WHILE the upcoming byelection has the largest field of candidates the New England has ever seen, less than half of them call the electorate home.
According to the Australian Electoral Commission, of the 17 candidates, just eight are registered as living in the electorate, while the remaining nine live outside the seat.
Four of the candidates are Sydney-based including William Bourke (Sustainable Australia Party), Warwick Stacey (Seniors United Party), Andrew Potts (Affordable Housing Party) and Meow-Ludo Disco Gamma Meow-Meow (The Science Party).
Two are interstate, with Rise Up Australia candidate Donald Cranney living in Yelarbon, Queensland and Ian Britza in Western Australia – however Mr Britza said he would be moving to NSW regardless of the outcome of the election.
The remaining are scattered across the state – Animal Justice Party’s Skyla Wagstaff calls the Central Coast home and Christian Democrats candidate Richard Stretton lives near Singleton.
Nationals candidate Barnaby Joyce took a shot at the “out of towners”, including CountryMinded’s Pete Mailler, who lives just outside the electorate in Boggabilla.
“It would be handy if a few more of them actually came from our electorate,” Mr Joyce said.
“Let’s push back against out-of-towners trying to impose their views and agendas on the local community.”
However, Mr Mailler warned Mr Joyce not to throw rocks in a glass house.
“Senator Barnaby Joyce was living in St George, between Surat and Dirranbandi in Queensland, when he was first pre-selected to run for New England in 2013,” Mr Mailler said.
“For him to suggest I’m not legitimately connected to New England is hypocrisy that just leaves you breathless.
“Adam Marshall is my local state member, that’s how close I am to New England, and my parents met and married in Armidale. My roots originate in the heart of the New England – pardon the pun. I have close family living in Inverell and Uralla.”
Read more: Full list of New England’s 17 candidates
Mr Mailler said it would take a little more substance about the issues to win this election.
“I reckon he should front up to a few candidate forums and see if we can't make this contest more about issues that matter to constituents,” he said.
The local candidates include Mr Joyce (Tamworth) Labor’s David Ewings (Scone), the Greens’ Peter Wills (Quirindi), independents Dean Carter (Tamworth), Rob Taber (Armidale) and Jeff Madden (Upper Horton), 21st Century Australia’s Jamie McIntyre (Pinkett) and the Liberal Democrats’ Tristam Smyth (Tamworth).