Get To Know Your Candidates: James Hansen, One Nation
THE Fraser Coast Chronicle is running in-depth profile pieces on each of the region's state election candidates.
Part one of the Get To Know Your Candidates series features Maryborough's Labor incumbent Bruce Saunders, One Nation candidate Cr James Hansen and LNP candidate Richard Kingston.
MARYBOROUGH One Nation candidate James Hansen - a councillor, farmer, and businessman - is proudest when he is representing the people and passionate about bringing "commonsense” and a "back-to-basics” approach to government.
If elected for the State seat at the upcoming election, the Division 1 Fraser Coast Regional Council councillor said he would be resolute in his aim to "be there for the everyday people”.
The married father-of-five boys who joined One Nation last year said, "It's time to represent the grassroots population - the people who've worked hard and worked their way up, and know what it means to be a battler.”
Mr Hansen, who was born in Biggenden, schooled in Maryborough, and took over the family dairy farm at Boompa when he was 21, said the prominent issues for the region were jobs creation and reducing the cost of living, especially electricity expenses.
He said he was determined to ensure services were brought back to the region, including train building and hospital services.
"It's about putting people before politics for a change.”
Mr Hansen, a fourth-generation resident of Maryborough, said both his parents and grandparents were graziers and dairy farmers, and his grandparents on one side of the family were builders and pineapple growers. His grandfather also worked for Maryborough Council.
He said he strongly believed in the ability of his generation to make the region the best it could be and "we owe that to the future generations”.
"It's about growing the community and making it a better place to live.”
The region, Mr Hansen said, has been neglected by the major parties, with services and contracts stripped and taken away.
"Everything has been centralised to the south-east corner of Queensland. I want to bring back manufacturing and lower the cost of living, and bring back jobs for the kids. And then be able to keep them here.
"We're losing our best asset, and that's our kids, because there's no jobs here.
"We should be building all our trains in Maryborough,” he said.
Mr Hansen said One Nation had pledged $10 million for a maternity unit at Maryborough Hospital and $15 million to build a water facility, which he said was crucial for cane growers who needed water security for sustainable crops during floods.
He praised the One Nation Apprenticeships Scheme and said he would plan to regenerate the unused TAFE building in Maryborough West as a regional training facility.
Mr Hansen - who has always been involved with community groups in the district - said the reinvigoration of agriculture in the region would create many possibilities for the future.
"And we need water security to develop the agriculture. It's a really big thing and its been overlooked by the major parties for a very long time. We really need to push that.”
He said the decentralisation of industry to the regional areas would also provide an economic boost.
Mr Hansen - who has served a term as councillor on the former Woocoo Shire Council before amalgamation with the Fraser Coast Regional Council during 2012-2016 - said he'd experienced many moments of being grateful for the work he was able to do in the region.
"Every time somebody comes up and thanks you from the bottom of their hearts - that makes you think how worthwhile it all is. Sometimes they might even have tears in their eyes.”