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By George: How Pauline lured rogue MP out of retirement, into the fray

Former federal Liberal National Party MP George Christensen is trying to make a political comeback with One Nation, after changing his mind about retiring.

Apr 13, 2022, updated Apr 13, 2022
Former Liberal member for Dawson George Christensen and One Nation leader Senator Pauline Hanson in the Senate marking the start of the 45th Parliament. (AAP Image/Mick Tsikas)

Former Liberal member for Dawson George Christensen and One Nation leader Senator Pauline Hanson in the Senate marking the start of the 45th Parliament. (AAP Image/Mick Tsikas)

Christensen will stand for a seat in the Senate under the One Nation banner in the upcoming election, behind leader Pauline Hanson and candidate Raj Guruswamy on the party’s Queensland ticket, taking up the third spot.

“Everybody knows who George Christensen is. He is a fighter for Queensland and has done so in parliament for many years,” Senator Hanson said in Brisbane on Wednesday.

“I am proud to actually see that George now has joined One Nation’s team.”

Christensen, who was the MP for the safe LNP Queensland seat of Dawson, had planned to retire from politics and recently quit the LNP.

He had expressed his disenchantment with the LNP’s direction, its net-zero climate pledge and “destructive pandemic policies”.

Christensen revealed his move via social media Wednesday morning, and said he had been contacted by One Nation representatives when he first revealed his intention to retire after next month’s election.

He targeted the LNP’s direction, its net-zero climate pledge and “destructive pandemic policies” and said he and One Nation had similar political passions.

“The push for net-zero, I think is going to mean Net Zero jobs in regions like Central Queensland in North Queensland,” Christensen said.

“I’m passionate about vaccine mandates, the response to governments around COVID which was a complete and utter overreach, blowing up freedoms and rights and all the rest of it, jobs in the economy – for a virus with a 0.27 per cent infection fatality rate”

He conceded it would be difficult for him to win the Senate seat, but insisted there was a prospect.

“It’s difficult. I will admit that it’s difficult, you know, but as I said, if the job that I do is to ensure that Pauline gets across the line that that’s the job done”.

LNP Senator Matt Canavan said while he understood Christensen might have been upset with some party room decisions, change had to be fought for.

“It is a desertion,” the fellow Queenslander told Nine Network.

“You don’t go off and speak to a minor party.”

Asked if Christensen could threaten his Queensland upper house seat, Senator Canavan said he took nothing for granted.

“Ultimately you don’t have job security … It’s up to the voters,” he said.

“But I love a fight, I don’t shirk from a fight.”

Christensen’s chances of winning a senate seat could prove difficult given his placement in the lineup.

One Nation on Wednesday said it would field candidates in 151 lower house electorates across the nation.

One Nation says its membership has grown since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, which resulted in lockdowns at various times in major cities across Australia.

Queensland Acting Premier Steven Miles said voters could do better than Christensen, who disagreed with vaccination advice during the coronavirus pandemic.

“Let’s not forget how he risked the lives of Queenslanders, undermining their health advice, undermining public safety and public confidence in the vaccination program. All of that was deeply unhelpful,” he told reporters on Wednesday.

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