Queensland city where it’s all about Pauline
WAYNE Newton has two passions - classic cars and what he says Pauline Hanson can do for his country.
At the back of his house in Bundaberg there's a shed for the cars. Out the front is a 3m sign with Pauline.
It's all about Pauline. She's on the signs for Bundaberg challenger Jane Truscott, not state leader Steve Dickson.
Mr Newton's sign works. People pull up asking how they can help Pauline.
And while the first voters One Nation is expected to vacuum up are those already backing minor parties, others are angry former LNP and Labor voters.
Not all will put their names and faces to the fight like Mr Newton, but they've got plenty to say.
One couple, former LNP voters, said they wanted to volunteer for One Nation because the Libs weren't fighting hard or dirty enough to take on the ALP they hate.
And they are cranky about their bills always going up - pointing to the fact they have to pay their rates and car rego even as Labor incumbent Leanne Donaldson got behind with hers.
Others are impressed by what they say is Ms Hanson's straight talking.
And the grit she's shown to survive repeated political tilts and even jail time.
Dr Truscott - she's got a PhD and just last week finished a law degree - says she's quietly confident she can take the seat off Labor's Ms Donaldson.
Scrapping Safer Schools resonates with the One Nation core while better roads, rules that are "fair for our farmers" and tougher sentencing for assaults against police and emergency services are on the list as well.
But more broadly for supporters like Mr Newton, it's about immigration and keeping the bastards honest.
The 67-year-old retired sanitary engineer - they call him a plumber now but he studied for years at tech college for the qualification - says he's seen what he regards as poorly controlled migration can do where he lived in Sydney and doesn't want it repeated.
"It's not that I'm a hateful person - it doesn't work," the Bundy grandfather said.
"Immigration isn't working. There needs to be accountability from the government."
Dr Truscott talks about the balance of power, not migration.
"A vote for me could result in the people of Central Queensland having the balance of power," Dr Truscott says in one media response.
"The would provide balance in Parliament while allowing us to push back against the stranglehold of the other parties who have neglected our region in the past."
If a stranglehold on power is up for argument, there's certainly a tight grip on the billboard market up and down the Bruce.
In between the signs asking trivia questions to keep drivers awake there's plenty from all three sides telling them how to vote.
Labor has been trying to give LNP leader Tim Nicholls a kicking for sending train building to India - a big deal in Maryborough where the former Queensland Rail and now Downer rail works are one of the few large employers offering well-paid, manufacturing jobs.
The LNP are pushing their leader as someone who can get the state moving while One Nation's Steve Dickson goes with Pauline (her again) and people before politics.
There's no escaping the election and that is not making small businesses in places like Maryborough happy.
They are less interested in who wins than just getting it over with.
People stop spending ahead of elections, one small business owner said, keeping their wallets firmly closed until things settle down.
With a close race across the state, and the spectre of a hung parliament, those relying on a discretionary spend like jewellers, electronics retailers and even car yards are hunkering down for a very slow couple of months.
In towns with populations measured in the thousands and tens of thousands, things are already tight enough. They don't need a long drawn out political process. With plenty of empty shops through what should be a bustling CBD, it's easy to understand the fear.
LNP candidate David Batt said Bundaberg was anyone's to win but asked voters to ignore One Nation or risk Labor getting back in.
"There's no doubt many people across Bundaberg are frustrated and are considering voting for a minor party candidate. I share their desire for a fair go, but if they vote for One Nation, like in 1998 or 2001, they'll keep Labor in Government. Labor won the seat of Bundaberg at the last election thanks to preferences from minor parties" he said.