FORMER Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce is facing a pre-selection challenge for his seat from a former Army Major, who was part of the international operation to rescue a junior soccer team from a flood cave in Thailand.
Tenterfield resident Alex Rubin is taking on the former deputy prime minister for the seat of New England, which Mr Joyce has held for almost eight years.
Mr Rubin was contacted, however said he was unable to comment as "pre-selection is an internal National Party process for the membership to decide".
On his website, Mr Rubin advocates for a "common sense approach" and lists his priorities as rebalancing the divide by city and country towns, fixing the management of water and the lack of health support in rural areas.
"Common sense is needed in government and that there is a moral imperative to provide support back into our country communities, who are currently not getting a fair go in this great nation," Mr Rubin said on his website.
He comes from a "long line of graziers", graduating from the University of New England and working as a farmhand before joining the Army as a soldier, where he served for more than 20 years.
Rising to the rank of Major, Mr Rubin was deployed on missions around the world including the Solomon Islands and East Timor; the Middle East and Afghanistan.
He also served with the United Nations forces in Syria, Israel and Lebanon. In 2018, he was part of the international rescue operations in Thailand, which saved a junior soccer team trapped in a flooded cave.
More recently he worked to support the Army bushfires and COVID response efforts across Australia.
Mr Joyce said he never took his role as Member for New England for granted.
"It don't think of it in terms of an entitlement, I work very hard for it," Mr Joyce said.
"I accept the democratic process. I'll give the best reason on record as to why I've done a good job and give the best vision I possible can of the task ahead."