One Nation leader visits region

By Cobram Courier

One Nation leader Pauline Hanson will be in Shepparton today and tomorrow in a last-ditch attempt to boost her party’s Victorian prospects.

And standing at her shoulder will be Invergordon farmer Rikkie-Lee Tyrrell, One Nation’s candidate for the seat of Nicholls.

Mrs Tyrrell was the final candidate to throw their hat into the ring to contest the seat formerly known as Murray.

She cringed at the idea of being a career politician but said the increasing difficulties of running a farm had forced her hand.

‘‘I love it here, but the industry is failing, I have got to do something to stop the agriculture industry from dying,’’ Mrs Tyrrell said.

‘‘This seat is built on agriculture; I think we need to reboot the industry because there is not much else here to run on.

‘‘The people of Nicholls are saying they want the Murray-Darling Basin Plan stopped and they want a royal commission into it.’’

One Nation support the Hybrid Bradfield Scheme as a means to assist areas affected by drought.

The essence of the scheme diverts monsoonal rainfall from North Queensland to areas in need of water. The original scheme was put forward and soon abandoned in the first half of the 20th century.

One Nation forwarded a motion to secure commitment to the scheme earlier this year but it was voted down by the Coalition, Labor and the Greens, which all questioned the feasibility of the project, which required massive upfront expenditure and ongoing running costs.

The question of whether a party built on its hard-line stance on immigration and religion was a viable option going forward in rural Victoria was one many voters might ask.

Mrs Tyrrell believes One Nation’s foundations were also important in Nicholls as it remained a bastion of Australian culture.

‘‘The best place to find Australian culture is in rural areas because you have lost a lot of it in the cities,’’ she said.

‘‘If we lose that, I am not sure where we will find our Aussie culture any more.

‘‘Out here, our multicultural society seems okay but I am not sure how any more (immigration) here is going to go.

‘‘It is really interesting to see how multicultural the city is, sometimes you go in there and play spot the Aussie.’’

While Mrs Tyrrell is a long odds chance, she has already indicated she was in it for the long haul and would be willing to run again at the next election.

‘‘Now that I have got a foot in the door at One Nation, I plan to work with and learn from the other members in the party,’’ she said.

‘‘I will continue to investigate the Murray-Darling Basin Plan and keep putting pressure on regarding the water.’’