Former One Nation senator Fraser Anning has announced he will join Bob Katter’s Australian Party, predicting that remaining One Nation senator Peter Georgiou won’t last very much longer with Pauline Hanson.
Senator Georgiou is now effectively Pauline Hanson’s last man standing after Brian Burston had a very public falling out with her at the end of last week.
In November Senator Anning replaced Malcolm Roberts as a One Nation senator when Mr Roberts was disqualified for being a dual citizen.
But within hours, he had publicly split from the party and its leader, who wanted him to step aside to allow Mr Roberts to return to parliament.
“I predicted it to Brian about an hour after I got dumped, Brian and Peter and I, I said within the next six to 12 months we’ll all be sitting here talking about how we got dropped,” he told 7.30.
“[Peter Georgiou’s] the next rooster for the chopping block.”
Peter Georgiou replaced his brother-in-law, Rod Culleton, as One Nation’s WA senator after the High Court ruled Culleton had been ineligible to nominate.
Loyalty ‘a one-way street’ with Pauline Hanson
Fraser Anning says Pauline Hanson demands absolute loyalty, but doesn’t reciprocate.
“In my case, a friendship of 22 years, it was a one-way street and the same with Brian,” he said.
Now, after looking at the options, Anning is teaming up with north Queensland maverick MP Bob Katter.
“I spoke with the Nationals and others, but I don’t see myself toeing a party line. I’d probably be thrown out pretty quickly,” he said with a laugh.
He thinks that he is a good fit for Katter’s Australian Party.
“I’ll do it my way and, as far as I know, it’ll be similar to the way Bob’d do it,” Mr Anning said.
But he acknowledges there will also be differences of opinion.
“Then it will be a test of wills, I suppose,” he said.
“You can usually negotiate, so long as it’s good for Queensland.”
‘We need to take on the big guns’
Fraser Anning will be the voice of Katter’s Australian Party in the Senate, with Bob Katter in the House of Representatives.
The party also has three MPs in the Queensland parliament, led by Bob Katter’s son, Robbie.
The Katters acknowledge there can be risks taking on new members.
Even those they’ve known for decades.
But in politics, numbers count.
“Bums on seats are always good in parliament,” Robbie Katter told 7.30.
“I think it’s good to demonstrate to the public there are forces gathering outside the major parties.
“We just need to take on the big guns.”
“It changes [things] a little, but not a lot,” Bob Katter said.
“But we don’t intend to stay where we are.”
In a statement, Bob Katter said his affiliation with Mr Anning spanned generations.
“It’s fantastic news. We’re tribal. Both our families were from Charters Towers before there was a Charters Towers. I have known Fraser a long time,” Mr Katter said.
“Fraser is about development. I walked into his office and he was working on the revised Bradfield Scheme; so we were instantly blood brothers.”