Pauline Hanson and Steve Dickson at a community barbecue on the Sunshine Coast during the election campaign.
Pauline Hanson and Steve Dickson at a community barbecue on the Sunshine Coast during the election campaign. Patrick Woods

Ultra right-wing is all bark, no bite on Coast


I THINK it's safe to say the ultra-conservative, right-wing movement on the Coast is much more bark than bite.

Twice in the last 18 months we've gone to the ballot booths and proven that. The numbers don't lie.

We're conservative, sure, but not the gun-toting, fear-mongering, Islam-hating conservative Pauline Hanson and her merry band of followers so wanted us to be.

As it stands outgoing Buderim MP Steve Dickson is the best performing of the One Nation hopes in the region, picking up 28.7 per cent of the vote in Buderim.

The name recognition that comes with incumbency helped no doubt, but it wasn't enough to overcome the LNP love in Buderim and the damage of his strap-on dildo Safe Schools gaffe.

That's almost a third of voters, not to be sneezed at, but in the rest of the region, the hopefuls struggled to top more than 22.5 per cent at best.

In Kawana they didn't even stand a candidate and couldn't reach 20 per cent in Maroochydore (15.96 per cent), Ninderry (18.01 per cent) and Noosa (11.71 per cent).

How much of their vote was a protest vote against the LNP remains to be seen.

But what is clear is that the Coast, while conservative at its core, is also a community full of generosity, kindness and an equal-opportunity attitude.

We'll give you a fair go, and respect, and will do so until you prove we shouldn't.

We don't buy into garbage about schools supposedly teaching our kids to wear strap-on dildos, an amazing revelation in that it remained off the media radar for two years.

We don't buy into the scare-mongering attitude, the push to close ourselves off and deny others the right to make a life for themselves based purely on their skin colour or choice of clothing.

We don't buy into the hatred spewed by Ms Hanson day-in day-out, in what has become nothing more than a shrewd, money-making operation under the guise of a political party.

Sure, one in five of us in a few suburbs feel that way, but the majority of us do not.

We showed it once already in the council elections in 2016.

The noise being generated by Sunshine Coast Safe Communities about the threat posed to our way of life by the rise of Islam was huge, from such a small minority.

We roundly rejected the closed-minded rhetoric spewing from the likes of Bernard Gaynor and talking heads wheeled in to whip up the fear among supporters.

Their hopefuls pulled just 12.84 per cent of the vote in Division 7 in 2016 and 32.8 per cent of the vote in a two horse race in Division 8 .

What the results should do is put the major parties on notice. You need to deliver for those that believe in your values.

Don't drive voters to unsavoury alternatives through inaction and infighting.