COUNTRYMINDED is a new conservative political party that hopes to run candidates in this year’sfederal election, to provide alternative advocacy for rural and regional people.
The new party’s national executive president and founder, Peter Mailler, confirmed on Wednesday that the party now had the obligatory 500 members needed to formally register with the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC), but he said getting the required members was only half the battle.
GROWING: CountryMinded founder Peter Mailler said the next step for the party is to take its online presence out into the community through a series of informal meetings.
The party started life as the Country Party of Australia, but had to be rebranded asCountryMinded in September last year, after the Australian Country Alliance in Victoria alteredits title to the Australian Country Party.
A former chair of Grain Producers Australia Mr Mailler is a farmer near Goondiwindi who ran forthe Katter Party in the 2013 election.
He said he hoped CountryMinded would be registered in time to contest this year’s election, butthe party would ‘keep its powder dry’, just for the time being.
Mr Mailler described CountryMinded as a party for everyone who recognised the value ofmaintaining a viable and resilient regional economy and culture for a prosperous nation, and saidit would register with the AEC early next week at the latest.
“We’re taking care to make sure the first application is successful,” Mr Mailler said.
“The AEC can take up to three months to process the application and we need the registration inour hand before the writs for this year’s election are issued.
“We are mildly concerned that there is talk of an early poll. There’s a lot of speculation, butthe reality is, if the coalition goes early, there is a chance we won’t be able to contest theelection.”
Mr Mailler said Jamie Macintyre’s 21st Century Party suffered the same setback at the lastelection.
“So we’re just not crowing too loudly about what we are or are not going to do. We purposelyhaven’t issued press releases because we know that we can’t get ahead of ourselves on this, butwe’re very happy to talk about it.”
Mr Mailler said the party had more than 500 members and the membership was still building.
“Over the Christmas break it’s dawned on people that 2016 is an election year. They’ve gotteninto politics again and what we’re doing is appealing to a fairly broad group of people at thispoint,” Mr Mailler said.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.