Nationals Candidate for Cowper Patrick Conaghan has welcomed 50 new marine jobs heading to Coffs Harbour thanks to The Nationals in Government.

“The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has today found its rightful home on the Coffs Coast and will bring 50 new jobs, with 40 here in the next year,” Mr Congahan said. “The Nationals mean business when we talk about new jobs on the coast and today is an historic announcement delivering our vision for the region. The new Coffs Harbour office – to be operational within a year with up to 40 staff initially – is intended to provide a regional headquarters for AMSA and fill a gap in its regional network.”

Mr Conaghan joined Nationals Leader and Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack and Bridget McKenzie – the first Minister for Decentralisation in Australia’s history and the Deputy Nationals Leader – to make the announcement in Coffs Harbour with local Nationals MP Luke Hartsuyker.

“Jobs are a big issue across the Cowper electorate. Thanks to The Nationals there will be more of them,” Mr Conaghan said. “50 jobs in Coffs means 50 families with students in local schools, more kids playing sport in local clubs and a massive injection into local small businesses with more customers shopping locally, buying local homes and using local services. It is also another common-sense policy from The Nationals – there aren’t too many boats in Canberra and we could do with the jobs and opportunities here on the Coffs Coast.”

Mr Conaghan said the Decentralisation Agenda had relocated more than 1150 jobs since 2013, and this move delivered an economic boost, as well as retaining young people locally.

“These are highly-skilled jobs which means local universities will be able to have practical training opportunities available locally and more jobs to keep our young people in the region,” Mr Conaghan said. “More local jobs means more local career options, and that means more local families will stay in the region long-term. I am proud to have been part of the team which has delivered this historic investment on the Coffs Coast and look forward to the economic boost it will help bring.”

AMSA provides the infrastructure required to ensure vessels can safely navigate Australian waters and maintains a national search-and-rescue service for the maritime and aviation sectors.

“Our decentralisation agenda is delivering jobs to the regions and this means more money flowing into local shops and small businesses,” Mr McCormack said. “It makes it sense to have services such as this based in the regions, where they are needed most.”