COUNTRYMINDED candidate for New England Pete Mailler has hit back at comments made by Barnaby Joyce to Leigh Sales in an interview on the 7.30 program on Thursday evening, where he criticised other candidates in the New England by-election for not living in the electorate.
“To be honest the Greens candidate doesn’t come from the electorate. The, ah, Country, um, whatever, he doesn’t come from the electorate, Peter Mailler, doesn’t come from the electorate. The other guy’s come across from Western Australia,” Joyce said.
“It would be handy if a few more of them actually came from our electorate.”
Mr Mailler said Joyce should be the last person to speak out against candidates who may not yet live in New England.
“Senator Barnaby Joyce was living in St George, between Surat and Dirranbandi in Queensland, when he was first pre-selected to run for New England in 2013,” he said.
“For him to suggest I’m not legitimately connected to New England is hypocrisy that just leaves you breathless.
“Adam Marshall is my local State Member, that’s how close I am to New England, and my parents met and married in Armidale.
“My roots originate in the heart of the New England (pardon the pun). I have close family living in Inverell and Uralla.”
Mr Mailler said it would take a little more substance about the issues to win this election.
“I know I definitely have a perfect face for radio, and Joyce is no oil painting either, but looks shouldn’t decide this election,” he said.
“I reckon he should front up to a few candidate forums and see if we can't make this contest more about issues that matter to constituents.”