THE NSW Nationals have voted in a recently retired MP to serve as the party's chair, at its annual state conference in Inverell.
The former Member for Coffs Harbour, Andrew Fraser, will take over the reins from Bede Burke, who is stepping down after serving the maximum five-year term.
Mr Fraser, who was one of three candidates to put their hands up for the position, is a Nationals' stalwart and served as Coffs Harbour MP for just shy of three decades.
With more than 500 delegates attending the four-day conference, Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall said the event was a "huge shot in the arm for the Inverell economy, during this incredibly tough time".
"With the party celebrating its 100th anniversary year, this conference is special and has attracted a large number of people from all corners of the state," Mr Marshall said.
"The Inverell business community were very supportive of the bid for the conference and now they're set to benefit hugely.
"Every room in town is booked out, and local restaurants and shops are set to receive lots of attention over the next few days."
Mr Marshall said it was also an opportunity for Inverell to shine on the "national" stage, and showcase the region and its attractions.
"Inverell has always punched above its weight and now the focus of the entire National Party will be on this burgeoning regional centre for the next four days," he said.
"This is our chance to show off our region and at last, I will get to show all my parliamentary colleagues that it isn't all talk - our region is the best place to live and work - and hold conferences."