TONY Windsor’s account of the political dramas of the past three years is the subject of tonight’s Australian Story, on the ABC.
Tonight’s episode, A Voice in the Wilderness, tells the story behind the retiring New England independent’s controversial decision to back Julia Gillard when the 2010 election resulted in a hung Parliament.
Mr Windsor tells of receiving death threats and being accused of betraying his conservative electorate after the decision put Labor back into power.
He describes the last Parliament as the “worst he’s ever seen” in its treatment of personalities, and says the past three years have been “like mixing in a greasy pond – but that’s politics”.
The team from Australian Story were in Tamworth and Werris Creek a month ago, gathering footage and interviews for the half-hour program, including a visit to The Leader office for an extensive interview with acting editor Ann Newling.
They also visited the Windsors’ property, Cintra, just outside Werris Creek.
The Australian Story crew also accompanied Mr Windsor and a group of staff and supporters on a camping trip into the Simpson Desert in June, just after he announced his intention to retire.
In the program, Mr Windsor also gives his final verdict on Australia’s key political figures.
On Julia Gillard: “I don’t regret siding with her. She was streets in front.”
On Malcolm Turnbull: “If he’d been the leader of the Opposition at the start of this, he may well have been the Prime Minister through it.”
The program also includes perspectives on Mr Windsor’s colourful career from fellow independent Bob Katter, former NSW premier Nick Greiner, Labor heavyweights Simon Crean and Wayne Swan, and the National Party’s Barnaby Joyce, who is tipped to take over Windsor’s seat of New England.
The program airs at 8pm at the ABC.