TONY Windsor admits his community meeting in Tamworth next week won’t be a full house of his supporters.
But the independent MP for New England said he wanted to set the record straight about local issues and the current hung parliament.
This meeting will be his second in a series he hopes to roll out around the electorate.
The first was held in Armidale last month.
“The Armidale meeting went well, it gave people an opportunity to get an idea of what’s happening, what’s happened and what could have happened in terms of the hung parliament,” Mr Windsor said.
“Two years ago when we were looking at a hung parliament, people had various perceptions about it and what it meant.
“They should now have a fair idea about what it means and I want to talk about the so-called independent brand stuff that’s out there now.”
Mr Windsor believed there was a certain stigma about the independent members of parliament since he was elected to federal Parliament 2001.
“The election was on a Saturday and (then deputy prime minister) John Anderson came out on radio on the Monday and said the electorate would get nothing,” Mr Windsor said.
“Country electorates benefit from competition.”
Mr Windsor said the seat of New England had been important in a political context for the past decade because it didn’t side with any major political parties.
“In others it was owned by the National Party or Country Party and was taken for granted,” he said.
“This is the first parliament in a long time where the west of the range has dictated who governs, rather than the city seats.
“The point I’m making is if country people were 30 per cent of the vote and united and didn’t join up with any major city-based parties then they would have the balance of power every time.”
He described reverting from the power of an independent representative to a member of parliament of major party as bringing an electorate back to “the dark ages”.
Mr Windsor said he’d never been attached to a brand or structure and believed member for Northern Tablelands Richard Torbay would be “standing for everything he stood against” when campaigning as The Nationals candidate in the next federal election.
“What I want to get out there is this hung parliament isn’t an aberration, it could be in every election,” Mr Windsor said.
“Country people can determine who governs at any time, if not half the time.”
He said he’d explain the benefits of a hung parliament further at the meeting along with other important issues.
“It’s open for anyone to come in, it’s not a supporters’ meeting. It’s an open-door meeting,” he said.
The community meeting will be held at the Capitol Theatre from 7pm on Thursday, December 13.