One Nation NSW
|This article does not cite any references or sources. (October 2007)|
One Nation NSW is a minor political party, which operates exclusively in the state of New South Wales (NSW). The party is a splinter group of Pauline Hanson’s One Nation (PHON). It is a socially conservative populist party on the right of the political spectrum and their policies are similar to that of the original One Nation party, advocating reduced immigration levels, an end to Australia’s policy of multiculturalism and an end to what it perceives to be overly favourable treatment of Australian indigenous Aboriginal population.
The party arose as a result of internal divisions within PHON in October 2000 after Pauline Hanson expelled David Oldfield, co-founder of PHON and the sole representative of that party in the NSW State Parliament. At the 2000 NSW State Conference Hanson accused Oldfield of abusing his authority, usurping power and setting up alternative political parties under his control. His expulsion created even more instability in a party which was constantly embroiled in scandal and internal strife and the party split in NSW. As a result, One Nation NSW was formed in 2001. The new party took advantage of electoral party registration laws to register itself as political party under the ‘One Nation’ name with the NSW electoral commission, and achieved registration in April, 2002. The effect of this was that the original PHON party was now unable to gain registration for NSW elections, and therefore any candidates which that party chose to represent them at state elections could not use the party name. Consequently, PHON could only contest Federal elections in NSW under the 'One Nation' banner, whilst the Oldfield group could present itself as 'One Nation' only at state elections.
One Nation NSW encountered some internal ruptures in 2002-2003 during the preselection process for the March 2003 NSW election. Brian Burston, (a former National Director of PHON) had been preselected by a party conference in December 2002 for 1st place on the party ticket, for the election to the Upper House, the Legislative Council (LC). Oldfield however, had intended that his wife Lisa Oldfield, secure this position. He therefore summoned a second meeting of party members in January 2003, which saw a reversal of the December decision to give Burston the top spot on the ticket, in favour of Lisa Oldfield. Burston and his supporters filed legal action, and the court upheld the initial party decision of December which gave Burston the leading position on the ticket.
At the March election, One Nation NSW achieved only 1.5% of the primary vote, compared to 6.3% for PHON in the previous 1999 election that saw Oldfield elected. This result was substantially below the 4.55% election quota, and consequently Burston failed to get elected. Apart from the internal feuding which affected the party’s performance, was the fact that Pauline Hanson also ran in the election as a grouped independent, with support from what was left of PHON, and this fractured the One Nation vote. Hanson polled slightly better than Burston’s group, achieving 1.9%, and narrowly missed gaining the last LC spot.
Since the 2003 election, One Nation NSW has kept a very low profile. The party does not maintain a website and draws very little in terms of media attention. In fact, many Australian political commentators aren't even aware that two separate One Nation parties continue to operate in NSW. Oldfield resigned from the party in December 2004, to serve the remainder of his term as an independent. His term expired in March 2007.
One Nation NSW met all the necessary registration criteria to achieve registration for the March 2007 NSW election. However, the party decided not to contest that election, and was deregistered shortly after the election. There is some uncertainty as to the party's current level of political activity in NSW.