In our second podcast from the Western Australian election, we talk to Kim Beazley, especially about One Nation. Beazley was federal Labor leader during Pauline Hanson’s first political phase. He sees her as a national security threat and believes she should be opposed in the strongest terms.
“We [in WA] are probably more conscious of southeast Asia. We do more trade with southeast Asia … with Indonesia for example. There’s a strong propensity here to look very seriously at Indonesia. Lots of West Australians holiday in Indonesia … The positions she is adopting pose to seriously damage a critical security and economic relationship. I think quite a lot of West Australians understand that,” he said.
“The rise of One Nation, to my mind, ought to be greeted in much the same way as we greeted [Hanson] back then – to see it disappear as quickly as possible.”
In this podcast, we also visited Rockingham, south of Perth, where we found mixed views about One Nation and more than a little general disillusionment.
Polling analyst William Bowe, who’s been watching the One Nation phenomenon, says their campaign has been “a bit of a shambles”. “I guess the question in this election with respect to how well they’re going to go is: how much does that matter?”
“Given the sort of experience of Donald Trump’s campaign last year, I think there’s an idea that these sorts of populist movements can get away with a great deal.”
Finally, Dexter Davies, federal senior vice-president of the Nationals and a former WA state MP, strongly defends the controversial Nationals proposal for a mining tax on Rio Tinto and BHP, which has triggered a massive campaign from the mining companies.
Authors: Michelle Grattan, Professorial Fellow, University of Canberra