New player on the political block
THE next Federal Election is still more than 18 months away but one Northern NSW farmer is fronting a new political party he suggests will better represent the needs of regional Australia.
Peter Mailler, the former chairman of Grain Producers Australia (GPA), is trying to start the Country Party of Australia (CPA) and wants more members to join.
Mr Mailler, who ran for the Katter's Australian Party (KAP) at the 2013 federal election as the party's number one NSW Senate candidate, said the Country Party currently has more than 100 members but needs at least 500 to officially register.
What has driven the 43 year-old from south of Goondiwindi to take such a dramatic step?
The grain and cattle farmer said he wants to see a political party that can challenge the Nationals as a viable option for people in the bush.
"In the increasingly confusing political landscape it seems absurd to suggest that we need another new political party," Mr Mailler said on the Country Party's recently launched website.
"In truth we seem to be yearning for old style political leadership and values that work in the interests of the nation before party.
"It is in this context that the Country Party is being launched, to re-establish old party values committed to honestly serving rural and regional Australia as the most logical foundation for the future of our nation."
Agriculture Minister and deputy leader of the Nationals, Barnaby Joyce, saidhe welcomed the new party but was concerned by the criticism of the Nationals.
"There's always people in the mechanics workshop who stand at the window and give advice about how they'd fix the engine but actually when you hand them the spanner it's amazing what a stuff-up they can create," Mr Joyce said.