The National Party of Australia today officially marked its centenary – making it the second oldest party in the Commonwealth Parliament.
The Party commenced a year of centenary events with a commemorative tree dedication at the National Arboretum in Canberra to recognise the Party’s three Prime Ministers and celebrate the strength and resilience of regional Australia.
The National Arboretum symbolises the process of healing and recovery from the devastating 2003 Canberra bushfires and is significant at a time when our nation comes together to support communities severely impacted by widespread summer bushfires.
The Deputy Prime Minister and Nationals Leader the Hon Michael McCormack MP and Deputy Nationals Leader Senator the Hon Bridget McKenzie joined with Centenary Committee Chair Mrs Kay Hull AM and party members to mark the occasion in a respectful ceremony.
The Nationals has provided three Australian Prime Ministers – Earle Page (Cowper, NSW), Arthur Fadden (Darling Downs, Qld) and John McEwen (Murray, Vic).
Mr McCormack highlighted the strength of regional Australia and how The Nationals continued to stand shoulder to shoulder with regional, rural and remote communities through good times and bad as the Party marked 100 years.
“The Nationals have been a strong voice for country communities for 100 years and we look to the future with confidence and optimism for regional Australia,” Mr McCormack said.
“At a time when local communities face drought and bushfires, we are more determined than ever to support regional Australia and help build a strong future for regional families.”
Ms McKenzie highlighted the importance of regional Australia having a party solely dedicated on representing their needs.
“We have 100 years’ experience fighting solely for regional Australia. We understand our communities and have their back, Ms McKenzie said.
“I look forward to the Party continuing for another 100 years as regional Australia’s voice in Parliament.”
Mrs Hull said the Party had maintained an unbroken presence in the Commonwealth Parliament and remained the most influential political party dedicated to improving the life of Australians living and working in regional, rural and remote Australia.
“Our tree dedication signifies for over 100 years The Nationals has remained steadfastly focussed on branching out across rural regional and remote Australia – never losing focus of its responsibility to be the strong foundation of those living outside the metropolis.”