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New Independents network launched.



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MEDIA RELEASE

New Independents network launched

From left Tony Windsor, Peter Andren, Gavin Priestly and Bob Katter formally launch ICAN at Parliament House in Canberra.

11 October, 2005

The Independent Members in the House of Representatives have launched a new online support program aimed at those aspiring politicians who are considering running as Independents.

The Independent Candidate Advisory Network - ICAN - has the full support of the Member for Kennedy Bob Katter, Peter Andren the Member for Calare and the Member for New England Tony Windsor.

Mr Katter said the Telstra sale had been the final straw for country people and said the ICAN program was designed to encourage potential political candidates to run as Independents. He said Independents took the power away from political parties and returned it to the people.

Bob Katter said: “To my knowledge, there are only two countries that are arguably working on two party system - Britain and Australia - and I don’t think they are good advertisements in any respect. Barnaby Joyce’s capitulation to the party line on Telstra is exactly why I was forced to leave the National Party. He is living proof you can’t truly represent your electorate within the current party system.\"

The Independents all agreed that ICAN is all about returning Australian Parliaments to the people and putting representation back into politics.

Mr Andren said, “The best way to do this is to encourage people to stand as true independents who will represent their electorates, free of the vested interests of a party. Parties are about getting and keeping power for themselves. Representation and the voters come second.”

“What we are saying is simply if I can represent my electorate, Peter and Bob obviously can, then you can and on issues like the full sale of Telstra, we can! Country people can if they vote in their own representative,” he said.

Former Telstra Country Wide Manager Mr Gavin Priestly will co-ordinate the ICAN program and said he is pleased to have the support of such experienced Members of Parliament.

“There is fifty-six years of political experience which is invaluable. If you are thinking of starting politics, that’s the sort of resource that will let you know if you are on the right track,” Mr Priestly said.