Pauline Hanson's whirlwind stopover in Kingaroy
QUEENSLAND One Nation senator Pauline Hanson was in Kingaroy on Friday afternoon for a quick stopover to meet with South Burnett Regional Council representatives and locals.
The senator said she visited the town on her way back from meetings in St George.
"We never really got to Kingaroy during the election, so I said I want to go to Kingaroy," Ms Hanson said.
"It's an area where we won the state seat in 1998 with Dorothy Pratt.
"I know there is a lot of support for myself and my policies around this area so I thought it was important for me to get back to Kingaroy."
Ms Hanson said she set up a workspace in the South Burnett Regional Council offices where she talked with locals about issues that were impacting them.
"The issues I've found are there are big issues with water, it will affect small business and the farming sector," she said.
"A couple of other people talked about a development site.
"You had the increase to the disability pension, another lady wants to set up a place for the homeless who are on drugs, wanting help and assistance there.
"There are a lot of issues in the area that need to be addressed."
In March, Queensland One Nation leader Steve Dickson visited the Memerambi development.
Home owners were left without homes after the developer building the area went bust.
Senator Hanson said developers and contractors had to be held accountable when things went wrong.
"Whether it's a developer, whether it's a subcontractor or large business that can't pay a bill or pass on a service to people when they have paid good money, that is frustrating," she said.
"We've got to put things into place so there is a guarantee that if they pay for a service, they get that service that they paid to be provided.
"There has to be accountability right across the board."
Senator Hanson said there were questions about who would have to pay for any compensation.
"You've got to take into consideration that if businesses go bust or things happen, someone has to be responsible for it but should it come down to the taxpayer?" she said.
"In a lot of cases I'd probably say why does the taxpayer have to pay the cost of it?
"Those responsible for it have to be accountable for it and not the taxpayer."
With the State Budget due to be handed down next Tuesday, Senator Hanson said she would like to see more funding for rural and regional areas.
"They want to see big infrastructure projects, they don't want to see the sale of public assets," she said.
"They want to see something that brings industry and manufacturing.
"I'd like to see some elements in the budget that actually say wow, everyone from down south wants to come to Queensland as there are the best incentives to move there."
New Kingaroy hospital
Senator Hanson said Mayor Keith Campbell had raised the fight for a new Kingaroy Hospital with her.
"In my position I could contact the Health Minster Greg Hunt and put it to him to see if there was any possible opportunity to put money aside for a new hospital here in Kingaroy," she said.
"In the circumstances the hospital is outdated.
"They are tight on the budget at the moment, so I don't know, I can't make promises, all I can do is push the issue with the Health Minister to take it into consideration."
She said she wanted to see the federal Bbdget brought under control, with politicians entitlements reined in so there would be more funds for hospitals and schools.
Senator Hanson said she was concerned about the possibility of peanut smut hitting Kingaroy peanuts.
"If there is any risk in biosecurity to any products, whether peanuts, chicken meat, bananas, no matter what it is, we don't risk it," she said.
"We sell so much product from this country to the rest of the world because of our biosecurity and how we protect our food.
"We need to continue to protect that. We can't allow an inferior product with diseases in to destroy our industry."
She said Kingaroy needed peanut production to survive.
"It is one of your biggest industries, we need to be careful not to destroy that," she said.
Ms Hanson also voiced support for the push for a big peanut in Kingaroy.
"We've had the big pineapple, the big crab, the big prawn, these towns are known for it," she said.
"Why not the big peanut?
"If that's what the locals want, I don't live here but if that's what they want, I'll come and see it."
On Joh Bjelke-Petersen
In her snap visit to Kingaroy, Senator Hanson also met with Lady Florence Bjelke-Petersen.
"It was fantastic and great meeting with Lady Flo," she said.
"She looks so well and we had a great conversation. I also had a great talk with (her son) John."
Ms Hanson said she shared a fond memory with Lady Flo about former premier Joh Bjelke-Petersen.
"In 1998 when I had 11 members elected to state parliament, Joh took the time to actually come down to state Parliament House with me and sit around the table with the 11 members," she said.
"He passed on his experiences and knowledge to them.
"I thought it was a wonderful gesture and to this day I speak very highly of that. I have so much gratitude for what he did."
CCTV expert Douglas Grant has been preselected to run for Nanango at the next state election and Ms Hanson said he had a good chance of winning the seat.
"People are so disgruntled with the major political parties," she said.
"I don't care how long you've been a representative of this seat, sometimes people want change and politicians take them for granted.
"What I'm hearing is it's time for change. We need new blood like Douglas Grant on the floor of parliament."
The senator said she was here to be the voice of "honesty and accountability".
"I don't take my job for granted, I work hard for the people and I want change," she said.
"I see too many people struggling, they don't have jobs or they are struggling to keep jobs if they have one.
"The rising costs of living, rising electricity costs, people of age are frightened to put on the fan because of government mismanagement."
She said people in Kingaroy could expect to see her back in the town in the not too distant future.
"I've got five years to go, so you will see me again," she said.
"I've got the whole state to get around and you will see me back in Kingaroy.
"Is it going to be sometime this year, I don't know, but I will be back."