“Last night’s Senate vote shows that rural Australia remains a force to be reckoned with on the national political stage,” said The Nationals’ Senator Ron Boswell today.
“Those who ignore the interests of the bush will pay a political price.”
“The Coalition set up the $2bn Communications Fund to ensure the needs of rural Australia would be looked after in the years to come.”
“Labor promised to abolish this and last night they did just that.”
“The Nationals could not go along with that because the Communications Fund was the deal breaker in winning bush support for the final sale of Telstra.”
Senator Boswell said that it was obvious last night that the sentiments of the Senate chamber majority were in accord with keeping faith with rural Australia.
“The Senate vote reflected in the end the concern of the Opposition as a whole and some Senators in particular from both the National and Liberal parties who could not see this fund go down without a fight.”
“There is an important lesson to be learned from last night and that is to never, ever ignore rural Australia. Their voice will be heard in our Parliaments.”
“Rural Australia continues to have influence on the political agenda. Their voice was heard loud and clear last night in the extraordinary vote.”
“The bush knows it can’t win on everything because Labor simply doesn’t need them to win government. But they do expect us to hold the line on issues that are of utmost importance to them where agreements have been sealed.”
“No party can afford to ignore the bush. That would be a recipe for political meltdown.”