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Christensen under threat from One Nation


Support for One Nation is equal to that of the LNP in maverick federal government backbencher George Christensen’s Queensland seat of Dawson, a poll shows.

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The ReachTEL poll found primary vote support for One Nation had reached 30 per cent in the central Queensland electorate, putting it neck and neck with the LNP at 30.4 per cent.

Christensen said the results didn’t surprise him.

“I understand that many people in my region…have lost faith in the ability of major parties to resolve the issues that matter most to them,” he said.

“They want to see jobs created, they want to see the cost of living pressures addressed and they want to know their country is secure and their industries are going to be around to provide a future for their kids.”

Christensen, a member of the Queensland’s LNP who sits within the Nationals party room, reportedly threatened to quit the Turnbull government recently, arguing the Coalition was drifting too far to the centre.

But he said the LNP had backed him in his battle to support local sugar cane farmers in their dispute with mill-owner Wilmar, among other issues.

Two-thirds of the 863 people who were polled said they supported a royal commission into the banking and financial institutions, a move Malcolm Turnbull has resisted.

But almost half the people who supported One Nation in the poll also supported a higher renewable energy target, despite the party’s opposition to it.

“The rise of right-wing populism in Australia is a political earthquake, and the faultlines are in electorates like Dawson,” executive director of The Australia Institute Ben Oquist said.

Meanwhile, the outgoing owner of Brisbane’s Yellow Cabs says he’ll be supporting One Nation at the upcoming state election because he’s not happy with the major parties’ stance on ride-sharing services.

Neill Ford says he’s selling the business to Cabcharge for personal reasons, but he is also concerned about the rise of companies like Uber, and the government’s response to them.

Despite selling off the Yellow Cabs business, Ford remains one of the largest single holders of taxi licences in Queensland, owning “around 30”.

He’s told ABC radio he believes the two major parties haven’t responded well to the rise of Uber, and he’ll be throwing his support behind One Nation because they have indicated they’ll support cab drivers.

“Pauline Hanson we’ve had a meeting with … she’s given us her support and quite frankly we’re a bit light-on for political support,” Ford said.

“So we really appreciate the fact that she’s supporting us and we’re going to support her.”

Ford clarified that the Taxi Council Queensland was seeking the positions of all political candidates in the run-up to the state election, due by early next year, and if one of the major parties changes their stance they’ll support them as well.

In the meantime, Ford said he would not be supporting his local MP, shadow state Attorney-General Ian Walker.

Walker said he believes the LNP does support taxi drivers and owners.

“We have a policy which wants to have a level playing field, and we’ve actually moved motions in parliament that the policy in that regard, ” Walker told ABC radio.

“We will have a policy that I’m sure will be acceptable to those in the taxi industry as well as those in the broader community.”


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