House debates

Monday, 2 December 2019

Statements by Members

The Nationals

4:13 pm

Photo of Barnaby JoyceBarnaby Joyce (New England, National Party) Share this | | Hansard source

Mr Deputy Speaker, I'd like to bring your attention to a time in the past, when I first arrived here at Parliament House, when there were discussions by the then leader of us closing down the National Party—that it had passed its use-by date and we were to be rolled up with the Liberal Party. I remember there were a few of us at the time who said, 'Well, that's not going to happen under our watch,' and we fought strongly, decisively and deliberately over a long period of time to build the numbers of the National Party back up—in fact, to the highest numbers that it had had in 20 years. I want to acknowledge people such as Fiona Nash and Wacka Williams, who were so good in that space.

Just the other day, once again, the call to arms came when they said that the Nationals in South Australia would be deregistered because they'd fallen below their crucial constitutional numbers to be registered, and a number went into bat to make sure that that didn't happen. We've done it. We actually achieved it. I'd like to acknowledge the work of people such as Senator Matthew Canavan and, once more, former Senator Wacka Williams and former Senator Fiona Nash and others, who worked so hard and diligently to collect the numbers. I want to say to those people who support us that we take your support absolutely seriously, and we will make sure that federal members, once more, come from South Australia to represent the Nationals and represent our nation.