Newly selected Nationals leader Dugald Saunders said he's aware party infighting doesn't look good to voters but assured the public he put his hand up for the "right reasons".
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"[Voters] think it's a joke and rightly so," the Dubbo MP said at a press conference on Monday, following the party room meeting which led to him replacing Paul Toole as leader.
"It's ridiculous, it's unfortunate and I'm sure this is the end of what we see as being a really difficult time. People don't like to see us talking about ourselves, we know that, everyone knows that.
"My pledge is that from tomorrow we start getting on with the job."
It emerged last week that Mr Franklin was considering nominating for the job with Labor's backing. Now, the MP has revealed he also had Mr Toole's support, contrary to his statement that Mr Franklin "should not be accepting the position of president of the upper house".
"I thought the leader of the party was happy with it, and I was acting under that assumption," Mr Franklin said.
During Monday's meeting Mr Saunders challenged Paul Toole's leadership for the second time in only a matter of weeks. This time he came out victorious, with his colleagues backing him for the top job 5-10. Mr Franklin was not in the party room for the vote.
Mr Saunders said it has been a "difficult" 24 hours for the party but he looks forward to "getting on with the job" as parliament resumes on Tuesday.
"I'm not here for the wrong reasons, I'm here to represent regional NSW. That's my commitment to my electorate of Dubbo and it's also my commitment as leader of the NSW Nationals," he said.
"Sometimes things happen and you have to react. That's what's happened today, there's been no planning around this. It's simply a situation where, I feel, it's best to be dealt with very swiftly and that's what we've done.
"I'm here because the party room spoke and said they wanted someone new at the head of the party. That's why I'm here."
Already looking towards the next election, Mr Saunders said there are changes the party needs to make if they hope to be more successful.
"We've seen the lowest primary vote of the Nats since World War II, we lost the seat of Monaro - we're kidding ourselves if we think it's the 'same old, same old'," he said.
"We need to be slightly different now [...] I'm not the same person as Paul Toole and I do things differently and I'm hoping that will bring different people with me on the journey.
"We need to start forging ahead right now and start working towards 2027. The work starts now to try and win the next election."
One major thing Mr Saunders will be looking to do as leader is change the party's image, which he said has become outdated.
"People have really forgotten what the Nats stand for," Mr Saunders said.
"For some people, the NSW Nationals are sucking on straw in a paddock. We are a modern party that represents modern people. That's young people, that's women and men, that's professionals, that's doctors and nurses, that's teachers."
Relatively new to parliament, the former ABC radio presenter was first voted into the seat of Dubbo with a narrow margin in 2019 after sitting member Troy Grant retired. Since being elected into office, he has served as the Minister for Agriculture and the Minister for Western New South Wales under Dominic Perrottet.
Mr Saunders thanked Paul Toole for his time as deputy premier and leader of the Nas but said his position had become untenable.
"Paul has been a great advocate for regional NSW. But it became obvious his leadership was in a tenuous position this morning," he said.
"It's not an easy thing to do and I can tell you that as Nats we are extremely close to each other so this wasn't an easy decision to make.
"We have a very important job to do now and that is to put all of the things that have been happening for the past couple of weeks behind us, we need to move forward."
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