Libs may field Page candidate

A SENIOR Nationals Party member said he was 'disappointed' the Liberal Party was calling for nominations for the Federal seat of Page.

Murray Lees, who was the Nationals campaign director for Page at the 2007 election and a Nationals Senate candidate for NSW in 2007, said the decision was 'a daft thing to do', and a waste of resources for the Liberals.

The decision 'will be great news for the ineffective current Labor MP Janelle Saffin', Mr Lees said.

“But it is not good news for conservatives on the North Coast and doesn't help Malcolm Turnbull's ambitions to be Prime Minister,” he said.

“To win government, the Coalition needs the Liberals to win back a swag of seats they lost in Australian capital cities. Diverting resources to compete against their Coalition partners in regional areas they have never had any representation in is counterproductive.”

But Liberal Party MP Catherine Cusack said that there was no agreement with the Nationals about fielding a candidate in any seat where there was not a sitting Nationals member.

Further, she said there was an argument that, in a Federal election, a three-cornered contest could even maximise the vote for Coalition parties.

“We do not want to be caught out by a snap Federal election without having our candidates in place,” Ms Cusack said.

Mr Lees said the Page Nationals were well advanced in their campaign preparations and had identified several very good potential candidates, though he was unwilling to name them.

“We are very confident we will give Labor a good run for its money, regardless of what other parties join the race,” he said.

Scot Macdonald, Country Vice-President for the NSW Liberals, said Page was a changing seat, like many others.

“The old days where people thought this type of seat could only have a certain party are gone.”

With the double dissolution of Parliament a very real possibility, he said it was important for the Liberals 'to be ahead of the curve'.


GALLERY: Burnt out fire truck

premium_icon GALLERY: Burnt out fire truck

The RFS truck will probably be written off.

"Someone could have been injured or killed"

premium_icon "Someone could have been injured or killed"

An RFS crew sheltered in their truck as the grass fire overcame them

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