Member of the Week – Bob Neich
Describing himself as “always keen on politics”, Bob has been a highly involved with the Nationals both in Walgett and Inverell.
A vital member of the Inverell branch when coordinating pre-polling, Bob is a firm believer in the future of conservative politics.
Now retired, Bob had a distinguished career as a teacher and Principal, an experience he describes as both the loneliest and most rewarding experience. As someone who knows how “the buck stops with you” feels, he has a great deal of respect for current Nationals Member for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall who Bob sees as the “gold-standard” in regards to community engagement.
“He makes the effort to get to everything, talk to everyone and more importantly, keeps those relationships going”.
Bob also puts great stock by Senator ‘Wacka’ Williams and our Federal Leader Barnaby Joyce. He is particularly impressed with Barnaby’s ability to reach through political spin and talk to people when they need it most.
While travelling in Queensland during the state’s last serious drought, Bob remembers the faith farmers had in Barnaby who knew he would keep fighting their case no matter what – which became particularly important as the fallout from the live-cattle ban crushed the incomes of thousands of Queenslanders. To Bob, Barnaby is the kind of politician that “can make a real difference to those that need it most”.
A Rotarian, Bob frequently travels overseas to help struggling communities build infrastructure. Recently he returned from East Timor and has helped build toilet blocks and birthing and maternity units for isolated women. In a parallel with our regional communities, Bob understands how small, often unglamorous projects, can make a huge difference to people’s lives.
Bob believes that the Nationals have a strong future, but must ensure they stand up and be counted. With the current state of apathy in the community, Bob thinks that it has never been so important for politicians to keep their word because, as Wal Murray used to say, “politics is perception”.
A former teacher, Bob would like to see the Nats engage with the youth vote more on social media, given for some it is their sole source of information. Pre-polling is something he is also passionate about, and while he understands the burden of man power it entails, he believes it is an election winning service for the Nationals and allows locals to engage with Nationals members in a less frantic environment than Election Day.
Bob is currently in the process of moving to Brisbane to aid his wife’s health and will be a huge loss for our Inverell Branch. Although moving across the border, we have no doubt he will always remain a Nat.