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QLD Liberal preferences risk Coalition Senate seats.

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Senator Andrew Bartlett

Australian Democrats

Senator for Queensland


May 5,1998





The decision by the Queensland Liberals to direct preferences to One Nation ahead of the ALP could ultimately rob the Coalition of at least one federal Senate seat, according to the Australian Democrats.


Democrat Campaign Director, Senator Andrew Bartlett, said the Liberals are demonstrating that they are absolutely desperate to win even a little power at any cost, even if it means hurting their conservative coalition partner and causing social division.


“The Liberals are desperate at the thought of being reduced to a handful of members at the next State election thereby losing the little influence they have with their National Party masters,” said Senator Bartlett.


“Giving Pauline Hanson preferences ahead of Labor will increase her chances of winning Senate seats and perhaps see her win Blair in the House of Reps.


“It is indisputable that a double dissolution will give Pauline Hanson’s party the chance to get a permanent foothold in Australian politics by winning Senate seats.”


Senator Bartlett said National Party Senator Bill O’Chee’s chances of re-election appeared even more dismal following the Liberal Party’s decision to back One Nation.


“Senator O’Chee knows a foothold in Queensland would give One Nation the ideal opportunity to grab his Senate seat - and possibly that of Liberal Senator David McGibbon,” he said.


“The Liberals seem willing to risk Queensland’s social fabric by giving Pauline Hanson direct political influence. It is just another sign that the Coalition is happy to appeal to the same prejudices One Nation has targeted.


“The same people who decide the Liberal Party’s Queensland election preferences will be deciding the preferences for state-based seats in the federal election. If the Liberals continue in this way they must know that the most likely scenario would pit the Democrats against One Nation for the balance of power in the Senate,” said Senator Bartlett.


Senator Andrew Bartlett - 0418 743 789 - for further comment.