FEDERAL MP Tony Windsor says he doesn’t know the full story behind the Torbay political downfall drama but he does know Barnaby Joyce is a second-best candidate for the New England poll for the Nationals.
Late yesterday, the independent for New England issued a statement in the wake of the senational developments yesterday as Richard Torbay’s presence was effectively wiped out across the regional political landscape.
Mr Windsor popped up a number of times, offering as he does so often, some pretty pertinent witticisms in criticism.
He’s like Barney, mostly good for some great one-liners that reek of the bush and bush humour.
Yesterday’s classic putdown was directed at the Nats again, when he reckoned Barnaby was on a lust for power in the party.
“You know, they should get back to their knitting and actually start to develop some policies up,” Mr Windsor said.
In a day when he also ventured to speak about the media reform legislation and also Gillard leadership speculation, he took aim at Joyce again later that day.
In his statement just before 4pm yesterday Mr Windsor said:
“I am unaware of the full details surrounding the resignation of Richard Torbay, first as the National Party candidate for New England yesterday evening and today as the member for Northern Tablelands.
“I do however understand his desire to protect his family for whom I have great regard.
“Now we have Senator Joyce doing the rounds again.
“Senator Joyce was overlooked in the first instance and is therefore their second choice.
“When Senator Joyce first announced he wanted to move to the House of Representatives he had six choices – five in Queensland and one in NSW.
“The question I therefore pose is, ‘Is Senator Joyce wanting to move to represent the people of New England, or Maranoa, or is he wanting to move to the lower house to chase a personal ambition to become the leader of the National Party and if elected to government become the Deputy Prime Minister and occasionally be elevated to the Prime Minister’s chair?’
“Whoever the National Party chooses to be their candidate, I will happily put up my record of service to the people of New England and the achievements I have helped people of the New England bring to fruition.
“I look forward to this challenge but until the campaign commences proper, I will be working in this parliament to work with the current government to obtain the best results for the people of New England both in funding needs and influencing legislative outcomes that will help local people and more broadly regional Australians.”