Nats pick dream team

Neridup farmer Colin de Grussa has been chosen for the Nationals team for the Agricultural Region.
Camera IconNeridup farmer Colin de Grussa has been chosen for the Nationals team for the Agricultural Region. Credit: Danella Bevis

The Nationals WA have announced their team for the Agricultural Region ahead of the 2017 State election.

Leader of The Nationals WA, Terry Redman, said a strong, independent, and passionate team had assembled to represent the best interests of regional families, businesses and communities in the Agricultural Region.

“I’m delighted to announce The Nationals WA team in the Agricultural Region who will seek to champion regional WA and safeguard the future of Royalties for Regions in State Parliament,” Mr Redman said.

Incumbent Agricultural Region MP Martin Aldridge will be joined by a diverse group of regional champions including:

Esperance farmer and Nuffield Australia scholar Colin de Grussa.

Town of Narrogin Mayor and small business director Leigh Ballard.

Health promotions officer and former chairman of the Geraldton Regional Hospital District Health Advisory Committee Fred Block.

Blyth Tree Farm managing director and Great Southern Institute of TAFE lecturer Steve Blyth from Katanning.

Business owner and Shire of Irwin councillor David Kennedy.

Mr Redman said only The Nationals WA could safeguard the future of Royalties for Regions.

“In recent months, both major parties have come out saying they would like to see Royalties for Regions changed or scaled back,” he said.

“Only The Nationals WA can ensure that Royalties for Regions continues to deliver the best outcomes for regional WA and doesn’t become watered down by the Perth-focused major parties.”

Mr Redman reiterated the Nationals’ role as an independent political party heading into the State election.

“We have assembled an excellent team of local champions and we look forward to a State election campaign that puts regional issues front and centre.”

The Nationals also selected Pingelly farmer and CBH board director John Hassell as the candidate for the Federal seat of O’Connor.

A former WAFarmers executive and current CBH board member, Mr Hassell lives in East Pingelly on a sheep and grain farming operation with his wife and three children, and also has a contract spraying business.

Mr Redman said his party would face a tough task advocating for the best interests of Western Australia while the two major parties focused on the Eastern States at a Federal level.

“It’s always going to be a challenge, asking the major parties — whose party rooms are dominated by Eastern States politicians — to consider issues affecting Western Australia, but our record in State and Federal Parliament in recent years has proven we are up to the challenge,” he said.

“There’s no shortage of issues and projects in regional WA that require Federal attention but I’m confident that our Senate candidates and our candidate for O’Connor are up to the task.”

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