It took just six several years for David Littleproud to go from rookie MP to Nationals chief. His meteoric rise reached its peak when the 45-12 months-previous Queenslander was elected leader of the junior Coalition associate on Monday.
He has declared he is “not likely to be chasing extremists”, stating his bash desires to calibrate to “the sensible centre” as the Coalition mulls the lessons from a humbling election decline.
Littleproud usually takes his position at the best among an fully fresh new crew of Coalition leaders, promising a extra calculated technique on local climate than predecessor Barnaby Joyce.
“The practical centre is the place you gain elections in this state,” he said on Monday.
“Being eminently sensible about your policy formulations, not by going down rabbit holes and pondering [that] by likely to a person severe or the other you’re heading to get.”
Littleproud is the federal member for Maranoa. It was the safest seat in the state at the 2019 election and Littleproud gained it with a 72% to 28% two-celebration margin. It is also the major voters in Queensland at a whopping 730,000 sq km.
He was born in Chinchilla, a smaller town in Queensland’s Western Downs area, and it could be claimed Littleproud’s family small business is politics. He is the son of a Queensland authorities minister, Brian Littleproud, who was briefly the deputy leader of the Nationals in that state. His grandfather, George, was Chinchilla’s deputy mayor.
Soon after a profession in banking and finance with Countrywide Australia Financial institution and Suncorp (and a brief stint as a “cotton chipper” in 1993, according to his parliamentary biography), Littleproud was elected to federal politics at the 2016 election. In his 1st parliamentary speech, he talked of embracing international trade agreements, superior cellular phone connectivity for the areas, distance education and learning and telehealth, water infrastructure and the inland rail.
“We in Maranoa need to have to embrace the worldwide economic system much more than any one. We have what the globe would like and our language and our steps require to replicate that we are now global gamers,” Littleproud stated.
“We have to have to have interaction the globe like we hardly ever have prior to, because the possibilities are boundless. The individuals of Maranoa are not victims. We are not some economic backwater. Instead, we maintain the keys to our possess and the nation’s prosperity. It is a subject of us grabbing it.”
In 2017, a yr after 1st entering politics, Littleproud was catapulted into cabinet as the minister for agriculture and water assets.
Along with Coalition colleagues Russell Broadbent and Keith Pitt, furthermore independent crossbencher Bob Katter, he was one particular of just 4 associates to vote versus marriage equality in the historic 2018 Turnbull-period reform. It followed the nationwide postal plebiscite, where 56% of individuals from Maranoa registered a “no” vote – and Littleproud had pledged to vote in accordance with his electorate’s verdict.
Littleproud’s job title would alter 4 instances in quick succession between 2018 and 2021, with the addition of accountability for drought, organic disaster, emergency management and northern Australia to his rural-centered portfolios.
In September 2019, at the start out of the black summer bushfires, Littleproud, who was then the minister for drought and normal disasters, informed Guardian Australia: “I really don’t know if local weather change is manmade.” The very same week, he told an ABC Radio job interview that it was “irrelevant” whether or not local weather improve was artifical.
Littleproud was elected as deputy chief of the Nationals in February 2020, in the course of a management spill in which Joyce sought to return to the party’s helm. Joyce was unsuccessful, and Michael McCormack held on with Littleproud elected as his next-in-command after previous deputy Bridget McKenzie resigned right after the “sports rorts” affair.
Littleproud served as deputy leader until eventually this 7 days, remaining on after Joyce’s prosperous leadership tilt spilled McCormack on the next attempt in June 2021.
In his customary relaxed enterprise apparel – jacket-free, with his shirt sleeves rolled up to the elbow – Littleproud usually cuts a far more reasonable, realistic figure than Joyce. When the former Nationals leader hesitated in contacting out incendiary reviews from backbenchers George Christensen or Matt Canavan, Littleproud was more outspoken.
“The world has moved previous Matt Canavan,” he reported last thirty day period just after the Queensland senator criticised the Coalition’s web zero goal.
Soon after Christensen’s reviews opposing Covid limitations and vaccine mandates in November 2021, Littleproud explained: “I really do not respect those people comments and I condemn them.”
“George Christensen’s comments are irresponsible and inappropriate,” he stated right after further more controversial phrases.
Joyce in August 2021 cautioned colleagues in opposition to “prodding the bear” when questioned no matter if he would pull Christensen into line, saying it would “make the situation even worse for us as a government, not better”.
Regardless of the new Nationals MP Colin Boyce proclaiming the Coalition’s internet zero pledge was a “flexible strategy that leaves us wiggle room”, Littleproud, after ascending to the management, appeared to have no desire for re-litigating the local weather commitment.
“We’re living up to an worldwide arrangement,” Littleproud mentioned on Monday, when questioned if the internet zero plan was up for negotiation.
“Our coverage was eminently practical and a person which we’ll proceed to work by way of.”
He will now satisfy with the freshly elected Liberal leader, Peter Dutton, to hammer out a fresh Coalition settlement. Littleproud has position-blank refused to speculate on what that could contain, this kind of as how many shadow ministry and cupboard positions – or which portfolios – would be presented to the Nationals.
But with the rural bash keeping all its seats in the election, and as a result building up a much larger share of the Coalition than in the very last parliament, Littleproud may possibly have a bargaining chip to demand a superior offer for his bash.
“I mightn’t glimpse vivid but I’m not likely to present my hand,” he claimed on Monday when questioned what he could inquire for in a assembly with Dutton.
“It’s crucial that we have people conversations respectfully, and even nevertheless I’m just a bloke from western Queensland, when you go and negotiate with any person, you don’t exhibit your hand right before you stroll in.”