One Nation reaches for power in Warwick
THE Southern Downs is poised for a One Nation takeover with the party tipped to top the polls at the next state election after Lawrence Springborg announced he is quitting politics.
Mr Springborg, who forged the creation of the Liberal Nationals in Queensland and is the member for the Southern Downs LNP branch broke the news on Saturday that he will not stand at the 2018 election.
Leading political commentator Paul Williams said it would be no surprise if One Nation toppled the LNP heartland seat after Mr Springborg's departure.
"He'll (Mr Springborg) be taking with him his own personal following... you'd expect One Nation to put in a very good showing in Southern Downs," he told the ABC .
"No one should be surprised if One Nation comes near the top of the poll in that electorate."
In the July Federal Election, One Nation experienced a resurrection on the Darling Downs with Pauline Hanson's Maranoa candidate Lynette Keehn recording 18.4% of the primary vote.
The right-wing, anti-immigration party polled 5.52% of the Queensland vote in the House of Representatives, despite fielding candidates in only 12 of 30 electorates, and 9.19% of the vote in the Senate.
Earlier this year Lynette Keehn said her party would be a real threat to the Nationals at the next State Election but today declined to comment on whether a candidate had been chosen for the Southern Downs.
"One Nation Party (power) is growing everyday. I receive messages and calls with humbling support and good will," Ms Keehn said today.
"One Nation is in touch with everyday voters, we have had enough and have put our hat in the ring."
During the Federal Election she said the people of Maranoa especially had been forgotten about by politicians.
"We deserve decent health care without travelling to the end of the earth and back," she said.
She said the issues facing the electorate included the sale of land to foreign buyers, a lack of take-up in solar energy, and overuse of foreign workers with 457 visas in western business.
Mr Springborg today declined to comment on the possibility of a One Nation win on the Southern Downs in 2018.
"I'm not going to speculate about the future of the seat," he said.
"That's the beauty of the democracy."
Mr Springborg said it was not an easy decision to resign from state politics.
"I believe that it is the right decision on balance," he said on Saturday.
"I said in [my maiden] speech that if I could enjoy 15 years representing the people of my electorate and Queensland it may be time to pull up stumps.
"That 15 years turned into 27 years.
"I could think of nothing worse than to leave parliamentary service, feeling stilted, tired, disappointed and little more than a sense of relief.