21st November 1999
Report by Scott Balson
It had been a watershed month for One Nation. On the @notd I had been challenging the control and ineptitude of the Manly head office and the roles that the two Davids played.
As a result I had been banned from One Nation meetings in NSW by the NSW state executive and David Ettridge sent a letter to all members labelling me an "enemy" of the party I had done so much for.
I had a call from Jack Paff MLA on the morning on 21st November inviting me to a historic meeting to be held at the Ipswich Showgrounds Committee Room at 1.30pm that day.
Image right: Ipswich West executive getting ready for the historic meeting
About 30 people attended the meeting - including Presidents of branches from neighbouring One Nation branches.
Before the meeting started Viv Zanow, a close friend of Pauline Hanson was to remark that it was in this same room, in 1997, that One Nation held its first meeting. He described how the meeting, which was supposed to be kept strictly confidential was ambushed by the Queensland Times (who tried to attend the meeting) and Channel 9. When asked by people at the meeting, the QT reporter explained that the paper's editor, Mark Hinchliffe, had been informed about the strictly confidential meeting the day before by David Oldfield.
The President of Jack Paff's Ipswich West branch, after opening the meeting, put a motion to suspend standing orders and then called on Jack Paff to address the gathering.
Here is what Jack Paff had to say:
"The problem that One Nation has is with the administration of the party.
"I am not interested in power, greed or control. My loyalty is to you people. The other four (Qld State) One Nation MPs will stand by you and will operate in a clear and transparent way.
"The Sharples Court Case has produced a decision that we are no longer a political party as a result of the deregistration of the party. The appeal has been lodged and is set for 23rd November.
"We don't know which direction it will take. The MPs have had many meetings over the outcome - regardless of which way it goes.
"The appeal is very likely to fail - if it does we will have to register a new political party.
"The reason for the deregistration being that there were not 500 members and we, the members, were according to the Supreme Court, just a fund raising group not associated with Pauline Hanson's One Nation (the political party.
"We, the Qld State MPs will register One Nation, Queensland - but I am speaking to you today to request your support.
"The control of the party (as it is) is led by Sydney. Our leader, Pauline Hanson has no control over the two Davids.
"With respect to the appeal case there is no fresh evidence that can be called. Three judges will decide whether the party was correctly registered and whether it had 500 members.
"All Justice Atkinson's footnotes have sealed the decision and the three judges can only rule whether Atkinson failed at law - which is unlikely.
"There have been mass resignations, people have been named as white ants. Sydney's David Ettridge and David Oldfield would say that they, good people, were white ants and bar from them party.
"The five MPs went to register One Nation Qld. All five will sign that tomorrow afternoon - we trust that the Commissioner will accept this. (Note: Malcolm Taylor tried to establish a party named One Nation Queensland in October 1997 - leading to his expulsion).
"Another party must be registered to keep all the people together. We feel that Pauline Hanson has been put through a terrible time by the drive of power and greed by the two people in Manly. We want to shed ourselves from the control exercised by the Sydney office.
"We must show the way to the people of the state and the people of Australia - I am asking you here today that you support us.
"We will get it back on track.
"When we do it it will be clearly transparent and an honest party to try and direct a new direction.
"The other MPs are not interested in power or greed we will register the new party as a decent, clean party.
"I believe that the party was registered in a manner that ensures control by the people in Manly.
Image right: Senator Len Harris' political adviser Heather Hill flanked by her mum and husband Ken Hill
"The party was registered in a way which makes you just fund raisers for a company called Pauline Hanson's One Nation Limited.
"I plead for your support - because the decision we make today is very important.
"Once the party has been registered if you want to make changes you will be allowed to - for the first time in this party's history.
"The five MPs have prepared a new constitution unlike the draconian one now will allow you, the people, to make any changes you want to.
"We have been working with the legal firm Gilshenan and Luton.
"Their legal advice is based on the new party being to the benefit of all the people.
"One Nation is in limbo until the decision is made by the appeal court. We hope the appeal fails because it will bring the downfall of the controllers in Sydney.
"All of the Queensland MPs have talked about this for the benefit of the party's future.
"It had to come. There had to be a change. We still have the same doctrines of the party - we are still the same people. The only thing that changes is the administration - they WILL go."
After about an hour of discussion the following motion was proposed by Scott Balson and seconded by Viv Zarnow, "That we support the move for the Members of Parliament to form a new party which is divorced from the control of David Oldfield and David Ettridge." Unanimously adopted with the following amendment by Ken Hill, "this pre-supposes a loss of appeal, or a response to a failed appeal."