|Dissolved||8 May 2018|
CountryMinded was an Australian political party between 2014 and 2018 that claimed to represent the interests of regional Australians whose livelihoods depend either directly or indirectly on agricultural production. The party was founded in December 2014 by a group of people looking for accountable regional representation, including two brothers from New South Wales, David and Peter Mailler as the Country Party of Australia, and changed its name to CountryMinded in September 2015.
CountryMinded was formed (as the Country Party of Australia) in response to perceived lack of attention to rural issues in the Australian political process, and dissatisfaction with how the National Party represents regional Australians.
The party was registered in time to contest the 2016 federal election. It announced that it had reached the required 500 members in January 2016, and submitted the application for registration on 3 March 2016. Registration was confirmed on 12 April 2016.
On 2 February 2018, the Australian Electoral Commission issued a notice that it was considering deregistering the party on the grounds that it had ceased to have at least 500 members. On 8 May 2018, CountryMinded was deregistered by the Australian Electoral Commission for that reason.
The party describes itself as non-aligned, rural, and independent.
CountryMinded is founded on the fundamental importance of agriculture as the key sustainable foundation of regional socioeconomic and political stability, both domestically and abroad for current and future generations. CountryMinded is founded around the idea that the stability and longevity of society has always and will always depend on the sustainability of the agricultural enterprise that supports it, thereby making all societies agricultural by definition.
CountryMinded's ideology and policies are shaped around key ideas such as every member of society is dependent on agriculture and therefor part of the agricultural value matrix and conservation of agricultural lands (including surface and ground water resources) is essential for sustainable agricultural development for both current and future generations.
2015 state elections
In February 2015 the party, though still unregistered, announced Ron Pike, a former National Party member, would run as a Country Party candidate for the New South Wales Legislative Council in the 2015 NSW state election. Three other candidates endorsed by the party stood for the Legislative Assembly, although they were listed as independents on the ballot paper. David Mailler contested the seat of Northern Tablelands, Helen Dalton stood in the seat of Murray, and Paul Funnell, a City of Wagga Wagga councillor, contested the seat of Wagga Wagga. Pike plus 13 others formed a group for the Legislative Council, however a group of 15 is required to have a box for voters to vote "above the line". The candidate descriptions did not claim to represent the Country Party of Australia, but three of the candidates in "Group V" (Ron Pike, Pete Mailler, and Julie Pike) nominated the www.yourcountryparty.info website.
None of the candidates endorsed by the Country Party were elected. Helen Dalton placed second in Murray with 18.48% of votes to Adrian Piccoli (who had been the member for Murrumbidgee before the redistribution). Piccoli had beaten Dalton for National Party of Australia preselection in May 2014, before Dalton ran as an independent. Paul Funnell was third in Wagga Wagga behind Liberal and Country Labor party candidates. David Mailler was beaten by both the Nationals and Country Labor candidates in Northern Tablelands as well.
2016 Federal election
CountryMinded fielded two senate candidates and one candidate in the House of Representatives in each of Queensland and New South Wales in the 2016 federal election. David Mailler placed sixth of ten candidates with 1.41% in the Division of New England, and Luke Arbuckle placed seventh of eight candidates with 2.38% in the Division of Maranoa. The senate candidates drew a total of 0.07% of first preferences in New South Wales and 0.10% in Queensland.
- "New political voice for country voters". The Land. 23 December 2014. Retrieved 12 May 2016.
- McOwan, Johannah (25 January 2015). "Country Party member to run as Independent in Northern Tablelands". ABC News. Retrieved 20 February 2015.
- "Party Constitution". CountryMinded. 30 September 2015. Retrieved 27 January 2016.
- "CountryMinded takes shape". The Land. 20 January 2016. Retrieved 27 January 2016.
- Bettles, Colin (24 December 2014). "New political voice for country voters". The Land.
- McOwan, Johannah (13 January 2015). "Farmer setting up new country party, to rival Nationals". ABC News. Retrieved 20 February 2015.
- Peter Mailler (10 January 2015). "Let's get the party started". The Land. Retrieved 20 February 2015.
- Steve Green (26 January 2016). "Countryminded president Peter Mailler confirms conservative party can formally register". The Inverell Times. Fairfax Regional Media. Retrieved 27 January 2016.
- "Current party registration applications inviting objection". Australian Electoral Commission. 8 March 2016. Retrieved 15 March 2016.
- "Application for registration of a non-parliamentary party: CountryMinded" (PDF). Australian Electoral Commission. 30 January 2016. Retrieved 15 March 2016.
- "Notice under s.133(1A) of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918". Australian Electoral Commission. 15 April 2016. Retrieved 15 April 2016.
- "Notice of intention to deregister CountryMinded" (PDF). Australian Electoral Commission. 2 February 2018. Retrieved 2 March 2018.
- "Notice of deregistration: CountryMinded" (PDF). Australian Electoral Commission. Retrieved 9 May 2018.
- Labinsky, Melody (15 January 2015). "CPA eyes federal election". Queensland Country Life. Retrieved 19 January 2015.
- "Policy Rationale". CountryMinded. Retrieved 13 May 2016.
- Bettles, Colin (15 January 2015). "Nats on notice: A new voice for rural voters". The Land. pp. 1 & 8.
- Makim, Roderick (11 February 2015). "CP contests NSW Upper House". The Land. Retrieved 20 February 2015.
- McOwan, Johannah (26 January 2015). "Country Party member to run as Independent in Northern Tablelands" – ABC News. Retrieved 26 March 2015.
- (13 February 2015). "Country Party moves on Murray" – The Land (Fairfax Media). Retrieved 26 March 2015.
- Peter Mailler. "Candidates – Country Party of Australia". Retrieved 26 March 2015.
- (5 March 2015). "Independent candidate Paul Funnell apologises for "swearing on a stack of bibles"" – The Daily Advertiser. Retrieved 26 March 2015.
- "NSW Grouped and Ungrouped". Electoral Commission New South Wales. Archived from the original on 11 March 2011. Retrieved 26 March 2015.
- Trent Horneman (30 March 2015). "Piccoli wins Murray".
- Jack Bartlett (26 May 2014). "Piccoli wins preselection". The Area News. Fairfax Regional Media. Retrieved 8 April 2015.
- "State Electoral District of Wagga Wagga – First Preference Votes for each Candidate – Initial Count". New South Wales Electoral Commission. 6 April 2015. Retrieved 13 December 2016.
- "State Electoral District of Northern Tablelands – First Preference Votes for each Candidate – Initial Count". New South Wales Electoral Commission. 8 April 2015. Retrieved 13 December 2016.
- "Candidates for the 2016 federal election". Australian Electoral Commission. 11 June 2016. Retrieved 11 June 2016.
- "New England, NSW". AEC Tally Room. Australian Electoral Commission. 22 July 2016. Retrieved 22 July 2016.
- "Maranoa, QLD". AEC Tally Room. Australian Electoral Commission. 22 July 2016. Archived from the original on 5 August 2016. Retrieved 22 July 2016.
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- "New England, NSW: By-election". Australian Electoral Commission. 21 December 2017. Retrieved 2 March 2018.