Joyce withdraws from Maranoa
AFTER months of speculation, Senator Barnaby Joyce has officially pulled the pin on any ambition to nominate for pre-selection for the lower house seat of Maranoa.
The announcement came yesterday only hours after sitting member Bruce Scott - who has held the seat for 22 years - confirmed he would have another tilt.
Senator Joyce, who harbours Nationals leadership ambitions, followed up his announcement by saying he endorsed Mr Scott.
He said an internal campaign would be "an unnecessary distraction within sight of a Federal election".
"For the purpose of unity in the Nationals and the LNP teams I endorse the Honourable Bruce Scott to be re-elected as the member for Maranoa and wish him all the best in his continued political career," Senator Joyce said.
Mr Scott said he was encouraged to stand again by senior colleagues, constituents and the business community.
"I'm absolutely committed to getting the best for the electorate and will do everything I can for a change in government in Canberra," Mr Scott said.
"As a previous minister in the Howard government and an experienced representative of rural and regional Australia, I am keen to make a significant contribution to an Abbott-Truss government restoring the confidence of Australians in the economic management and direction of our nation."
Senator Joyce apologised for "disappointments that may be held at this time" because of his decision.
Warwick-based Suncorp banker and identity David Littleproud, who was rumoured to be considering a tilt if Mr Scott chose not to run, was unable to be contacted by time of print.