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