Windsor considers political comeback

09 Jul, 2015 11:48 AM
Former MP Tony Windsor may run again for his old seat. Photo: Andrew Meares
Mr Windsor has continued to speak out against coal and coal seam gas mining on farmland
Former MP Tony Windsor may run again for his old seat. Photo: Andrew Meares

TONY Windsor, the maverick rural MP who helped Labor keep office during the last parliament, says he is considering running again for the seat of New England after the Abbott government gave its approval for a huge open-cut coal mine on the Liverpool Plains.

The government on Wednesday gave approval for the $1.2 billion Shenhua Watermark coal mine, which is to be built by China's state-owned Shenhua Group about 25 kilometres south-east of the northern NSW town of Gunnedah.

Mr Windsor told Fairfax Media that, while "I haven't ruled it out, haven't ruled it in, it's a possibility" that he will take on the sitting member, Agricultural Minister Barnaby Joyce, at the next election.

The mine's approval is "provocative in terms of the temptation to run again", Mr Windsor said.

Mr Windsor retired as the member for New England before the 2013 election. A farmer, Mr Windsor has continued to speak out against coal and coal seam gas mining on farmland.

The former independent also dismissed Mr Joyce's comments on social media site Facebook after the approval was announced that he had "done everything in my power to try and stop the mine … I think the world has gone mad when apparently you cannot build a house at Moore Creek because of White Box grassy woodlands but you can build a super mine in the middle of the Breeza plains".

Mr Joyce "is just playing a game", Mr Windsor said.

"Those who know what's going on locally, know exactly what he's doing - he's playing both sides of the fence."

The Minister may say he has done everything he can to stop the mine, but he hasn't, Mr Windsor said.

Fairfax Media has sought comment from Mr Joyce's office.

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9/07/2015 2:00:03 PM

Didn't Tony sell his farm on the edge of the liverpool plains to a coal mining company? Tony turned his back on his electorate and voted with labour to destroy our livestock industries with the LE shutdown. How many peoples lives were ruined because of that? No one in their right mind would ever vote for Tony again. He retired so he wouldn't loose his seat, taking away the right of my electorate to kick him out for what he did. I cannot see one thing he got for us by voting with labour. He sold us out for nothing!
9/07/2015 3:30:27 PM

just what we do not need. This peanut that ensured we had the worst government since Federation in the minority Labor Greens government has unfinished business. Where was he when the corrupt NSW Labor government started the whole process. Windsor needs to close the book like Rudd and Gillard and get on with whatever he likes to do. Give us a break from these one issue independents.
palinyewah pete
9/07/2015 4:41:31 PM

Tony, just retire gracefully and enjoy your millions from selling the farm to the coal industry, you hypocrite!
9/07/2015 6:25:02 PM

Whatever you do don't vote 'labor lover' Windsor back in.He and Oakshot made a big mistake propping up a dysfunctional,big spending government.
10/07/2015 6:33:41 AM

Dream on.
10/07/2015 10:02:13 AM

All gov't are puppets and will sell a minority like farmers out in a second. The only way we can do something about this is to change the system. The secret agreements and signing of ISDS etc indicates their lack of ability to represent our sovereignty on the world stage. By letting the Chinese govt access to our wealth, (ie farms/minerals) or corporates set the rules in the TPP, we have been sold out. I hope someone has an answer soon.
T Rex
10/07/2015 10:36:06 AM

And we all know a vote for Windsor would be a vote for the ALP/Greens.


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