CANDIDATE for the seat of New England Jamie McIntyre has had a disappointing welcome to Tenterfield, with only two people briefly stopping by for his question and answer forum on Wednesday night.
It has been a difficult time for the 21st Century party leader after his party was unable to appear on the ballot papers following the announcement of a September 7 election.
The party was approved by the Australian Electoral Commission on July 15 and the election date falls within the public submission and administration period that follows that approval, meaning the party cannot be listed.
Mr McIntyre has been forced to pull his senate and lower house candidates from the race and will front himself as an independent for the looming New England battle after what he has called “gross incompetence” by the AEC.
Mr McIntyre took time to speak to The Tenterfield Star and was not coy in his disregard for the “forced Labor, Liberal duopoly” and what he saw as a “deliberate delay” by the AEC to dispel his party’s chances.
He pre-empted a televised debate with key rival for the seat of New England, Barnaby Joyce.
“I’ve approached the NBN about the possibility,” he said.
Mr McIntyre said he believed the country was pushing itself over the edge and continued financial wastage was not making things any easier.
“Australia has the money to have the best but there has been a sheer waste of money at all three levels of government,” he said.
“There is a lack of management that partly stems from having all but 33 federal members who are career politicians – unionists and lawyers who couldn’t manage their tuckshop money let alone $274 billion in debt.
“We had $190 billion windfall from the resources boom and 96 per cent of that has been squandered.
“They are socialists – wealth takers, not creators.”
He used the example of the proposed inland rail as further wastage.
“Why spend billions more when we already have the infrastructure,” he said.
“We propose a fast train network from Brisbane to Melbourne and we would look to re-open the New England rail line.”
That plan would include Tenterfield and Wallangarra.
Having travelled on the New England Highway on his way into Tenterfield and being familiar with the Mt Lindesay Road, he said both were “appalling”.
The newly retired former member for New England Tony Windsor has said Mr McIntyre had sought his advice about running as an independent.
“After all this vitriolic rubbish that he’s been articulating against me, suddenly now he wants to know how to do it as an independent,” Mr Windsor said.
But Mr McIntyre refuted the claim he’d sought advice.
“The only advice I would ask of Mr Windsor would be how to betray an electorate – the independent brand is tainted because of him,” Mr McIntyre said.
“I would be happy to sign a legal agreement to say in the case of another hung parliament situation I would vote for the majority party.
“I wouldn’t go against the wishes of my electorate.”
Mr McIntyre, who is Glen Innes born and bred, said he would focus on agriculture.
“I’m a farmer, a farmer’s son – I would invest money into agriculture,” he said.
Mr McIntyre said in the end it would be a two-horse race between himself and Barnaby Joyce.
“He [Joyce] is the clear favourite.”