YESTERDAY’S election date announcement has put a huge rock in the path of 21st Century Australia Party New England candidate Jamie McIntyre, while Nationals candidate Barnaby Joyce is ready to run.
Mr McIntyre has claimed the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) deliberately used tactics against his party to ensure it could not run in the federal election.
Mr Joyce said he was ready to prove he deserved the honour of the votes of New England residents, but was disappointed the referendum on constitutional recognition of local government would not be held.
The only other candidates are the Greens’ Pat Schultz and Citizens Electoral Council’s Richard Whitten. Both said they were running their campaigns “on the smell of an oily rag”, but would have a site at AgQuip.
Mr Whitten said he would attend all the candidate forums that were called in the lead-up to September 7 and had been visiting field days.
“We’ve also done a few runs around Tamworth, mainly to the banks to let them know what the financial system of the nation actually is, rather than what they’re told it is,” he said.
“We’ll just see what transpires. We have a totally different approach to politics than the major parties.”
21st Century Australia Party candidate Jamie McIntyre will now need to run as an independent if he wishes to contest the election and claims it’s been a conspiracy by the AEC.
The AEC only approved Mr McIntyre’s party on July 15, with a public submission period open for the following 30 days, but if an election was called during that period, his party could not appear on the ballot papers.
With the election called yesterday and set for September 7, the party cannot run and he is investigating legal action against the AEC.
He said they submitted their party registration on May 2, then the AEC made them resubmit three times and finally approved the party on July 15.
Mr McIntyre claimed the party was the only real legitimate party force against the two majors, and claimed that 54 other minor parties were approved before his party, including the Clive Palmer Party which Mr McIntyre claimed submitted their application after his party.
He said these were deliberate tactics to stop the party running and said he would be releasing a document detailing the tactics the AEC used.
Mr McIntyre said he would now run in the New England as an independent, but was considering legal action to see what could be done to have 21st Century Australia Party on the ballot paper or the election delayed until they could be included.
Mr Joyce was disappointed the referendum would now not be held.
“I’ve been a longtime support the of the constitutional recognition of local government and I’ve fought to get it through the lower and upper houses,” he said.
Mr Joyce said local government in the New England wanted the referendum, too.
Now that the election is before September 14, the referendum cannot be held.
Mr Joyce said this was another example of how Prime Minister Kevin Rudd could not be trusted and he was now fired up about where he wanted our nation to go in the future.
He said he hoped Labor came up with a candidate to contest the seat.
Mr Joyce said he planned to continue working hard to earn the honour of the votes of the constituents of the New England and prove to them that he would work hard to represent them if they voted him in.
“The rest is up to the democratic process,” he said.
Mr McIntyre’s document on the AEC’s tactics that were used against him is expected to be released today.