Nats claims have Saffin gnashing her teeth

Leader of the Nationals Warren Truss, Northern Rivers University Department of Rural Health director of education, Dr Sue Page, and Senator Fiona Nash, newly appointed duty senator for the north coast.

National Party leader Warren Truss was in Lismore on Monday to announce Fiona Nash had been appointed duty senator for Page and Richmond. And shes already raised the ire of the local federal MP.

Mr Truss and Senator Nash spent four days travelling around the north coast, meeting with members of the public and local officials including director of education for the Northern Rivers University Department of Rural Health, Dr Sue Page.

We are very concerned with a Labor government they will concentrate on the big cities and not worry about what is happening in regional communities, Senator Nash, who lives on a property near Young in south-west NSW, said. We are particularly concerned about health and we are going to ensure that we keep taking this Labor government to task. I am a direct link for the people of the Northern Rivers as an alternative voice in opposition.

However, Page MP Janelle Saffin said the National Party was becoming increasingly irrelevant.

The Nationals became just as arrogant as the Liberals under John Howard and now they are a rump on the endangered species list, Ms Saffin said. Their former leader, Mark Vaile, this week reportedly has been off on leave to do trade consultancy work in the Middle East. This contempt for his constituents, together with a purely base political appointment of someone from central western NSW to make token visits to Page and Richmond, is symptomatic of how out of touch they are.

When I talk to farmers meetings, they raise their special areas of interest, of course, but primarily they talk about health, education, roads and telecommunications. They feel, correctly, that the National Party let them down on so many fronts.

Labor is not city-centric. Kevin Rudd, this week, was the first Prime Minister in years to have attended an ABARE conference, giving the agricultural sector the priority it rightly deserves. The Rudd Government has the policies and the people, like myself, who can deliver for all of Australia.


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