Bad boy for Page?

ROCK'n'roll bad boy Angry Anderson could be bound for glory in the Northern Rivers seat of Page if he takes Opposition Leader Tony Abbott's advice seriously.

About a month ago Mr Abbott suggested the idea in passing to Mr Anderson, who has made no secret of his distaste for the Gillard Government's carbon tax.

He described it on his website as a global conspiracy and, as a recent convert to the Nationals, is now planning a serious foray into politics.

And the Nationals are lapping it up, with Barnaby Joyce and NSW Nationals Senator Fiona Nash keen to welcome the 63-year-old rocker to the Coalition benches.

"Tony thought it was hilarious," Anderson told The Northern Star yesterday.

"He said to me, 'What about Page? You wouldn't mind living up there would you?', and I said 'Sure, I'd love it'.

"He reckoned I'd be right at home up there with all those pot-smoking hippies, but that's just his sense of humour.

"I guess it was a bit of a passing joke; I haven't spoken to Tony for a while, but I don't think he would mind me telling you.

"He said, 'If we can't snare you for the Libs, there's a few seats the executive might take under consideration'."

But Anderson insists his tilt at politics is serious and he is considering his options for preselection.

Despite the Gillard Government's woes, the Federal Coalition has an uphill battle in Page with popular incumbent Jan- elle Saffin, who increased her margin last election despite the national swing against Labor, and would welcome any chance to unseat her.

Similarly, Ms Saffin welcomed Mr Anderson's challenge. "Come election time in 2013 I am ready to run, even against Elvis if the National Party pre-select him," she said.

"But I think Angry might be up against it as the National Party have a lot of locals in line first; just look at the seven local candidates for the State seat of Clarence," she said.

"I must say though, I quite like him, going back to the Mike Walsh Show days, which dates both of us.

"The best motivation for standing is love for your own community and commitment to make a difference for them. To shop around for a seat does not quite sit right with me (but) the last word, of course, always goes to the people on election day."

A bemused Kevin Hogan, the Nationals' candidate for Page at the last election, was some- what philosophical.

"We have a lot of members - just look at Clarence - but I think the more people who are willing to put their hand up for the Nats the better," he said.

"Mate, I don't know how many Nats own Rose Tattoo albums, but I did have one many years ago and did see Angry perform. Yes, he is an interesting character.

"You can never guarantee what will happen in your life, but at this stage if the election was called tomorrow I'd put my hand up, and if Angry does too, then so be it - it'll give the members an interesting pre-selection choice."

Despite growing up in a staunch Labor and pro-union household, Mr Anderson believes Labor has lost it way and sees the Nationals as a "good fit".

He lists jobs, education and decentralisation as his key policy interests, and of course fighting the carbon tax, but said he would be reluctant to challenge any member from any party if they were doing a "good job" and their constituents were happy.



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