'One Nation is a cult, not a political party': Coast MP
MEMBER for Noosa Glen Elmes may have grabbed a political tiger by the tail by branding One Nation "a cult" during a Doonan recycling tour with LNP leader Tim Nicholls.
Moments before Mr Nicholls, who was launching a 10 cents refund container scheme at the Noosa Council reycling centre, accused LNP defector to One Nation, Buderim MP Steve Dickson, of ratting on his electorate.
Asked if he saw One Nation as a threat going into the next election Mr Elmes said: "Number one, One Nation is not a political party, it's a cult.
"And every discontented reject from other groups and organisations and political parties seems to flock to the banner … and there's Pauline there and they just worship the throne upon which she sits.
"But it's a cult, there's no policies other than people coming out and having little thought bubbles and talking about whatever is the subject of today's news," Mr Elmes said.
Mr Nicholls said people would make their own decision about Mr Dickson.
"I mean this is a member who was elected under the LNP banner, supported the LNP policies and has ratted on the electorate," Mr Nicholls said.
"It has got to be a matter for the electorate, but we'll be putting up a good candidate in the seat of Buderim."
He said the new candidate would represent the LNP's values "unlike Steve" and the selection would be a matter for the party.
When told of Mr Elmes' cult comment, Mr Dickson fired back.
"I think people that speak like that really need to take a really long, deep breath, have a look in the mirror and just look at themselves," Mr Dickson said.
"I think it's only a reflection of their inner selves.
"I'll be very frank, I think there is a tsunami coming into Australia, it's travelling very quickly under water and you can't see much on the surface.
"But the Queensland people, they're telling me everywhere I go: they lean forward and go 'Steve, we voted for Pauline last time, our whole family is this time'.
"I think there is going to be a significant change in Queensland politics … we are putting people before politics and we're doing what the other two parties aren't doing and that's listening to people."
Mr Elmes said the last time One Nation stood in his seat, the party received just more than 14% of the vote.
"I have no doubt that there are going to people who vote for One Nation again if they put a candidate up," he said.
"My job, and it's the same as the 92 other candidates that will be in the election campaign, is to make sure that we get across the sorts of things that we actually can achieve.
"It's all very well to talk about these things, but you've got to be able to achieve these things and to be able to finance and plan it and get the job done when you're elected to government.
"That's something One Nation can't do."
Mr Nicholls again ruled out doing a deal with One Nation to win government at the next election.
"There will be no coalition with One Nation, there is no seat at the cabinet table for One Nation."
He said LNP recommendation on preferences will be based on a seat by seat basis," he said.
"I think people are smart enough to make up their own minds when it comes to preferences and they will do what they choose.
"If they want to follow our recommendation, that's fine," Mr Nicholls said.
"If you want to avoid another four years of a do nothing Labor Government, then the best choice is to vote one LNP."
As for the container scheme, Mr Nicholls said: "Our team is committed to grassroots environmental initiatives and this scheme would bring Queensland in line with other states across Australia.
"This scheme could also be a major win for Queensland community groups with access to an estimated $25 million in deposits and handling fees, providing a valuable income source to fund activities."