Masthead AW Ltr Print - External 1200 x 300 Colour

15 November 2018

The Editor, Coffs Coast Advocate

Mr Steven Troy is his letter of 7 November 2018 “And the politics have begun” contains factual inaccuracies and demonstrates the narrow-mindedness and desperateness of the local National Party members and their friends to discredit me. I wear as a badge of honour what they attack me with.

Mr Troy said that I “falsely” stated the National Party candidate for Cowper lives in Sydney. There’s nothing false about it Troy. His LinkedIn profile shows his place of work as Sydney. His own company website shows he only has a Sydney office (under “Locations). Mr Conaghan also has a phone connected in his name to a property he owns in a Sydney inner-city harbourside location. With this evidence, you can make your own mind up. Oh, and while you are at it, have you asked about his previous membership of the Liberal Party? Did he tell you about that before his preselection?

Yes, I moved to Bellingen for good two years ago. I first moved to the Mid-North Coast in 1985 and have been a frequent visitor since late last century as my then partner of a decade hailed from Coffs. 

Yes, I ran against Tony Abbott in Warringah for Labor in 2016. I was proud to do so as well. Amongst other things, I stood up for action on climate change against one of the world’s leading deniers and obstructionists. And, according to Liberal Party research reported in the Australian Financial Review, I came close to making history and defeating Mr Abbott.

In more shock horror revelations, Mr Troy breathlessly writes I spent my “adult life in Sydney and then San Francisco”. I have lived in Taree, Albury-Wodonga, Newcastle, Gold Coast, Canberra, Sydney and San Francisco, the latter being the hottest workplace destination in the world. I also got two Masters Degrees from UNSW while in Sydney. Living in regional centres, capital cities and a global centre of excellence (Silicon Valley), has given my broad and deep experience in life, business and community which I thought would be welcomed in a potential parliamentarian.

In more breathless news from Mr Troy, he said I don’t openly “support Australia Day”. I don’t ‘celebrate’ Australia Day as an act of respect to Indigenous Australians. It is a personal thing. If people want to observe and commemorate Australia Day, so be it. If they do this, I urge them to use it as an opportunity to learn about what has happened over the last 200 plus years and commit to improving the lives of the First Peoples of Australia.

So Troy, I know you thought you were onto the scoop of the century. And yeah look, I know a candidate with the experience, expertise and credentials that I have would never show up at the door of the National Party’s mediocrity factory. You can read more about me at and more about the National Party candidate at .

The truth is out there.

Labor for Cowper

LinkedIn screenshot from 16 November 2018 screenshot from 16 November 2018 from 16 November 2018
Australian Financial Review from 19 April 2017
Australian Financial Review from 20 April 2017