The National Party hopes its future lies in the hands of a young, third-generation Queensland politician who has championed regional communities and talked trade agreements ever since he had a microphone.
Born and raised in regional Queensland, David Littleproud began his career in the banking sector, working in various regional Queensland cities, but never straying far from his hometown.
In his first speech in Parliament in 2016, he said, “Chinchilla made me who I am today.”
Compared to his current colleagues, David Littleproud may have relatively little experience in parliament, but, as he declared in his most recent speech, and first as party leader – he was born in it.
“I joined the National Party as a six-year-old boy… walking up to my father in the chinchilla courthouse as he tried to become a member of Condamine.”
The Littleproud political dynasty spanned three generations and all three levels of government.
His grandfather George was the deputy mayor of Chinchilla, and his father Brian served in the Queensland state parliament as a member of the Condamine – and later the Western Downs – from 1983 to 2001.
“It has been the National Party that has guided me into who I am,” Little Littleproud said yesterday.
‘Always Looking Ahead’
David Littleproud entered parliament in 2016, replacing long-standing member Marano for Bruce Scott.
Mr Scott welcomed this week’s news, and told the Queensland Country Hour that Littleproud’s strength was “his ability to listen to people and make a difference … he is always looking forward”.
He said that now the time has come that the countrymen should be seen as one party in the whole country.
“It’s not just about standing up for the regional and rural people, it’s about you need the support of the people of the city, as well as help us move forward as a stronger, and a better, nation.” for,” said Mr. Scott.
Now, as LittleProud takes over the reins of the same party, he does so with a relatively clean slate.
“I think the LittleProud ideology is still evolving,” said Paul Williams, political commentator and associate professor at Griffith University.
“I doubt that he will be aligned with the core agenda of ‘Farmers can get rich with free trade’.”
Mr Littleproud said the party would maintain its net-zero climate change commitment.
“I think he knows that ‘man-made climate change is not real’, or adopting a right-wing conspiracy attitude, from climate change to culture wars, is going to be alienating. [the Nationals] from mid-Australia, and don’t make them very helpful coalition partners,” Mr Williams said.
“Recently the leaders of the National Party and other senior citizens have gone the way of the liberals, dancing to a mining tune instead of an agricultural and pastoral tune, and I think that’s what got them in trouble.”
So why not Barnaby?
If the litteproud’s ascent to the leadership of the citizens was a surprise to some, it was not to a Queensland political scientist.
This is the first time that both the leaders of the two conservative parties in the coalition are from the Sunshine State.
Paul Williams said, “It is probably a no-brainer that the next party leader of the National would have come from Queensland.”
“So it probably came as no surprise that Littleproud would see Darren Chester.
“It was always on the cards that Barnaby Joyce would be defeated, as some moderate liberals are blaming him and Matt Canavan and George Christensen for driving voters into the arms of tea for extremism and alarmism on climate change.”
Mr Williams said Littleproud could not afford to make the same mistake as Michael McCormack and “slip under the radar”.
“He needs to keep his head above the parapet, and needs to be an equal partner with Dutton,” he said.
He hopes the public will see a more visible junior coalition member, and fans of the former agriculture minister’s sound bites can rejoice.
“I think they’ll ramp up,” said Paul Williams.