The Nationals believe they could lose Cowper on the NSW north coast to former independent Rob Oakeshott and are worried about holding Mallee in 2019 following Mr Broad’s scandal-ridden departure.
When contacted by The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, Mr Broad did not deny floating the prospect of running as an independent but said he had made the comments “half jokingly.”
“I’m more likely to pop up in the overseas aid space than in politics again,” Mr Broad said.
He also said he regretted being party to the Coalition’s cuts to the overseas aid budget under former foreign minister Julie Bishop.
“My greatest disappointment being part of the federal government was that we cut our foreign aid budget from $5 billion to $3.8 billion per year,” he said.
“We are a prosperous country but we are at risk of becoming a selfish country.”
Ms Bishop repeatedly hacked into the foreign aid budget, bringing it to a record low of 0.23 per cent of gross national income, according to OECD figures.
In contrast, the United Kingdom has committed to spend 0.7 per cent of its gross national income on overseas development assistance, a measure enshrined in law by former conservative prime minister David Cameron..
Mr Broad was the assistant minister to Deputy Prime Minister and Nationals leader Michael McCormack before his resignation.