Pauline Hanson believes the cost of living will be a major election issue in Queensland and has predicted that a date will be called by the Premier next week.
The One Nation leader was in Weipa on Tuesday with her candidate for Cook Jen Sackley, speaking with locals about issues that were of concern.
“What I’m hearing is the cost of electricity is too high,” Senator Hanson said.
“People are paying $1000 a quarter for electricity.
“In Weipa, the cost of freight is also a major concern.”
Senator Hanson landed in Weipa on Monday night and was due to fly out on Tuesday afternoon.
She walked through the Weipa Shopping Centre on Tuesday morning and was stopped by locals for a chat.
“I was pulled up by quite a few people,” she said.
“A lot of people were surprised to see me in Weipa. Not many of them have seen a politician in Weipa before.”
Senator Hanson said she had a chat with the local butcher, Dale Holmquest, who discussed the issues of rising costs and the increased tourism season.
Mr Holmquest said he was more than happy to have a chat with the One Nation leader.
“I’ll chat to anyone who comes into the shop,” he said.
“But she was good to speak to and seemed to be interested.”
Mr Holmquest said even though there were reports of increased tourism numbers in the Cape, that didn’t always translate to better business.
“The tourists are better equipped now than they’ve ever been,” he said.
“They can bring up all their food with them.
“Once upon a time you didn’t see a caravan in the camping ground, but now it’s full of them as the roads get better.
“That’s OK, but that also means they have fridges and storage space to bring their own supplies.”
Senator Hanson said it was important to visit regional and remote communities to get a feel for the issues.
“People appreciate the fact you take the time and effort to be there and listen,” she said.
“Even though it was only a short trip (to Weipa), it was a good opportunity to get a feel for the town.”
Ms Sackley hoped the Senator would join her in the Cape again ahead of the upcoming election.
A date has yet to be fixed for the next election, but most, including Senator Hanson, believe it will be this year.
“I don’t think Annastacia Palaszczuk will call it next year,” Senator Hanson said.
“There’s the Commonwealth Games in April and before that you have the wet season.
“I think it’ll be called as early as next week.”
Ms Sackley, who lives in Mareeba and has ties across the Cape, said she believed she had a good chance in the election.
“People want to see change and they align with our values,” she said.
“The feedback we’ve been getting has been very positive.”
Senator Hanson said Ms Sackley was a well-credentialed candidate who would serve the people of Cook well.
“She would bring a lot to parliament if she was elected. Her experience is excellent.”