BARNABY Joyce is expected to be officially endorsed as the Nationals candidate for the New England by-election at a meeting in Glen Innes tomorrow.
While other party members are entitled to put their hand up for pre-selection, Nationals New England electorate committee chair Russell Webb told The Leader it was likely Mr Joyce would stand uncontested.
“We’ll call for nominations, but I doubt within our organisation anyone would want to stand against him,” Mr Webb said.
“It’ll be full steam ahead from there.”
Mr Joyce’s camp is already eyeing off a campaign office, with the lease expected to be signed soon.
“We’ll be up and running by next week,” Mr Webb said.
“Every political party knows what the challenges are in a situation like this, so it’s about being organised, disciplined and ready to go if the cards fall a certain way.
“We’ve got people on the ground ready to start campaigning and start doing the work that has to be done to ensure we get the ex-Deputy Prime Minister back as the Deputy Prime Minister.”
EARLIER: Tony Windsor declares he won’t stand in by-election
Former independent New England MP and Barnaby Joyce’s main rival in the 2016 election, Tony Windsor, has announced he won't be running in the upcoming by-election.
Mr Windsor said the past elections have been taxing on his family, and for that reason, he won’t run.
However, the former MP said he wouldn’t be out of the political dimension and wouldn’t rule out the a tilt at the Senate as an independent if some issues he was particularly concerned about weren't addressed.
He said the water issues surrounding the coal mining on the Liverpool Plains and the coal seam gas mining in the Pilliga forest were particularly worrying.
“Iim going to immerse myself in some of those issues,” Mr Windsor said.
“I’m not interested in sitting on a green seat, that's never been my motivation in politics . But if these issues haven't been addressed, I may run for the Senate.”
Mr Windsor encouraged the people of New England to “look past the short-term”.
“Have a genuine look if you are getting what you need for the long-term, for your grand-kids - the answer is you're not,” he said.
The by-election has been official declared for the seat on Saturday, December 2.
Mr Joyce wouldn’t comment on the other potential candidates.
"I'm just going to concentrate on the people of New England and not start thinking about what happens after an election is declared
“I always train harder for the football game than the football game actually require.
“People want this thing dealt with and dealt with quickly.”
Labor has already declared its intention to run a candidate in the seat, while One Nation, and the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party are both considering potential candidates.
The Greens are expected to field a candidate and former West Australian state MP Ian Britza will run for the Australian Country Party.
EARLIER: Joyce ‘had a feeling in his gut’ decision would go against him
Barnaby Joyce had a feeling in his gut the High Court decision would go against him, the former Deputy Prime Minister and New England MP admitted to a media scrum.
“In my gut, I thought ‘this is the way it's going to go’,” Mr Joyce said.
“I was always of the view it was going to be a tough game. You don’t try and second guess the High Court. I respect their verdict.”
The High Court found Mr Joyce breached section 44 of the Australian constitution by holding a dual New Zealand citizenship, which he inherited through his father, and was ineligible to stand in parliament.
The New England electorate will now be forced to hold a by-election, which is expect to be in early December. Mr Joyce has already declared his intention to stand in the upcoming by-election and is able to do so as he’s formally renounced his dual citizenship.
While the Prime Minister and the Solicitor-General were confident the court would rule in the rule in the government’s favour, Mr Joyce “was always apprehensive”.
“I was always prepared for this outcome,” he said.
“I don’t actually stand here totally surprised.”
“I’m going to make sure I don’t cry in my beer, I’m going to get back to work and work hard for the people of my electorate.”
Mr Joyce was already in campaign mode on on Friday morning while he waited for the decision, travelling around the electorate, “saying G’day to people”.
“I will concentrate on the people of New England, and that’s exactly what I was doing today.
“I’m going to be talking to people in the streets, in supermarkets, in the sale years and making sure service to them and my nation remains foremost in my mind.”
Despite the ruling, Mr Joyce stood by his decision to retain his portfolio and his position as Deputy Prime Minister while the High Court decision was pending.
Mr Joyce has now stepped down for all parliamentary duties and for the moment is just ‘Barnaby Joyce’.
“Right now, I’m not even candidate, because I have to endorsed by the party to be the candidate,” he said.
New England project’s – including APVMA – won’t stall
Mr Joyce was adamant the various federally funded project in the New England electorate would not stall, including the controversial relocation of the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) from Canberra to Armidale.
“Yes, it does [still have support without me], because that portfolio will now be held by the Prime Minister, and if that's the case, it has all the imputis in the world to continue on,” Mr Joyce said.
“I’ve been focused on that, knowing the decision might not go my why, I’ve been making sure I do all the work I possibly can to see these projects through and make sure they get delivered.”
Labor’s Shadow Agriculture Minister Joel Fitzgibbon has already taken a swipe at his Coalition rival.
“The relocation of the APVMA was always an attempt by Barnaby Joyce to shore up votes in Armidale at the expense of our farmers," Mr Fitzgibbon said.
“The legality of the decision to relocate the APVMA is the wrong question. Labor has seen no evidence that the relocation to Armidale is real. What we do know is that the relocation is proving very difficult.”
“Canberra staff refuse to move and recruitment for technical positions is proving very difficult.”
More to come.