Hanson vows to put farmers first

Rueben HaleCountryman
One Nation candidates for the Agriculture Region Rod Caddies and Craig McKinley, One Nation leader Pauline Hanson, water expert Peter Coin and One Nation WA leader Colin Tinknell.
Camera IconOne Nation candidates for the Agriculture Region Rod Caddies and Craig McKinley, One Nation leader Pauline Hanson, water expert Peter Coin and One Nation WA leader Colin Tinknell. Credit: Rueben Hale

One Nation leader Pauline Hanson has accused the major parties of abandoning WA farmers.

Senator Hanson, One Nation WA leader Colin Ticknell and Agricultural Region candidates Rod Caddies and Craig McKinley met with water salinity expert Peter Coin in Collie last week for a briefing about the widespread salinity problem affecting many of the South West dams and the Wheatbelt.

At the briefing Senator Hanson said that if her candidates were elected they would fight to keep farming lands from foreign ownership, re-regulate the dairy industry, ban GM crops, protect agricultural infrastructure from closure, as well as tackle salinity.

“Farmers feel forgotten by the major political parties,” she said.

“I remember former Nationals leader John Anderson saying to me years ago we have 125,000 farmers in this country, but we can survive with just 75,000.

“That was just a stupid statement for someone who was for time deputy prime minister of this country to make. We should be encouraging more farming so that the Australia can become the food bowl of the world.”

Senator Hanson said farmers were having to tackle escalating costs and competition from cheaper imported products.

“In WA the deregulation of the dairy industry has allowed for the foreign ownership of our prime agricultural land,” she said.

“A case in point is that we’ve foreign-owned companies shipping milk back to China for $15 a litre, which is so wrong.

“I would like to see the regulation of the dairy industry again and introduce a co-operative structure. Many of the farmers are barely keeping their heads above water with the low farmgate prices offered by the milk processors here.”

Senator Hanson said her candidates were committed to fighting for the best interests of farmers and people living in regional WA.

“The average age of a farmer is entering the mid-50s and they’re telling their children there is no future on the land and to go and find another job,” she said.

“That is not the message I want to put out there.

“If we don’t do this now we will end up being a country that cannot feed itself, let alone any other country.

“The free trade agreements Australia has done are destroying us and I’m totally opposed to them because I am very much a protectionist who wants to look after the industry that we have. I want to give incentives to grow the industry.

“Donald Trump has been reading my policies and following what I have been saying for years.

“I wish the politicians in Australia would do the same and wake up but they’ll only wake up when they are in fear of losing their seats.

“I know what I am saying is resonating with many voters because as I have travelled around I have been inundated with people coming up to me and telling me they had lost faith in the major political parties and are now looking to One Nation.”

Outspoken Newdegate farmer and One Nation lifetime member Ron McLean said there was a good chance the party could have two members in the Upper House, with one representing the central Wheatbelt, after the election. “Pauline Hanson is prepared to fight for farmers so that they get a fair go,” he said.

“I lost faith in the Nationals and Liberal Party after they allowed Brookfield to close our Tier 3 railway lines in 2014.

“I had asked the Premier Colin Barnett to meet with myself and 13 other farmers about the decision on a number of occasions, which he refused.”

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