NATIONALS’ federal parliamentary leader Warren Truss this week declined to spell out which of the conservative candidates – his own or the Liberal – he hopes might take the seat of Indi from Independent member Cathy McGowan at this year’s federal election.
As acting Prime Minister he had to dance something of a three-person waltz with Nationals’ Indi candidate Marty Corboy and the Liberals’ Sophie Mirabella during a visit to Indigo Shire’s north-western communities yesterday.
Mr Truss said an Independent member was “not around when the key decisions are made” in government party rooms.
“I think it’s very important that Indi returns a coalition member at this election,” he said.
“We are putting a maximum effort into this area – two candidates, two very talented people, one with vast experience (Mrs Mirabella), one younger and enthusiastic (Mr Corboy), and as a combination I think that they will put together a very, very strong team and a strong campaign during the election to come and help to return Indi to the decision-making benches of the government.
“Obviously I had the pleasure of being a colleague with Sophie for a long time and she made a contribution and with the Nationals – obviously the heart and soul of the party I come from – and I’m delighted that we’ve got someone like Marty Corboy to be our candidate, and someone, I’m sure, who will also make a very substantial contribution to this campaign.
“And if he was elected he would be a very, very good member.”
When asked if Nationals’ federal ministers in the campaign would be advocating for Mr Corboy or for Mrs Mirabella, too, Mr Truss said he knew that the two parties would work in Indi as a team – just as they did in Canberra.