NATIONALS leader Barnaby Joyce and Tony Windsor will face another challenge for the seat of New England, at this year’s federal election, with local farmer David Mailler entering the fray for CountryMinded.
David Mailler was announced today as one of three candidates standing up for the budding rural political force to try and enter federal parliament.
He will be backed by his brother and Country Minded founder and former Grain Producers Australia chair Peter Mailler who will be the party’s number one Queensland Senate candidate.
Queensland’s 2015 Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation Rural Women's Award winner Sherrill Stivano will also campaign for the party to win a place in the Senate representing Queensland at number two on the ticket.
Ms Stivano is also a Roma cattle producer and feedlot operator who has used the $10,000 winnings from her Rural Women’s Award to try and create an Australian version of the UK’s Red Tractor logo.
Peter Mailler was number one the NSW Senate ticket for the Katter Australia Party at the 2013 federal election but moved to establish his own political force due to dissatisfaction with the voter complacency towards the mainstream political parties.
He is 44 years old and operates a grain and cattle enterprise near Goondiwindi and was the inaugural GPA Chair for five years before stepping down in early 2015.
David Mailler is 49 years old and married with three teenage children and runs a small grazing enterprise near Uralla while studying at University of New England.
Both brothers are fellows of the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation.
CountryMinded said they were still seeking nominations for candidates to run in other rural electorates and jurisdictions and expected to make further announcements in the near future.
Peter Mailler said his party was still in discussion with some “very interesting” candidates and was encouraging others who are “passionate about achieving better representation for their community”.
Mr Windsor held New England from 2001 before he resigned at the 2013 election where Mr Joyce won the seat after moving from being a Queensland Senator for the LNP.
Mr Windsor announced in March that he would challenge Mr Joyce to try and reclaim his old seat out of concern it was being taken for granted with a reduction in basic services like the NBN, health, infrastructure and education and also to pursue his interest in climate change.
In contrast, Mr Joyce has cited his position as Nationals leader and Deputy Prime minister added to his cabinet position as the Agriculture and Water Resources Minister as an example of a political party’s capacity to deliver for the NSW electorate, rather than reverting to an independent.
Asked about his individual battle for New England earlier this week, when the election date was officially called for July 2, Mr Joyce said he respected the democratic process and his opening salvo for the Nationals was not a statement about any two candidates
“I respect the choice of our electorate and I think our electorate will make a clear choice about where their future lives and who has the best prospects of being able to deliver to their electorate over the longer term,” he said.