Pre poll at the Mackay Showgrounds.
Pre poll at the Mackay Showgrounds. Tony Martin

Headbutt claims: Ugly clash between One Nation and unions

UNION thugs have been accused of telling One Nation voters they "don't deserve to live" as ugly clashes erupt at some central Queensland polling booths.

A union volunteer handing out how-to-vote cards in Cannononvale, near Airlie Beach, has also accused One Nation of retaliation claiming he was almost headbutted by one of the party's supporters yesterday, The Mackay Daily Mercury reported.

Threats to One Nation voters at the Mackay Showgrounds pre-polling station that they "didn't deserve to live" if they voted for the protest party or the LNP are now the subject of a complaint to the Queensland Electoral Commission.

The ugly spat between the Queensland Council of Unions and Pauline Hanson's party is a result of the union running a "put One Nation last" campaign.

Mackay's One Nation candidate Jeff Keioskie made the complaint to the QEC.

The QCU claim Pauline Hanson slashed workers' penalty rates when she voted with the Liberal National Party in June, a claim denied by One Nation supporters and candidates, who say the Fair Work Commission recommended penalty rates be cut.

Queensland Council of Unions member Billy Colless claimed his volunteers had to go home and were visible shaken after "burly" One Nation supporters started getting physical.


Union representative Billy Colless.
Union representative Billy Colless.

Mr Colless said they started shouting at his organiser, began pushing an "elderly woman" before trying to headbutt the man.

One Nation candidate for Whitsunday Noel Skippen said there was an altercation but it did not get physical.

"It was exactly the other way round," Mr Skippen said. "One of these (union members) started misbehaving quite badly.

"There is only two ladies up there. One man turned up as far as I know, the partner of one of my supporters and there was a verbal altercation.

"He was just supporting his partner who had been abused and they are all quite shaken."

Both Mr Colless and Electrical Trades Union organiser Craig Thomas said "categorically" the allegations that union members made threatening comments did not come from them.

Police did not have a report of the alleged attempted headbutt in Cannonvale.

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