from the Leader and President of The Nationals
2016 will be remembered as the year that The Nationals did some heavy lifting to ensure a majority Coalition government was secured for all Australians. The Nationals increased their seats by one; and the Coalition secured government by a margin of one.
For regional Australia, no equation better underlines the importance of The Nationals as a vital pillar that holds up the conservative side of politics.
We came out of the 2016 Federal Election with 22 MPs and Senators – our strongest parliamentary representation in exactly 20 years. And for the first time in 60 years, The Nationals hold five Cabinet positions in government.
Each and every one of these successes is thanks to our members, supporters and donors.
And where we didn’t have successes, such as the Orange by-election and the Northern Territory elections, we are indebted to our members and supporters for ensuring we ran the hardest race possible in the toughest of circumstances.
On behalf of the parliamentary and organisational wings of The Nationals we thank you sincerely for your support and dedication to The Nationals cause; because The Nationals cause is regional Australia’s cause.
As we enter 2017 we welcome incoming Federal Director Ben Hindmarsh and farewell Scott Mitchell from the role. Scott oversaw two very successful campaigns for The Nationals, and Ben will continue that momentum.
As the New Year clicks in our Western Australian Nationals team, who gave birth to the “Royalties for Regions” platform, will up the tempo as they head to a March 2017 election. And in Queensland, which has no fixed parliamentary terms, our LNP team will likely go to the polls sometime within the next 12 months.
The Nationals family across Australia, as always, will come together to assist in both these campaigns to ensure our constituents – not matter what walk of life they come from – have the best possible representation.
We wish you and your family and friends a very merry Christmas and a Happy New Year for 2017. Cherish your loved ones and friends; do what you can for those less fortunate; and, for those on the roads, please travel safely.
Merry Christmas and God Bless,
Hon. Barnaby Joyce MP
Deputy Prime Minister
& Leader of The Nationals
Hon. Larry Anthony
Christmas Wishes Video
Merry Christmas from Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce, Senator and Deputy Leader Fiona Nash and President The Hon. Larry Anthony
The Borg Exits State Politics
Twenty-seven years ago, this month, The Nationals Lawrence Springborg was elected to the Queensland Parliament. Not only did he set a record as a 21 year-old MP, but he went on to break other records at the time when he became a Queensland Cabinet Minister at 29; and Leader of the Opposition at 34.
After decades of bitter warring between the two parties, Springborg was instrumental in pulling off a merger between that state’s Liberal and National Parties in 2008. He based the LNP model on a meeting he had with Canada’s Stephen Harper in 2004; received the LNP’s first life membership; and is now affectionately known as the “Father of the LNP”. In the Newman LNP Government, Springborg was given the so-called ‘poison chalice’ when he became the Minister for Health – a $13 billion department recognized nationally as a debt-plagued administrative cot-case. After just one year of his Ministry, the Department ran at a budget surplus and was delivering the most improved elective surgery waiting lists in the country.
This month a now 48 year-old Lawrence Springborg announced he would not be recontesting the next State Election likely to be held in 2017. What the future holds, time will tell. But on behalf of The Nationals everywhere, we thank Lawrence, his wife Linda and their four children for a dedication and commitment that’s rarely matched.
New Leadership in New South Wales
In November John Barilaro was unanimously elected as Leader of the NSW Nationals following his strong performance as Minister for Regional Development, Skills and Small Business.
As Member for Monaro, the most marginal seat in the state, John knows how to fight the tough battles and will bring this dogged courage to the role of Leader.
His beginnings in politics originated in a local soccer club, championing better access to fields in his hometown of Queanbeyan. Working in the family business from a young age before becoming the manager, John is acutely aware of the issues relating to small business.
Under John’s tenure as Skills Minister, TAFE NSW has gone through unprecedented reform, including the establishment of a digital headquarters in Armidale that will allow students to be connected to their peers and online training platforms like never before.
Alongside his new Deputy Niall Blair, John will be a strong and passionate voice for the country, and with his wealth of experience in parliament, that voice will transcend the regions to yield real results.
The Nationals look forward to working with John and his team to achieve their ambitious plans for regional New South Wales, taking the oppertunity to thank Troy Grant for his service as leader and tirless advocacy for improved regional services and infrastructure.
WA Nationals on Election Footing
In less than three months the birthplace of The Nationals, Western Australia, will go to the polls at a State Election that will be critical to the future of regional WA.
The Nationals, led by Brendon Grylls, will seek their third term in office since forming a partnership government with the Liberals in 2008. A hallmark of The Nationals success and affinity to the regions has been the “Royalties for Regions” program, spearheaded by Grylls and the Nationals, which has set aside 25% of all royalty payments for investment in regional WA.
Grylls leads his Nationals team into the 2013 election with his characteristic ‘no holds barred’ approach to getting regional WA its fair share of funding and services.
Party members and supporters from across Australia are encouraged to support the WA Nationals by registering their election interest at: http://www.nationalswa.com/volunteer?splash=1
We wish Brendon Grylls and his team every success in March; and also take this opportunity to salute Terry Redman who led the WA Nationals for three years until August and helped ensure the party was ‘election ready’ and helped strengthen the iconic “Royalties for Regions” program as Minister for Regional Development.
Old Ground and New Faces in Victoria
It is with great pride that the seat of former Prime Minister John (Black Jack) McEwen was won back by the Nationals at this year’s election, a result of grass roots support and a charismatic and experienced candidate in Damian Drum. The Nationals win in Murray was not only the centre of much of the National campaign but the spring board for record cabinet representation in the Coalition.
Luke O’Sullivan who would go on to replace Damian Drum, will bring years of experience and professionalism to the Victorian Upper House whilst being a strong representative for Northern Victoria in Peter Walsh’s team.
The Nationals would like to congratulate Neil Pankhurst on his election as State President of the Victorian Nationals whilst thanking Peter Swartz for his years of service to both the Victorian Nationals and continued contribution to the Federal Management Committee.
2017 Conference Dates
The Nationals Federal Conference: 8th – 10th September 2017
Federal Womens Council: TBC
Thank you to all members of the Federal Management Committee, State Offices and Party Members for your support throughout 2016.
Hon. Larry Anthony