On Monday, the leader of The Nationals and Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce stepped down after a tumultuous few weeks. I have expressed my thanks and appreciation for the work Barnaby has done.
His strong voice in the leadership of the government has helped to build The Nationals’ numbers and influence in the Coalition and the government, which has translated into a record investment in infrastructure throughout regional Australia.
The recent announcement of new manufacturing and industry projects as part of the Coalition’s North Coast Jobs and Investment package in our region, expanded roads to recovery funding delivered to local projects, Pacific Highway upgrade, new local bridges under the bridges renewal program and expanded aged care funding are all important initiatives of The Nationals in government under Barnaby’s leadership. Building new dams and the inland rail project are also key initiatives Barnaby has been pursuing in government.
When Barnaby announced his resignation, I took the opportunity to consult my colleagues about putting myself forward and I was thankful to so many of them who encouraged me. Ultimately, I decided the party would be better to rally around one candidate.
Michael McCormack was duly elected leader of The Nationals and Deputy Prime Minister of Australia. He comes from a small business and publishing background, has served in the ministry over the past few years and gets on well with everyone in our team. I’m sure he will do a good job helping to lead our efforts to deliver good government for the people of Australia, particularly in the regions.