my original post I said:

Hi everyone, I am Andrew Woodward, Labor candidate for Cowper. I have been following your issue for a few months now and applaud you for your great work. You have my 100 per cent support. I am opposed to the cinema development and will be taking the matter up with my Labor colleagues in Canberra in the coming month. I will let you know how I go. I the meantime, I have started publicising my views on the issue online and intend on doing some more soon. I look forward to catching up with you in the near future.

My comment above the link below on Facebook was:

I don’t support federal funding for this project. There are far more important and sensible projects that can create long-term, quality and sustainable jobs and investment in #Kempsey#cowper #changecowper#stoptherot #votelabor ”

Response to comments of 2 May 2018

Thank you everyone for your amazing feedback. I have been enjoying the responses to my post.

Rather than answer each comment individually, I have decided to do one post in reply as many of the comments and themes were similar.

Robyn Hand, I totally agree the money could be better spent. I think we need to look at spending that fixes an immediate community service need (like schools and hospitals) or something that will generate long-term sustainable economic, social and or environmental growth. I am not against spending on the arts, indeed I support it, but this doesn’t seem the right way to go about it.

Robyn Hand, On the Nations v Labor thing. I won’t get into that in this forum. I have some (very) strong views on this (naturally) but for the moment will stick to the issue – the cinema.

But as a general comment, to me, it looks like a lazy piece of public policy. I am sure the Mayor and Luke Hartsuyker were thinking…. we need something that will look shiny, modern and new in the middle of town, create a perception of development through construction, create some jobs in construction and a handful in the long term. What have we got? A cinema, yeah, that will do. It reeks of a quick gimmick for federal, state and local government elections. I have seen this sort of stuff before from the Nationals – lazy public policy.

I think it is a bad investment and if it isn’t too late, I will ask Federal Labor upon coming to government to put this project on hold and review it. I am not alleging anything in saying this. I am simply saying it is prudent for an incoming government to review all expenditure.

We also have Senate Estimates coming up for the spring session of parliament and I will be talking to my colleagues in Canberra about what we can ask or table.

On the schools’ halls from Rudd, show me a school that doesn’t love the new hall it got? And yes in a nationwide rollout there were some issues but overall it has been a great program.

Rebecca Kensington, I get what you are saying. Your cynicism is to be expected. All I can commit to at this time is listen, relay your concerns to my federal colleagues and to assure you that if, it isn’t too late, that the Commonwealth grant for the project is reviewed.

Christopher Richardson and Rebecca Kensington, please have a read of my campaign launch speech. There I outline my vision for the Mid-North Coast, including employment.

Penny, yes, I have some ideas as you mentioned but I am really keen to listen to people in the valley on what they think should be done. My job as a candidate is to (1) listen (2) distil and reach consensus and (3) take it up as a candidate or member of parliament with Ministers, government agencies, other governments and the community. And I am only as good as my actions and not my words.

Christopher Richardson – I don’t have a position on the status of the council. That’s why we need a full, independent and transparent review of the project,

Noel, as I understand it there are some ‘outs’ if certain milestones aren’t reached which may give the Commonwealth an out.

Diane, I am concerned about the state of the primary industry workforce which is forecast to fall under the Nationals. That is outrageous. We have great potential with primary industry but under the Nationals, and they’re own figures, it will shrink.

Stephen, I only became Labor’s candidate in April and am dealing with an enormous workload while also working and being a parent. I am supported by a small team of dedicated volunteers. I won’t promise the world but I can assure you, you will get a better hearing from me than the others and a commitment to do my best to take it up with the Labor team in Canberra.

OK, so I think I have covered off many of the comments and themes raised in the feedback. I will also be posting this on my website – – under briefings.

I look forward to seeing you in person in a few weeks. And thank you for your ‘full and frank’ feedback. It is only when you have honest conversations that you get good results. I love it! Thank you again.


Updated: 2 August 2018

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