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Qld: One Nation's flag keeps flying

By Steve Gray
12 Jan 2009 3:18 PM

BRISBANE, Jan 12 AAP - Australia's last remaining member of the right-wing One Nation, Rosa Lee Long, will carry the party's banner into a new seat after her far north Queensland electorate was abolished in a redistribution.

Ms Lee Long said on Monday she would stand as a One Nation candidate in the new seat of Dalrymple.

One Nation was founded by right-wing firebrand Pauline Hanson after she won the federal Queensland seat of Oxley in 1997.

Ms Hanson was dumped as Liberal candidate ahead of the 1996 poll but won the seat as an independent.

In the Queensland elections in June 1998, One Nation won 21 per cent of the vote, and 11 out of 89 seats in the Queensland Legislative Assembly.

One Nation subsequently splintered and lost its party status in 2003.

Ms Lee Long said she was now an "independent One Nation" candidate.

"I've been voted (in) three times under that banner, and I'm not going to change now," she told AAP.

Her seat of Tablelands was split in the latest redistribution, 60 per cent of electors going to Dalrymple and 40 per cent into the seat of Cook, based on Cape York.

"I have chosen to contest Dalrymple as it gives me the opportunity to continue to represent the largest portion of Tablelands' voters," she said.

"I have been honoured by the loyalty they have shown me over the past three terms and this will allow me the best chance of returning that loyalty to the majority."

Her continued presence in politics indicates a persistent rebel streak in north Queensland politics.

The region was once a stronghold of the Left and in 1944 elected the first and only communist to an Australian parliament when Fred Paterson won the state seat of Bowen.

Another maverick of federal politics, independent Bob Katter, has a base at Charters Towers, which is part of the new seat of Dalrymple.

"I'd need to get an extraordinarily good vote on the (old parts of) Tablelands and then hopefully I can get some support from the other end," Ms Lee Long said.