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PHON faithful don't realise they can't vote for Pauline

ONE Nation's virtually unknown state leader was relegated to photographer status yesterday as Pauline Hanson burst on to the Queensland campaign trail, prompting the major parties to remind voters she wasn't actually a candidate.

The party's matriarch began her grassroots campaign in what One Nation believes is heartland territory, targeting seats they have previously won.

The firebrand Senator's "Battler Bus" was christened in Brisbane with a $7 bottle of sparkling wine - provided by a Channel 9 reporter - before stopping at Gympie, Maryborough and Hervey Bay.

Her campaign bus may be slow, but her entry to the Queensland state election a day after flying back from a parliamentary trip to India was anything but.

Locals flocked to see the colourful politician, but many were oblivious to the fact she was a federal senator and would not be running in the state election.

One Nation leader Pauline Hanson is seen after popping a bottle of sparkling wine before boarding the One Nation 'Battler Bus' in Brisbane, Monday, November 6, 2017.
One Nation leader Pauline Hanson is seen after popping a bottle of sparkling wine before boarding the One Nation 'Battler Bus' in Brisbane, Monday, November 6, 2017. AAP Image - Dave Hunt

One Nation state leader Steve Dickson, who made a brief cameo appearance on the campaign in Gympie, was often relegated to the job of photographer as punters queued for a photo with Senator Hanson.

When asked by The Courier-Mail, only a few One Nation faithful were able to identify Mr Dickson and what role he played in the party.

Mr Dickson faces an uphill battle to win his own seat of Buderim, with polling showing the LNP's vote has increased there since his defection from the party.

With One Nation running 61 candidates, Senator Hanson predicted the party would win more than the 11 seats in 1998.

She made $25.5 million in promises on her first day on the hustings, detailing birthing suites, a water supply for Maryborough and a veterans' retreat in Gympie if her party secured the balance of power in the next Parliament.

"This is going to be one hell of a campaign because I think the people of Queensland are fed up with the major political parties," she said.

"I think it is time for One Nation and honestly, I think this is going to be bigger than 1998."

Hanson will conduct a regional tour of the state as the state election campaign enters its second week, speaking to residents about the major issues for them leading into the election.
Hanson will conduct a regional tour of the state as the state election campaign enters its second week, speaking to residents about the major issues for them leading into the election. AAP Image - Dave Hunt

Senator Hanson also hit out at Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk's handling of the Adani funding, saying she panicked last Friday when she decided to block a Commonwealth loan to the company in order to "cover her own backside".

The LNP and Labor both attempted to dent One Nation's popularity by pointing out that Senator Hanson wasn't running for election.

"I think people should realise Pauline Hanson's not running here in Queensland," LNP leader Tim Nicholls said.

"It's Steve Dickson, and they need to look at candidates in their seats and what they're really offering."

He said One Nation hadn't released any "well-thought-through" policies.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk poked fun at Senator Hanson's bubbly campaign launch, while Member for Mirani Jim Peace asked voters to remember that Senator Hanson would not sit in the Queensland Parliament.

Topics:  labor lnp pauline hanson qldelection2017 steve dickson

News Corp Australia


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