BARNABY Joyce says he's going to "run the wheels off the truck" in an effort to get around the electorate this election campaign.
Yesterday, the government announced voters will head to the polls in five weeks, on May 18, to decide who leads the country for the next three years.
The incumbent New England MP, who is so far facing three other candidates, said he couldn't wait to hit the campaign trail.
"The great thing about an election is that all other work stops and I get to do the job I love best, which is getting around the electorate," Mr Joyce said.
"I've got a campaign plan worked out already and it basically involves running the wheels off the truck.
"I want to be judged on my delivery. Everything that's happened hasn't happened by accident, it's been hard work."
His independent rival Adam Blakester said this election, voters had the opportunity to "vote for a positive change for the electorate".
He has released the first draft of his policy platform, which he's created after about 4000 one-on-one conversations with people across the electorate.
"That's significant number, but we need to get to 55,000 to get a chance," he said.
"A very clear picture is coming through around what the region's priorities are."
Mr Blakester is keen to debate Mr Joyce and the other candidates.
"I welcome and call for the opportunity to go toe-to-toe with Mr Joyce," he said.
When The Leader called Labor's New England candidate Yvonne Langenberg, she was out cycling on the Tour de Rocks, a fundraiser for cancer - an issue close to her party's heart.
"Bill Shorten, in his marvellous budget reply, promised support for people suffering from cancer would have no out-of-pocket expenses," she said.
"That's critical for regional people, particularly when they have to travel for treatment."
Ms Langenberg said Mr Joyce had been given "ample time" to show what he can do for the region, which "isn't terrible much".
"It's time for a new direction for New England," she said.
Glen Innes domestic violence advocate Cindy Duncan will stand for the Clive Palmer-back Australia United Party (UAP).
"When I came across the UAP policies, I really got where they were going," Ms Duncan said.
"I miss Australia. I miss who we were as a country, and I don't think we are anywhere near what we were.
"I don't like this divisiveness that's going on. We need to be able to have different ideas, and be able to agree to disagree."
Ms Duncan was particularly attracted to UAP's economic policies, which she said would benefit regional Australia.