BARNABY JOYCE: Has not ruled out running for a seat in the House of Representatives in two years, and may elect to try to win Page.
BARNABY JOYCE: Has not ruled out running for a seat in the House of Representatives in two years, and may elect to try to win Page.

Barnaby lining up for a run at Page?

THE Federal member for Page, Janelle Saffin, says while talk of Nationals Senator Barnaby Joyce standing for her seat in 2010 is speculative, she doesn’t think people will vote for a party that wants to divert the Clarence River or build nuclear plants in coastal areas.

The Queensland senator has offered to move to the House of Representatives to try to take a seat from Labor.

He has not ruled out running in Page in two years.

Ms Saffin holds Page for the ALP by less than 2.5 per cent on a two-party preferred basis with The Nationals.

She said despite his profile, Barnaby Joyce still belonged to the party voters rejected in 2007.

“It’s the same National Party that failed to represent our needs and deliver for us,” she said.

“It’s the party that sold Telstra and ripped billions out of health, education and housing.

“The Nationals had more than 100 years to deliver for the Clarence Valley, and they haven’t left a good legacy.

“But let’s wait and see what the National Party does. Pre-selection is up to them.”

She said it would be very challenging for Senator Joyce to stand in Page when he hasn’t lived in the electorate.

“Like a lot of them [Nationals] he says a lot and does little,” Ms Saffin added.

She said she was focused on representing the people of Page and talk of Senator Joyce’s future moves was just a distraction.

 Local National Party official Jeremy Challacombe said if Senator Joyce did decide to run for Page it would be a lucky day for residents.

Mr Challacombe, vice-chairman of NSW Nationals and the party’s federal electoral council chairman for the seat of Page, said he respected Senator Joyce and he’d make a fine local member.

Mr Challacombe said he’d welcome Senator Joyce throwing his hat into the ring.

 “ He’s stated that he would not stand in a seat that required a member to stand aside. He doesn’t want to be parachuted in.”

However, he pointed out that Senator Joyce’s move to the Lower House was entirely speculation.

“I haven’t spoken to Barnaby and he hasn’t spoken to me on the topic,” said Mr Challacombe.

But he said that while Senator Joyce was representing Queensland he was a New South Welshman.

“He grew up in the New England area and there’s talk that he’s thinking about standing in that seat as well. But I’d welcome his nomination here,” he said.

Mr Challacombe said if Senator Joyce moved to the area, stood for preselection and went through the normal processes to become the Nationals’ candidate there would be a fair chance of the Nationals regaining Page from Labor.


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