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Hanson aims high in WA election

AAP logoAAP 20/12/2016 Greg Roberts

Pauline Hanson is in Perth to vet potential One Nation candidates for the West Australian election after the debacle that has been Rod Culleton's stint as a senator for the party.

Senator Hanson is aiming high, saying she wants One Nation to have the balance of power in WA's upper house after the March vote.

There are positive signs, given it polled more votes than the Nationals in WA in this year's federal election.

Ms Hanson said her falling out with WA's Senator Culleton, him quitting the party and his various legal battles including creditors claiming millions of dollars and trying to declare him bankrupt had not damaged the party's stocks and were not the reason for her trip to personally vet candidates.

"Every political party is going to have problems with candidates," she said, citing Eddie Obeid and Craig Thomson as disgraced former major party MPs.

"I am so sorry this has actually happened in Western Australia ... Rod Culleton thought he was bigger than the party. He was ego driven and that's very disappointing."

The factors behind her rise into federal politics 20 years ago, such as people feeling not listened to by politicians, were the reason for her comeback this year because the major parties never took that on board, she said.

She said she had been on the road over the past week, visiting Queensland farming families that felt abandoned by the government over issues such as financial hardship and coal seam gas mining.

"The fact that Colin Barnett was challenged (as WA premier) tells me a lot about the internal politics of their own party," Senator Hanson said.

"I am also getting feedback that people here are not happy with him and the leadership and are looking at change."

She said she wanted candidates that shared One Nation's values and would fight for their electorates, opposing the proposed Western Power privatisation and the Nationals' mining tax and protecting agriculture and the resources industry.

Mr Barnett said One Nation would be a factor in the state election but said Liberal Party preferences would not be allocated to any party in most seats.

"The original version of One Nation could fairly be described as racist, which was unacceptable to me and to fair-minded citizens," he said.

Racial issues are still a key plank of One Nation's ideology, with Ms Hanson calling for a ban on Muslim migration.

Senator Hanson said about 25 people had put their names up to be One Nation candidates.

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