New England election: Green mayor of Glen Innes Carol Sparks considering run at Barnaby Joyce's seat

THEY'RE OFF: Glen Innes mayor Carol Sparks is considering a run at Federal MP Barnaby Joyce's seat of New England. Photo: Tony Grant

THEY'RE OFF: Glen Innes mayor Carol Sparks is considering a run at Federal MP Barnaby Joyce's seat of New England. Photo: Tony Grant

Arch-conservative political veteran Barnaby Joyce could face a challenge, from a local mayor who led a council to declare a climate emergency.

Mayor of Glen Innes Carol Sparks told the Examiner she is considering a run for the Division of New England, against the former Deputy Prime Minister.

Ms Sparks is not only a member of the Greens party, she is also a bushfire survivor.

Her Wytaliba house was badly damaged in the 2019 black summer bushfires, which claimed two lives and flattened most of the small village.

She blamed climate change for the tragedy.

The deadly blaze came just weeks after the Glen Innes council became the smallest and most rural local government in the state to declare a climate emergency.

"I haven't made up my mind about anything," she told the Leader on Wednesday.

"I am thinking about my future in politics and I'm thinking about challenging Barnaby [Joyce]."

But the MP, who moved from a Queensland Senate seat to the lower house in 2013, said he doesn't take anything for granted.

"I absolutely respect the democratic process and people have every right to stand at elections, like I do myself," he said.

"No doubt people from the Greens will stand with Green policies and I will stand with the policies I believe are best for the New England and give us the opportunity to continue on the path of growth that we are on."

Labor's Yvonne Langenberg could be a contender, with preselection by the Labor party due to be completed within a few weeks.

The Division of New England has been entirely held by Nationals or former party members since 1922. Tony Windsor held the seat as an independent from 2001 to 2013; he had previously been a member of the Nationals.

Mr Joyce believes there will be a federal election this year.