FEDERAL Member for New England Barnaby Joyce has been announced as the most responsive Federal politician in Australia by the advocacy group FairGO.
For two decades FairGO has rated the responsiveness of politicians to voters who contact all MPs by Votergram, the group’s founder Greg Bloomfield said.
In second place was the Deputy Leader of the ALP and Member for Sydney Tanya Plibersek while in third place was the Parliamentary Secretary for Communications and Member for Bradfield, Paul Fletcher. Inverell-based Senator for NSW, John “Wacka” Williams was placed fifth on the FairGO list.
The Electorate of New England has had a strong track record in the FairGO awards winning it for 12 years running while Independent Tony Windsor was the MP.
Today’s announcement was an endorsement of the continuation of that good service, Mr Bloomfield said.
Mr Joyce said he greatly appreciated FairGO’s advice and was truly honoured and humbled to receive this award.
“I commend FairGO’s founder Greg Bloomfield for his commitment over many years to assist voters to bring their concerns to the attention of their elected representatives and I look forward to continuing to assist where possible in the future,” Mr Joyce said.
Mr Joyce also congratulated his electorate office staff for their attention and support to the constituents of New England.
Mr Bloomfield said every MP has an equal chance to respond to FairGO’s Votergrams, so they can be easily benchmarked.
“The big test is how they exercise their parliamentary responsibility of engaging with voters from any electorate on matters of government policy or practice or personal,” Mr Bloomfield said.
Mr Bloomfield said a more educated electorate now existed than when the FairGO group launched its Votergrams in 1986 and he said advocacy for rural and regional constituents had grown with the use of the service.
“We need to recognise the politicians for the good things they do as well,” he said.
“We have to give credit where credit is due. Barnaby has made such a great impression in the short time he has been the Member for New England,” he said
Mr Bloomfield said he was most grateful to Mr Joyce and his staff for the attention they give so readily to so many voters.
“That in itself will be spreading the Nationals brand,” Mr Bloomfield said.