Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - FRONT PAGE -

PAULINE Han­son’s One Na­tion looms as a ma­jor player in the State Elec­tion, but pre­cisely how ma­jor is up for de­bate.

News last week that the party had struck a pref­er­ence deal with the Lib­eral Party could help the Lib­er­als in the Lower House and help One Na­tion se­cure seats in the Leg­isla­tive Coun­cil.

But will the help be enough for Colin Bar­nett to re­tain power?

And given the tur­moil within One Na­tion about the deal, will it hold wa­ter?

For­mer La­bor State Trea­surer Eric Rip­per doesn’t be­lieve so, but said One Na­tion was likely to get the bal­ance of power in the Up­per House.

“Can they ac­tu­ally or­gan­ise them­selves is a big ques­tion,” Mr Rip­per said.

“I don’t think the pref­er­ence deal with the Lib­eral Party will save many Lib­er­als.

“(One Na­tion vot­ers are) not peo­ple that are likely to fol­low or­ders.

“One Na­tion it­self has said ‘We’re do­ing all of this so we can stop the pri­vati­sa­tion of Western Power’. Well, which main­stream party wants to stop the pri­vati­sa­tion of Western Power?”

But Paddy Em­bry, who was elected to the Leg­isla­tive Coun­cil as the One Na­tion mem­ber for South West in 2001, feels the pref­er­ence deal ben­e­fits both parties and could help save the Bar­nett gov­ern­ment.

Mr Em­bry said the party ap- pealed to those who were dis­il­lu­sioned by con­ven­tional pol­i­tics.

“One Na­tion has a mix­ture of peo­ple who are older conservatives, but also peo­ple from the other end of the spec­trum: (peo­ple who) haven’t got a de­cent job and some smart sales­man has talked them into buy­ing a house when they can’t af­ford it,” he said.

Mr Rip­per agreed One Na­tion ap­pealed to peo­ple who were get­ting a raw deal from life and were tired of con­ven­tional pol­i­tics. MEET the can­di­dates for Bel­mont for the March 11 elec­tion at a free Busi­ness Sun­downer held at Bel­mont Tav­ern on Fe­bru­ary 22.

From 5pm to 7pm hear La­bor can­di­date Cassie Rowe, Lib­eral MP Glenys God­frey, Pauline Han­son’s One Na­tion can­di­date Julie Mitchell, Greens can­di­date for East Metro Tim Clif­ford and Angie Mar­don of the Com­bined Small Busi­ness Al­liance of WA talk about their elec­tion prom­ises and plans for the econ­omy.

There will be an open Ques­tion Time for at­ten­dees to ask ques­tions.

Nib­bles will be pro­vided and drinks can be pur­chased at the bar.

Func­tion Room, The Bel­mont, 174 Wright St, Cloverdale on Wed­nes­day, Fe­bru­ary 22, 5pm to 7pm.

Pauline Han­son will have an in­flu­ence on the re­sult on March 11.

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