Dick­son’s shock shift to the One Na­tion party

The Morning Bulletin - - NEWS -

THE LNP has opened nom­i­na­tions for preselection for the seat of Bud­erim fol­low­ing the shock de­fec­tion to Pauline Han­son’s One Na­tion Party of sit­ting mem­ber Steve Dick­son.

Mr Dick­son at­trib­uted the shift to Ms Han­son’s sup­port for the quick en­act­ment of med­i­cal mar­i­juana leg­is­la­tion.

He said im­pas­sioned pleas to the Prime Min­is­ter and the Queens­land Pre­mier had failed to elicit a re­sponse.

How­ever, the jus­ti­fi­ca­tion was dis­missed by State Op­po­si­tion leader Tim Ni­chols who said Mr Dick­son had acted in his own self-in­ter­est.

Mr Ni­chols said he spoke to Mr Dick­son a num­ber of times late in the Par­lia­men­tary sit­ting year and had been as­sured he was not go­ing any­where and would stay with the LNP.

“He re­as­sured me and other col­leagues,” he said. “I think this is ex­actly the sort of thing peo­ple hate about politi­cians.

“This is about Steve Dick­son’s self-in­ter­est. I can only as­sume it’s about his per­sonal ad­vance­ment. He feels it’s in his per­sonal in­ter­est rather than knuck­ling down and do­ing the se­ri­ous work of be­ing a gov­ern­ment.”

Ms Han­son chose Alexan­dra Head­land to an­nounce the re­cruit­ment of the for­mer New­man gov­ern­ment min­is­ter, who holds one of the two safest Lib­eral seats in Queens­land. She said One Na­tion was set­ting a strat­egy for gov­ern­ment with fur­ther en­dorse­ments of can­di­dates to come.

The an­nounce­ment came just days af­ter Ms Han­son vis­ited Cen­tral Queens­land in a bid to give those liv­ing out­side the south-east cor­ner “a voice”.

Dur­ing her tour, Ms Han­son at­tended an emo­tional meet­ing in Marlborough to ad­dress the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment’s pro­posed ex­pan­sion of the Shoalwater Bay Mil­i­tary Train­ing Area.

Mr Dick­son’s for­mer Sun­shine Coast-based col­leagues lashed out at the move, de­scrib­ing their anger and dis­ap­point­ment at his be­trayal of LNP branch mem­bers, who had worked hard to see him re-elected four times.

How­ever, Noosa MP Glen Elmes said the de­fec­tion came as no sur­prise.

“From the time Pauline Han­son an­nounced she would not run a can­di­date against Steve Dick­son in Bud­erim I’ve known this was where it would end,” he said.

“The ones I feel sorry for are the LNP mem­bers who stood in the hot sun for the past 10 years and handed out his How to Vote cards, raised money and ran chook raf­fles. They’ve been be­trayed.”

Mr Dick­son said he came to his de­ci­sion with the sup­port of his wife, staff and af­ter lis­ten­ing to the com­mu­nity.

“I feel that join­ing the One Na­tion Party will en­able me to best rep­re­sent the peo­ple of the Bud­erim elec­torate,” he said.

“Since invit­ing Sen­a­tor Han­son to the Bud­erim elec­torate last Oc­to­ber, we have de­vel­oped a mu­tual re­spect and ex­cel­lent work­ing re­la­tion­ship. The pur­pose of the ini­tial visit was to show the Sen­a­tor the in­fra­struc­ture needs for the Sun­shine Coast. And she lis­tened.”

I think this is ex­actly the sort of thing peo­ple hate about politi­cians — Tim Ni­chols

PHOTO: PATRICKWOODS

CHANG­ING SIDES: One Na­tion leader Pauline Han­son and MP Steve Dick­son an­nounce his de­ci­sion to rep­re­sent One Na­tion at the next Queens­land State elec­tion.

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