With the dust now settled on the Federal election I have today advised the Federal Management Committee and the Parliamentary Party Room of The Nationals that I intend to step down as Federal Director in early 2017.
It has been a privilege to be Federal Director for almost five years and Campaign Director for the past two Federal elections. These were historic elections where The Nationals played a significant role – in 2013, under the leadership of Warren Truss, defeating the Rudd Labor Government, and in 2016, under the Leadership of Barnaby Joyce, ensuring the re-election of the Coalition.
At both elections we gained seats, which led to increased representation in the Coalition Ministry.
I have been honoured to work closely with two Nationals Leaders in Warren and Barnaby and I thank them both for their support and friendship. I have also been privileged to work closely with two Prime Ministers in Tony Abbott and Malcolm Turnbull.
There are many people to thank, including State Directors, particularly Nathan Quigley, Lincoln Folo, Brad Henderson, Sally Branson and Jamie Forsyth. I also thank Mike Sexton, Peter Langhorne, Frank Jackson, Darcy Tronson, John Griffin, my Campaign Headquarters Teams, and my team in the Federal Secretariat. I also wish to acknowledge the late, David Whitrow.
Like both the Liberal Party counterparts with whom I have worked, I am a strong Coalitionist, and I want to thank Tony Nutt, and Brian Loughnane for the exceptional working relationships that we achieved and enjoyed in the interest of delivering strong Coalition government to the people of Australia.
I wish to thank my Executive of Larry Anthony, Dexter Davies, John Sharp, Ann McKenzie and past Federal Presidents Christine Ferguson and John Tanner as well as the Federal Parliamentary Party and particularly Mark Coulton MP.
I also thank our many grass roots members, who work anonymously for the good of the nation, and without whom the party would not exist.
I wish my successor all the best.
I am departing this job in the knowledge that The Nationals are in a strong position to do well at the next election and keep Australia in the safe hands of a Coalition government.
I wish The Nationals all the very best for the future and I look forward to pursuing new opportunities in 2017.