THE Country Party of Australia (CPA) has ruled out running candidates in the Queensland state election because the party could not be registered in time.
“We’ve certainly got a keen interest in the process – we will be looking at candidates and independents – and will be throwing support behind worthy candidates,” CPA spokesman Pete Mailler said.
Mr Mailler, who operates a mixed cattle and cropping enterprise
on the Queensland/NSW border, said the CPA had been started with a focus on the next federal election.
He said it was a non-aligned rural independent party that aimed to have future candidates putting the needs of their constituents first.
“We need to create real competition and look for really good
candidates that champion the needs of their constituents above
the needs of a party,” he said.
“What we are seeing is the candidates seem to think they have
a responsibility to the party instead of the constituency.
"Their responsibility to electorate should be first and that’s what’s being lost in the party system.”
Mr Mailler said the CPA differed from other parties founded in recent years – such as the Palmer United Party and Katter’s Australia Party – because their party was not focused around one central figure.
“They haven’t really been a party. It’s been a construct around
an individual and that’s fundamentally flawed,” he said.
“I think Australia is sick of the duopoly. There needs to be competition.
“We’re a group of farmers that want to have a voice; we want to be a visible advocate that the public can see and recognise as being the voice of Australian farmers.”
CPA’s key issues include concerns about ensuring industries
such as coal and coal seam gas mining are being properly managed, multi-peril crop insurance and the Australian Rural Reconstruction and Development Board.