The Nationals WA candidate for Durack, Shane Van Styn has today expressed his surprise at the eleventh hour resignation of Mr Haase.
In what was shaping up to be a hard fought contest and after a brief exchange of words between Mr Van Styn and Mr Haase, Mr Van Styn was surprised to be informed of Mr Haase's sudden retirement.
"Mr Haase claims he is simply tired and can't keep going on. I suspect he is tired of having to tow the line of the Eastern States party machine, in particular when it comes to issues such as WA's share of the GST." Mr Van Styn said.
With Mr Haase earlier criticising senior The Nationals WA members, Brendon Grylls and Tony Crooke for putting the interests of regional WA ahead of party politics, Mr Van Styn has once again affirmed his desire to follow the lead of senior Nationals members and place the interests of Durack ahead of party politics.
"My focus will always remain on what is best for the electorate of Durack," Mr Van Styn said.
When asked what changes would be made to his strategy now that Mr Haase has retired, Mr Van Styn commented that he will continue on with travelling the electorate as planned and listening to people from all across Durack.
"My focus remains on hearing the needs of the electorate to ensure that I can be an effective member of Parliament that delivers for Durack. Who I am am running against does not affect this focus" Mr Van Styn said.
When asked what he thought of his chances now that Mr Haase has stood down, Mr Van Styn said:
"There is no doubt that my chances have improved significantly now that the advantage of incumbency has been removed. What we now effectively have is an even playing field."
One noticeable change is the far greater interest in Durack from both media and from within The Nationals party.
"Senior Nationals members from right across Australia have now got Durack firmly in their sights and have been calling me offering support. " Mr Van Styn said.
"As someone who lives and works across the width and breadth of Durack, from Broome to Karatha, Dongara to Carnarvon, Mingenew to Mullewa and my home town of Geraldton, I have a good understanding of the issues facing Durack and am proud to be standing for the seat of Durack in the upcoming federal election" Mr Van Styn said.
Read political reporter Darcy Hay's one-on-one interview with Shane Van Styn in Wednesday's Guardian.