MEMBER for Calare Andrew Gee is tempering the expectation of tougher times ahead as a member of the opposition with the view being in Government will not be a walk in the park either.
Mr Gee joined 150 other members of the House of Representatives and Senate on Tuesday to be sworn in to the 47th Federal Parliament.
Considered the junior partner in Scott Morrison's Government, The Nationals outperformed their Coalition partners by retaining all of their 16 seats in the May election, and that could give the party licence to move away from the constraints of a political partnership.
"Holding every one of our seats in the face of widespread electoral carnage for the government was a significant achievement but now it's down to business," Mr Gee said on Tuesday evening.
"In terms of what positions the Nationals take on different issues I think it will be a case-by-case situation. We had a planning day on Monday and there were some really solid policy ideas discussed.
"We will try and work with the Liberals but there may be times when we part ways on certain issues. That's the reality of it."
Mr Gee said he was looking forward to Parliament settling into a rhythm.
"Once question time starts everyone will get a clearer idea of how the Parliament is working," he said.
"Being in opposition is hard, but with rising inflation, interest rates and debt, plus power shortages and the threat of Foot and Mouth, being in government won't be a walk in the park either. There's a lot that can go wrong quickly."
Leader David Littleproud is talking about a change in style for The Nationals, stating one of the things it didn't do well was explain 'the why' behind some of its policy settings.
"And we're not some archaic organisation. We actually are quite progressive in terms of some of the stances that we've taken," Mr Littleproud, who replaced Barnaby Joyce at the helm, told ACM heading into this week.
When pressed on progressive policies, Mr Littleproud cited same-sex marriage support and helping farmers tackle climate change through activities on the land.
He also hinted backing small-scale modular nuclear to reduce carbon emissions.
While Mr Gee wouldn't be drawn on the former two issues, he said conversation about new technologies would be worthwhile.
"With nuclear power I think it is worthwhile having a conversation about the new technologies available so that we can then make informed decisions about whether or not it is right for Australia," he said.
"My approach would be to get the facts and be guided by our communities before making any calls on supporting it. The Nationals have proposed a national power summit about our energy needs to put all the options on the table and see where it's all at.
"With soaring power prices and blackouts over summer a real possibility, energy is a key issue facing our communities."
Mr Gee will hold shadow ministries for Regional Education, Health, Development, Local Government and Territories.
"I intend to be constructive, and have already had a positive meeting with the new education minister [Jason Clare]," he said.
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