Warren Truss.
Warren Truss. Craig Warhurst

National Party pays tribute to 'one of its greatest leaders'

History will mark Warren Truss as one of The Nationals' greatest leaders - not the least for taking the Party from the despair of the 2007 election loss to a near win in 2010 and triumph in 2013, federal president of The Nationals, Larry Anthony, said yesterday.

In doing so, The Nationals' numbers in the Federal Parliament have increased to a healthy 21 - made up of 15 MPs and six senators - with aims to increase that tally later this year, Mr Anthony said.

"Warren is the sixth longest federal leader of the party since the Country Party was formed in 1920. His extraordinary service in the House of Representatives to the people of Wide Bay since 1990 means he is the equal fourth longest serving member of today's Parliament," Mr Anthony said.

"He has been the ballast for the Coalition and a calming force is a sea of change. Since becoming leader in 2007, Warren's proven leadership has worked as the steady hand with successive Liberal leaders.

"Politicians from all sides have learned to never underestimate Warren Truss. He has been a dependable and effective Deputy Prime Minister at the epicentre of government. He has been the quiet achiever delivering for regional Australia and the nation.

"As a minister he has a record of achievement in agriculture, consumer affairs, trade, regional development, transport and infrastructure, with major progress made in selling our produce to the world, in branding Australian-made products and in building the roads and rail of the 21st century.

"Warren has never forgotten his roots and the major improvements along the Bruce Highway in Queensland are testament to this. His deep and abiding knowledge of aviation has informed improvements in safety and efficiency across that sector, and we are better placed in regional communications for his efforts.

"Warren was also crucial to the campaign to end Labor and the Green's destructive carbon tax.

"Warren has been involved in public life since becoming a councillor on the Kingaroy Shire Council in 1976, the Shire's Chairman in 1983 and then Federal Member for Wide Bay in 1990.

"Over 40 years, he has served the people of Kingaroy, Wide Bay, Queensland and Australia with dignity and decency, with a record of remarkable accomplishment.

"Unlike so many in politics, he has been able to decide the time of his own departure. This is even more remarkable given that, today, he is the longest serving federal leader of any political party… and by a long way.

"To Warren and his wife, Lyn, we wish them well on their return to their beloved Maryborough, safe in the knowledge that he has been one of the greats and that regional Australia is a better place to live and work because of his efforts."