Mirani incumbent MP Stephen Andrew looks like he will retain his seat. Picture: Zizi Averill
Mirani incumbent MP Stephen Andrew looks like he will retain his seat. Picture: Zizi Averill

Bitter victory as sole One Nation candidate re-elected

THERE was an air of defeat at the Mirani One Nation election watching party, despite Mirani MP Stephen Andrew reclaiming his seat with almost a 10 per cent margin.

"I'm happy in one way that we one got representation in parliament," Mr Andrew said,

"I'm unhappy in the fact that rural Queensland will suffer more and go through more turmoil and anguish than it needs to."

Mr Andrew said he worried about the future of farming in Queensland, given the push for water quality monitoring and vegetation management laws.

"We just don't learn until it's a hard, hard knock," he said.

After four years as the sole One Nation parliamentarian, Mr Andrew said he was hoping to be joined by other party members.

"I was trying to be the thin edge of the wedge," Mr Andrew said.

"I will continue to do that and hopefully we can get people to understand what we stand for.

Mr Andrew said the stereotype of the "racist" One Nation party was incorrect, as the party was about more grassroots concerns like regional jobs and industries.

His party suffered in the polls, following a lacklustre campaign from the party's leader Pauline Hanson where commentators and academics criticised her for drawing less attention to her One Nation Party than she had in previous state and federal polls.

"Look she's done a whole keep of kilometres and they haven't been able to go everywhere with the COVID situation," Mr Andrew said.

"We could do a lot of things differently in this campaign.

"I certainly would make a lot of changes as I'm going forward.

 

Mirani Labor candidate Shane Hamilton. Picture: Zizi Averill
Mirani Labor candidate Shane Hamilton. Picture: Zizi Averill

Mr Andrew said he was unsettled ALP candidate Shane Hamilton had beaten him in first preferences.

"I can't understand why the miners and the farmers and the people in the electorate would vote for Labor that's anti-mining and anti-farming.

"It just bends my brains.

"We've got some hard lessons coming over the next four years."

 

Mr Hamilton, who works in the mining industry, said he was thankful the people of Mirani chose him in their first preference count.

"This is the only seat they (One Nation) had; being a sitting MP gives you a natural advantage over anyone who is a candidate," he said.

"But here we are with another Stephen Bradbury moment, and a person getting over the line with his mates.

"He's second and preferences are getting him over the line."


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