DEPUTY Liberal Party leader Julie Bishop said yesterday many Lyne voters were feeling betrayed by their sitting federal MP.
Ms Bishop met locals during her overnight stay in Port Macquarie for a joint conference of her party’s Federal Women’s Committee and its Regional and Rural Committee on Friday evening and Saturday and listened to their opinions on Robert Oakeshott’s support of the Labor government.
“The message was loud and clear,” she said.
“The people I spoke to were disappointed in their federal MP.
“It came through loud and clear that they felt betrayed by Robert Oakeshott’s support of the carbon tax.”
Ms Bishop said the Coalition would be targeting this seat at the next election, but would not be drawn on the Liberals fielding a candidate of their own.
Opposition leader Tony Abbot’s deputy said she had listened to concerns from local delegates at the welcome function on Friday and a breakfast event on Saturday.
“The two main issues were the carbon tax, its impact on the cost of living and the potential job losses,” she said.
Ms Bishop said people understood the cascade effects on the cost of living the carbon tax would bring and highlighted the impact on the regional economies.
“Small businesses have been overlooked by Julia Gillard,” she said.
“There is no compensation for small businesses such as printing firms or dry cleaners that have high electricity costs.”
“We [in the Liberal Party] wont’ impose a carbon tax and will unveil a range of policies that enhance productivity.”
Ms Bishop said one of the benefits of hosting this national conference in Port Macquarie was for the Liberal Party to get feedback on issues affecting regional Australia.
The party would consider the feedback as partof its policy development process that was underway, she said.
Ms Bishop, who left the conference on Saturday, said it was important for women in our regions to be more involved in leadership.