Ballina MP, Don Page.
Ballina MP, Don Page. www.donpage.com.au

Don won't come to (new) party

TALK of a merger between the Liberal and National parties hasn't impressed Ballina MP Don Page, who said he would resign rather than be a part of a new merged party.

The Queensland Liberal and National parties have agreed to work towards forming a new party called the 'Liberal National Party of Queensland' and there is a review underway at the federal level into the possibility of merging the coalition partners.

But Mr Page said there was no need for it in NSW.

"There is no mood for a merger in NSW amongst the parliamentary representatives or the party organisations," he said.

"We have a good arrangement in NSW and get on well with our Liberal colleagues. Our focus is on winning the next election."

Mr Page said the issue had been discussed among his NSW colleagues and both parties 'actively wanted to stay separate'.

"We think we can best represent our constituents by remaining separate and that it gives us maximum leverage."

Mr Page said if a new party was formed, it would increase the number of independents running - and winning - seats in regional areas.

"All that would do is erode the country coastal vote at a time when we need to unite people in country areas and ensure the focus isn't city-centric."

Lismore MP Thomas George echoed Mr Page's comments, while Lennox Head-based Liberal MLC has previously stated the NSW Liberals were also not interested in merging.


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