Dr Steve Peterson, a cyclist who survived a horrific accident after being hit by a car last year, is the new chair of the Orange branch of the Nationals.
Dr Peterson was elected at a party meeting last Friday.
He said he was looking forward to the challenge of heading the branch at state level.
"I have been a member since 2011 and of the branch here since 2014," he said.
Clearly the preselection was much less smoother than we would have wanted it to be.Dr Steve Peterson, chair of Nationals Orange branch
Dr Peterson said he had been active in community work before the accident and now, after suffering quadriplegia, he was keen to take on different roles.
He said he wanted the branch to be active in political discussion in the region.
"It would be good if we had a branch that gave people an opportunity to discuss policy in the Central West," he said.
The Nationals have lost the past two state elections [including a byelection] to the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party's Phil Donato after holding the seat of Orange for the previous 70 years.
At this year's election the Nationals did not confirm its candidate, Kate Hazelton, until just seven weeks before the poll.
"Clearly the preselection was much less smoother than we would have wanted it to be," he said.
Dr Peterson said it would be an issue for the party ahead of the next poll, due in 2023.
He said he was not planning on running for the party.
Dr Peterson said given what he had been through he wanted to concentrate on "surviving the next few years.
"I'm quite happy as a doctor and husband and father at the moment," he said.
One debate the party is keen to push is nuclear power as an energy source in Australia.
At this month's Nationals' annual conference, the Orange branch, along with the Narrabri branch, successfully moved "that conference supports the use of nuclear power in Australia."
Dr Peterson said the party wanted to open public discussion about nuclear power as members believed it was currently politically incorrect to debate it following nuclear disasters overseas.
"It is a power source that is environmentally more friendly. We have the raw resources in this country. People should be given the opportunity to talk about it. This seems to be something that is not brought up very often," he said.
Dr Peterson said it was unlikely nuclear power stations would be built in the Central West "as it would need to be away from a population centre."
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