I invited Pauline Hanson to Sunshine Coast: mayor
SUNSHINE Coast mayor Mark Jamieson has revealed he wrote to Pauline Hanson, inviting her to come to region, describing her as 'pretty influential' in Australian politics.
Mayor Jamieson said he had written to all newly elected Senators but not one had replied, something he found disappointing.
He said while he did not agree with Ms Hanson's views on some issues, she was someone who could be an ally in Canberra.
Mr Jamieson described himself as a 'businessman' who was willing to work with all sides of politics to get funding for infrastructure, including the Sunshine Coast Airport expansion to cater for international flights and trade.
While he is seen as being a strong LNP supporter, he said he worked closely with the Labor State Government.
His comments, at a Property Council luncheon on Friday, came after Member for Buderim Steve Dickson raised political eyebrows when he invited the controversial Senator to the Coast.
Federal MP Ted O'Brien said the Coast should welcome all comers.
"I don't believe we can stand here and talk about collaboration and say some are outside the tent,'' Mr O'Brien said.
Ms Hanson plans to run candidates across the state at the next Queensland election - but not in Buderim.
Mr Dickson said he invited Ms Hanson to his electorate because she held the balance of power in Federal Parliament.
But he denied he had any plans to jump ship to One Nation.
It's not the first time that Mr Dickson has been seen to target Ms Hanson's typical supporters.
In May last year, he took up the fight against a Maroochydore mosque, vowing to taking their petition to Parliament.
Ms Hanson told the Sunshine Coast Daily she supported the case for rail duplication to Brisbane and the upgrade of the Bruce Highway.
But she also said local and state government should stop approving development without proper infrastructure in place first.
The Sunshine Coast has been plagued by traffic disruption on the Bruce Highway and the Sunshine Motorway after even minor crashes.
On the weekend, visitors to the region faced a slow moving carpark on the motorway while trying to get to the beach at Mooloolaba.
During the visit of Ms Hanson, Mr Dickson spoke out against the LNP's decision to sell public assets to fund infrastructure.
But Mr Jamieson told the Property Council lunch asset sales were needed to fund other vital infrastructure in Queensland.
He said he wondered "who is going to be brave enough'' to take it the people.
Mr Jamieson said his council was already "selling our airport'' and "selling our CBD'" - trying to get private investment to fund important projects which ratepayers alone could not foot the bill for.
He said there had not been a "lot of negativity" from the community over those plans.
Mr O'Brien said the federal government with a $435 billion debt had to focus on getting the budget back on track.
"If we don't address that debt and rein it in it's my little four-year-old who is going to pay (for it),'' he said.
He said the government had to target inefficiencies and rorting within the public system.
"We need to borrow less and lean more on private sector for innovative (projects),'' he said.
But Mr O'Brien told the forum he was "supremely confident" the Federal Government would approve the $188 million loan for a new international runway and airport upgrade.
The council plans to retain ownership of the airport land but wants to bring in a partner to run it and pay down the loan.