New England is at the root of Australia's Federation. The state seat that included Tenterfield was held by Sir Henry Parkes and played a vital part in the unification of our continent under one single flag. There is a strong nexus between New South Wales and Queensland in New England and I am proud to carry that forward.
- Barnaby Joyce’s maiden speech, November 2013.
The story of politics should have a chapter on New England. From its eastern mountainous country to its fertile agricultural western plains, the New England electorate has a proud history that dates back to the founding of our nation.
The electorate is among the original ‘Federation’ seats, which was won by W.B.S.C Sawers from the Protectionist Party in 1901. Dr Earl Page and John Hynes started the NSW Country Party in 1918 in New England, a party that is still proudly bringing the views of the country to the decision-makers' table and representing them in politics.
Affectionately known as ‘big sky country’ due to its spectacular views, New England envelopes a sprawling region across northern New South Wales, stretching more than 66 394 sq km from the Murrurundi Ranges in the South to the Queensland border in the North and housing a population of more than 145,000 people.
The seat includes the local government areas of Liverpool Plains, Upper Hunter, Tamworth Regional, Walcha, Uralla, Armidale, Glen Innes Severn, Inverell and Tenterfield Shire Councils as well as part of Gwydir Shire Council.
The major hubs include Aberdeen, Armidale, Barraba, Bingara, Bundarra, Deepwater, Glen Innes, Guyra, Inverell, Manilla, Merriwa, Nundle, Quirindi, Scone, Tamworth, Tenterfield, Uralla, Yetman, Walcha, Werris Creek and parts of Delungra and Urbenville.
New England has a long and proud agricultural tradition and rural industry remains the key economic driver across the electorate. Each season, the region produces world class supplies of cattle, sheep, grains, forestry, dairying and fruit and vegetables.
The electorate is also rich in mineral resources including coal, gemstones, gold, gas and tin.
More than 16,000 large and small businesses operate across the electorate and many Federal and NSW Government Departments have offices in the local area.
The University of New England, which is located in the heart of the electorate at Armidale, has an honoured history as the oldest university in regional Australia, building on the intellectual capacity of rural and regional Australia through its innovative leadership in distance education, broad offering of undergraduate and postgraduate courses and eminent research projects.
The New England Electorate is serviced by air, road and rail transport services and provides unlimited opportunities as an outstanding region to live, work and play with a broad range of educational, sporting and recreational facilities, spectacular landscapes features and attractions located across the region.