Liberals waver on One Nation preferences

May 13, 1998

By Bill Mason

BRISBANE — Under intense criticism, including from within its own ranks, the Queensland Liberal Party has hesitated over its plan to allocate preferences to Pauline Hanson's racist One Nation party ahead of the ALP.

On May 8, the Liberal state executive decided that preferences in the coming state election would be decided on a "seat-by-seat basis" — although state president Bob Carroll is widely reported to be pressing for a policy of putting One Nation ahead of Labor in all seats.

Former federal minister Sir James Killen, Aboriginal elder and former senator Neville Bonner and former party state president Paul Everingham all criticised the move. Former party state director David Fraser called on Liberal voters to disregard Carroll's direction and place One Nation candidates last.

Carroll was forced to meet Chinese community leaders after the Liberal candidate for Sunnybank, Taiwanese-born Stephen Huang, said he would lobby against directing preferences to Hanson's "divisive" party.

Democratic Socialist candidate for Brisbane Central Graham Matthews slammed the Liberals' plan as "a racist attack on the Aboriginal and migrant communities".

"This proposal reveals that the Liberal Party and One Nation are in a racist coalition aimed at destroying native title, victimising Aboriginal people and attacking the rights of Asian and other migrants.

"The Democratic Socialists pledge to implement full native title rights, to provide substantial compensation to Aboriginal people who have been removed from their land, and to introduce equality for migrants."

For more information about the Democratic Socialist campaign, contact (07) 3254 0565.

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