The National Party is struggling to find a candidate for Cowper.

It is incredible to think that they can’t find an acceptable candidate for a seat they have held for 97 out of the last 99 years.

Nominations to be candidate for the National Party closed today (Friday, 21 September 2018 at 5 pm).

However, the Nationals have decided to keep the nomination period open, until December.

The outgoing member announced on 8 August 2018 that he was departing. Six weeks on; the National Party can’t come up with anyone they’re happy to win.

This defies belief. The National Party thinks they can just waltz up to the election and win it. Taking the electorate for granted has hit a stratospheric level.

Today we have learned that no one is good enough in the eyes of the party leadership to be a good candidate.

It speaks volumes about the state of the National Party in this part of the world.

Where’s the “hard-working community leaders“ they said they wanted? Where’s the succession planning? Where’s the management? All we got today was a room full of empty chairs.

You can hardly blame anyone good for not wanting to put their hand up. The government is in disarray and behind in the polls. The Nationals are on the nose in regional Australia and there are rumblings about the party leadership. Who would want to join this rabble, particularly with Barnaby Joyce circling the leadership.

Then there’s the policy issues – rising unemployment, cutting penalty rates, lousy NBN, reduced schools funding, no action on climate change, higher power prices, cutting pensions and long aged care home packages waiting lists?

Who in their right mind would want to defend these dud policies and fifty years of under achievement and lost opportunity.

And who loses in all of this? The people of Cowper. Luke Hartsuyker is already swinging in the retirement hammock and posting happy snaps on Facebook.

While the Nationals have an empty chair as the candidate, we won’t see the Prime Minister, Deputy PM and the leader of the National Party, or any Minister visit the electorate anytime soon.

Cowper deserves better and will get it under a Labor member and a Labor Government.