Liberals may also stand a candidate in New England

THE Liberal Party has not ruled out standing a candidate in New England at the next federal election.
Nanjing Night Net

Richard Torbay has already been pre-selected to stand for the Nationals against independent MP Tony Windsor.

Liberal state MP Scot MacDonald told The Inverell Times his party has made no decision about New England yet, but he did not rule out a Liberal candidate running against Mr Torbay and Mr Windsor at the next election.

“We’ve run in three corner contests (before), I ran in a three cornered contest back in 2004 against Tony Windsor, so no door is closed,” Mr MacDonald said.

Meanwhile a recent campaign letter circulated by Mr Torbay, set out his reasons for taking up The Nationals’ banner to its recipients and how he is looking forward to working with a ‘reinvigorated’ National Party.

Mr Torbay’s upbeat and optimistic letter states the regions have always had to fight hard for our fair share and that is something he is no doubt already well aware of.

“I’m in for that fight in the best traditions of the old Country Party which took no quarter when it came to muscling up against the big city interests and their demands for centralised power and the lion’s share of resources,” Mr Torbay said.

“In the current circumstances I believe the best way this can be achieved is through a reinvigorated and strengthened National Party.”

Given that Mr Torbay is on record as saying he will not be a maverick, it does leave the question of if there are party changes planned and if his definition of a reinvigorated party matches the party’s.

“From what I can see from my experience some of that is already happening,” Mr Torbay said.

“There’s a lot of new energy, I’m meeting a lot of new people, I’m meeting new members, there’s new members, there’s a resurgence in young people and I’m certainly encouraged by that.

“I’m also seeing a keen willingness to muscle up on rural issues and that’s coming across on every level. I’m certainly encouraged by that, but it is early days, but it’s basically the method of operation the people would like to see us undertake, they want to see strong rural and regional advocacy.”

Senator John Williams said as far as he is concerned reinvigoration is ‘right on’.

“We’ve seen branch membership rise enormously in the last 15 months I’ve restarted branches in Walcha, Uralla, Barraba and Willow Tree. Big attendances,” Senator Williams said.

“I mean 12 months ago we started Uralla branch, we had about 20 people come along, we had to beg for a chairman.

“This year we go to the Uralla AGM and there’s 37 people there and we have a ballot for the chairman’s position.”

He said when people are disgruntled with the direction of the country then a lot of people show up.

“And we’ve seen a lot of that over the last 12 months and would expect to see a lot more … until election time.”

As for a return to the ideals of the old Country Party, Senator Williams said the party is already there.

“I think we’ve done that with even my election to the Senate,” Senator Williams said.

“How can I put it? Grassroots people with real life experience.

“That was certainly the tradition of the Country Party for almost 100 years. But I think the party is different these days.

“It used to be a farmer’s party when farming was big … those numbers dwindled and the party has now just become basically a party on regional areas, not just the old farmer’s party but more about regional areas and especially small business.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Posted by at 29/04/2018
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