The Nationals are holding a conference in Tasmania to highlight the party’s broadening presence in the regions throughout Australia and the importance of Steve Martin’s re-election.

The Federal Nationals’ Parliamentary Team is in strong attendance at the conference to support Senator Martin and listen to business and community leaders about local issues.

Deputy Prime Minister and Leader of the Nationals Michael McCormack will give the leaders’ address during today’s proceedings which will include reiterating the value of Senator Martin’s role in championing the interests of regional Tasmanians.

Mr McCormack said The Nationals are working to ensure Senator Martin’s re-election at the next federal election to make sure Tasmanians have an additional rural voice in the Federal Parliament.

“We have five great Senators representing The Nationals in Victoria, New South Wales, the Northern Territory and Queensland and we want to ensure Steve is re-elected to continue representing Tasmanians and to maintain a broader national presence,” he said.

“The Nationals have established a foothold in Tasmania and we want to make it a stronghold by getting Steve Martin re-elected.

“For the Nationals, it’s the start of something that’s going to be very big and from little things, big things grow.

“We are in Tasmania this weekend to make sure the people here know we’re fighting on their behalf and like Steve Martin we want to take up their issues and fight for them.”

Nationals Deputy Leader Senator Bridget McKenzie said Tasmania had a bright future which Senator Martin and The Nationals wanted to be part of.

“The Nationals know and understand the concerns of Tasmanians who live in rural and regional areas better than any other political party because our representatives come from these areas,” she said.

“We are working with and supporting our great local Nationals Tasmanian Senator Steve Martin.

“Steve represents the values and aspirations of regional and rural Tasmania and he is fighting hard to deliver better services as part of the National team.

“Steve represents the values and aspirations of regional and rural Tasmania and he is fighting hard to deliver strong local communities through a growing economy.

“Tasmania has a very bright future and The Nationals want to be part of it.”

Senator Martin said joining The Nationals helped to strengthen the team representing regional Australia in Canberra.

“I joined the Nationals because the best way to get results for regional Tasmania is to be part of a strong team in Government that specialises in delivering results for regional Australia,” he said.

“The presence of the Deputy Prime Minister in Launceston today along with so many other Nationals colleagues shows just how committed we are to the people in regional Tasmania.”

Mr McCormack said Senator Martin is fighting for issues in Tasmania which The Nationals are fighting for throughout Australia such as regional telecommunications and big and small infrastructure projects.

“Steve is in there fighting for a better deal for Tasmania and we want to ensure he returns after the next election to continue his advocacy not just for regional Tasmanians but for all Tasmanians,” he said.

“We are the party for regional Australia and we’ve been doing that for almost 100 years now and we want to continue doing that and to grow the party even further, branching out in Tasmania.

“It was a tremendous thrill and privilege, and a huge boost to The Nationals’ Party Room, to once again enjoy a Tasmanian presence, after Senator Martin chose to join The Nationals earlier this year.

“In The Nationals’ almost 100-year history, Steve is by no means the first Tasmanian to sit in our Party room and fight for the State’s rights and we want to ensure he’s not the last.”

Hannah Maguire