Pete Mailler, the CountryMinded candidate in the New England by-elections, came to Inverell for the second time in a week on Saturday. He came for the “Eat Drink Live New England” festival to support his fellow farmers, but he also wore his political hat.
How he entered the political realm: A few years ago, I had the responsibility and privilege to represent the grains industry in Canberra. When I was doing that job I really learnt how poorly we’re represented. The standard of political representation is desperate. We’re not going to get a better deal until we get a better standard of political representation. Full stop. We can’t fix what’s broken if they’re not willing to acknowledge that it’s broken. In a very long process we ended up creating an alternative political structure because that’s what we need. You fight fire with fire.
Wearing the political hat: I don’t see myself as a politician at all! In fact, I’m one of the people most critical of the political process. Embedding myself into it is difficult but that’s what needs to be done to try and fix it.
About winning: We are quite prepared to win. We have politics and systems and mechanisms in place to serve the community well.
About renewables in the region: (Renewable energy deals are) not a fait accompli. There is a huge amount of scope for further investment in renewables in the region and the best way to deliver that is with an integrated approach. By streamlining the zoning pre-approvals of agreements and then tendering those. It provides a lot of certainty to developers it allows us to develop a strategic integration model that maximises the benefit to the community, maximises the opportunity for the investors and minimises the downside in terms of government resources being applied to that. We can massively improve that an enhance the investment.