Could One Nation take the Lockyer seat next election?
Could One Nation take the Lockyer seat next election? MICK TSIKAS

Hanson's party has no chance, says Lockyer MP

OUTGOING Lockyer MP Ian Rickuss has questioned One Nation's ability to govern the coveted rural seat, despite growing confidence from party leader Pauline Hanson.

Mr Rickuss, who announced his retirement on Friday, only narrowly retained his seat during last year's election.

Ms Hanson dominated in country areas where she won the vital booths of Laidley, Gatton South, Hatton Vale and Gatton and also took Rosewood and Plainland.

The nail-biting result came down to pre-polls and postal votes, which saw Rickuss take the lead.

The result left just over 100 votes between the fiery candidates.

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When asked if he thought Pauline Hanson's One Nation would make a resurgence in the region, the LNP member's response was short.

"I won five elections in a row," he said.

"I defeated Pauline Hanson last year with Labor preferences for Pauline Hanson."

In a veiled reference to the One Nation leader, the long-standing MP continued, saying whoever stood in the next election had to deliver on their promises and do more than just talk.

"It's important for any new candidate to work hard to represent the people, understand their wants and their needs," he said.

"It's important not to make statements without having the ability to govern."

 

Mr Rickuss remained tight-lipped on who he thought would take his place come next election.

"It's very difficult to speak about candidacy at this stage," he said.

"There are three to six young, enthusiastic local people who may (put their hand up). They are all such high calibre any one of them would make a good representative."

Mr Rickuss said whoever the new LNP candidate was, he believed the residents of Lockyer would continue to support them.

Ian Rickuss has announced he will retire, leaving the seat of Lockyer open to One Nation.
Ian Rickuss has announced he will retire, leaving the seat of Lockyer open to One Nation. Inga Williams

Although the LNP has dominated Lockyer for more than a decade, the region was once a One Nation heartland.

Peter Prenzler won the seat for One Nation in 1998 and former Queensland party leader Bill Flynn represented Lockyer for One Nation from 2001 to 2004, when Rickuss took the seat.

Despite the previous popularity of One Nation and its leaders in the Lockyer, Opposition leader Tim Nicholls remained positive that the Hanson-led party wouldn't make a resurgence in the region although the LNP wouldn't "take any seat for granted".

"Ian can talk the language of the people he represents in a really authentic and genuine way," he said.

"Fortunately in the LNP we have people who are in that category and it's important we have a great candidate in the Lockyer.

"I think that people of Lockyer have concerns about jobs, the future, investment and infrastructure. The LNP has been able to represent those concerns and will continue to do so."



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