Barnaby Joyce hit the campaign trail after being endorsed as the Nationals candidate for New Engand on Saturday.
The party meeting took place in Glen Innes, where Mr Joyce was elected unopposed, and he was soon on the road heading to the Sapphire City Festival in Inverell, followed by a contingent of national media.
While the by-election has sparked the interest of the national media, speaking after the meeting, Mr Joyce was clearly focused on local issues.
He rattled off dam and road projects he said he was fighting for including Chaffey Dam, Dungowan Dam, the Legume-Woodenbong Road near Tenterfield and the Bolivia Hill realignment, as well as getting a new verandah for the CWA hall in Uralla.
“All these things matter,” he said.
Despite that setback, he was putting a positive spin on having to go to a by-election.
“To be quite frank, I see this as a period of time that I can actually spend more time in my electorate, and it sounds strange but I love getting back to my electorate,” Mr Joyce said.
“As you can probably see, my demeanour is one where I’m a lot happier than walking around Canberra with the weight of the world on my shoulders as you deal with a whole range of issues.
“I’m back with my people, I’m back in the electorate, and I’m really enjoying it,” he said.
Mr Joyce was asked if he would be able to be parliament for the final sitting week if re-elected, as it falls straight after the December 2 by-election.
“To be honest I haven’t really considered all of that,” Mr Joyce replied.
“I believe that on the declaration of the polls, you’re back in action, you get straight down there and do your job. That’s what I presume.”
Party members from around the electorate travelled to Glen Innes for Saturday morning’s electorate council meeting.