Killing pigs and conquering Mirani: All in a day's work
WHILE Stephen Andrew now waits for his first day in State Parliament, he is living the life of a normal husband and father, yesterday up in the roof changing a washer on the plumbing to his washing machine.
ABC election analyst Antony Green has called Mirani for One Nation and candidate Stephen Andrew.
The gun-toting business owner is an action man; last week he killed 53 pigs, three feral cats and three feral dogs at Burton Coal Mine.
He'll say he wants to take this all-action philosophy to Parliament and, if the vote count continues to go his way, he'll demand the government stop its reports and commissions and start delivering for the people of regional Queensland.
He wants to prioritise the Sarina Range which has been closed since damage during Tropical Cyclone Debbie, the Rookwood Weir and wants a coal-fired power station in North Queensland.
Despite last night trailing incumbent Australian Labor Party member Jim Pearce on first preferences, Mr Andrew is a clear winner in the seat off the back of Liberal National Party preferences.
He said engineers, coal miners, cane farmers and graziers had told him they wanted a younger member of parliament who lived in the community.
"That gave me the indication that it was going to go fairly well, I didn't realise this well," he said.
Mr Andrew is well-known in these parts, working out west in the mines trapping animals and on shut downs.
When he was younger, he travelled around visiting country fairs, markets and shows in his dad's Mr Whippy Van. Or there is his grandfather, a rail worker known from Marlborough to Bakers Creek and a second generation South Sea Islander. "We haven't done anything outstanding but we are certainly a well-known family in the areas of Homebush, Eton and Sarina," Mr Andrew said.
"Mum was born in Sarina and Dad was born in Homebush."
The Andrew name and reputation around Mirani will be partly to thank for his success; from Chelona down to Marlborough Mr Andrew polled more than 70 per cent of the two-party preferred votes against Mr Pearce, excluding Sarina.
And there will have been a number of One Nation backers because of Pauline Hanson.
The red-headed senator had been due to sit on a harvester and cut cane during the election campaign but that was cancelled when her Battler Bus broke down on the way to Sarina.
"If we can get stuff going, make things move - people have their requests when they find an issue in the electorate but everything has sat on the back burner for so long," Mr Andrew said. "It's been very hectic. Being a self-funded politician in an underdog situation. But it's been good and I've found it quite rewarding. I've learnt pretty quickly. It's amazing how many good people from the community will step up and get behind you. It seems that a lot of people have had enough (of the major parties)."
Meanwhile, Katter's Australian Party is approaching all potential crossbench members in hope of forming a voting bloc in the new Queensland Parliament.
State party leader Robbie Katter said it was in the best interests of all areas outside greater Brisbane for the entire crossbench to be working together as a cohesive bloc.
"If we do this we'll be able to reverse the neglect of regional Queensland," he said. Mr Katter raised the possibility of Labor forming government but not having a voting majority once a speaker was appointed.
"It would be highly irresponsible of Annastacia Palaszczuk to attempt to run the Parliament of Queensland with such a slim margin without first reaching out to the expanded crossbench to establish consensus on key policy areas," he said.