York to host Nationals centenary conference

STAFF REPORTERThe West Australian

The historic Wheatbelt community of York will provide the backdrop for The Nationals' annual WA State Conference this year as the party celebrates its centenary on August 2-4.

Acting State president David Eagles said it was appropriate for The Nationals to celebrate the occasion in York.

"Just like the community of York, The Nationals WA have had a long and strong history in the Wheatbelt. It is very apt for The Nationals to reflect on our history in Western Australia's oldest inland town," Mr Eagles said.

The Nationals WA began as the Farmers and Settlers Association in 1913 before becoming The Country Party and eventually The National Party of Australia.

Mr Eagles said the conference would serve as a launching pad for the Federal election campaign, and candidates Chub Witham for O'Connor, Shane Van Styn for Durack and David Wirrpanda for the Senate would be in attendance.

"Leader of the Federal Nationals, Hon Warren Truss, will also be on hand to address the conference as we head into an exciting Federal election campaign."

Mr Eagles said he expected many Federal Nationals members would join Mr Truss in making the trip to York for the party's centenary.

"With a Federal election approaching, the State Conference will serve as a call to arms for our members, as we stand poised to elect three representatives to Federal Parliament from The Nationals WA," Mr Eagles said.

"It's a timely reminder of how, from humble beginnings right here in WA, The National Party is now one of Australia's longest running political parties, and we remain just as relevant to regional Australia now as we did in 1913."

Mr Eagles said dozens of motions would be rigorously debated over two days of conference, ranging from agriculture, health, tourism and road safety.

He said policies such as regional events funding, Carnarvon flood mitigation, and the Southern Inland Health Initiative had been formulated at previous State conferences.

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