One Nation moving in to councils?

With One Nation now re-established in WA it shouldn’t surprise anyone the party may seek to develop its future MPs through local govt councils.  After all, that is what political parties do.

Word is One Nation members could bid for council at the Cities of Canning, Gosnells and Perth.  Canning’s Mayor (and WA’s first Asian Mayor), Paul Ng, doesn’t seem to feel membership of the party is an impediment to progress – he approached a candidate from the state election about running for our council.

Nearly 180,000 West Aussies voted for One Nation in March, resulting in 3 x Upper House members being sworn in to Parliament and an arrangement with Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party to give them voting power equivalent to WA Greens and the National Party.  With failed One Nation Senator Rod Culleton replaced, the WA branch is consolidating and establishing its profile within the federal party.

Back at Canning, around a quarter of its council today will probably seek political office, including for the third and fourth time:

Ben Kunze (WA Liberal), Jesse Jacobs (WA Liberal), Christine Cunningham (WA Green)

Canning hasn’t had to wrestle with this issue before.  The Honorable Simon O’Brien entered parliament only after being dismissed with the rest of Canning’s council in the 90s and its last Mayor, Joe Delle Donne, ran against the Member for Riverton, Mike Nahan, whilst suspended, in response to the Barnett Govt’s handling  of subsequent investigations.

Canning realizes its political makeup today and via a ridiculously overdue Code of Conduct recently addressed the issue:-

Code of Conduct Clause 15 on political party members on Council from OCM Agenda Aug 2017

If anything, the council watered down expectations on those who seek to promote themselves.  Ever seen photos relating to Willetton Basketball Assoc’s bid to get its stadium – a City of Canning asset – expanded?  Can’t see the building for the Libs swarming all over it, yet it won’t get anywhere without a contribution from WA Labor.

Speaking of which – there are at least two Labor members heading towards Canning, possible graduates of its “Council Connect” program:-

…for all interested WA Labor members who are committed to working through local government to see the ideals, platform and policies of WA Labor applied and realised at local community level.

One is an unknown quantity, the other a repeat runner who never seems to learn anything between bids for council – although whether Labor gets to know about that is debatable 🙂

Back to One Nation, it didn’t take me long to learn another side to what was reported by the media about its bid to get a party up in time for the state election.  Not everything was what it seemed.

Here’s what One Nation’s three new WA politicians – Leader Colin Tincknell, Deputy Robin Scott and Charles Smith (formerly involved in media, Aboriginal employment and sporting programs, biology, police force and electrical engineering, including our desalination plants) want to focus on for the future, according to their maiden speeches to parliament:-

  • developing new water sources (that don’t need electricity or chemicals)
  • keeping industry in WA
  • protecting regional and farming communities
  • returning focus to people, values, personal responsibility
  • apprenticeships and jobs
  • law and order (including beefing up police numbers; ensuring workers’ compensation packages)
  • addressing population pressures, and
  • not buckling to political correctness.

The name Pauline Hanson appears in the speeches, as an acknowledgement but that’s about it.  Perhaps, as Colin Barnett said before the election, One Nation is a different party these days – and may start showing up at a council near you.


Feature Image from Senator Peter Georgiou’s Twitter Feed, May 22. Image features, from left to right: Peter Georgiou, NSW One Nation Senator Brian Burston, and new One Nation WA upper house members Robin Scott, Charles Smith and Colin Tincknell.
Images of Crs Ben Kunze, Jesse Jacobs and Christine Cunningham from Facebook.
City of Canning Elected Members’ Code of Conduct extracted from Ordinary Council Meeting Minutes of 15 Aug 2017
Maiden speeches by One Nation MLCs Colin Tincknell, Robin Scott and Charles Smith accessed from Parliament House website.