George Christensen wins Mackay Regional Council seat

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Controversial former Nationals MP and One Nation senate candidate George Christensen has pledged to wage war on the “woke” tide as he returns once more to the political arena.

The self-styled “wokebuster” has won a seat on the Mackay council in North Queensland following a populist campaign in which he promised to cut rates and run headfirst into culture war battles.

In an interview with Rebel News Australia before his victory in the statewide March 16 local government elections, Mr Christensen said local governments had improperly moved away from a focus on delivering core services to ratepayers.

“I don’t want to be crafting motions about the Israel-Palestine issue, I don’t want to be doing any of that rubbish,” he said.

“What councils need to focus on is collecting the rubbish right, mowing the grass right, getting the potholes filled and the roads done right, and reducing the rates burden because cost of living is hurting people. None of this other crap.

“A lot of it has gone beyond basic services now.

“In fact, there is a lot of woke happening in local governments right around Australia and Mackay Regional Council isn’t unaffected by that.”

Mr Christensen warned Mackay children could soon be exposed to drag queen performances, which some parents deem inappropriate for youngsters, referencing a show booked for the city’s main entertainment complex for September.

“What is local government doing, putting that sort of stuff on?” he asked.

“Fine if you want to go and see a drag queen, go to an adult club.

“But not for kids as young as four.”

The show, called Brats Carnival, is listed for September 22 and promises a “high-energy, super fun afternoon show for all ages – from tots to teenagers and their mums and dads.”

The age recommendation for the 45-minute act is pegged at four years and over.

“Please note, this circus is performed by a cast of award-winning performers in costume including drag artists,” the advertisement, displayed on the council’s convention centre page, states.

Mr Christensen also suggested he would look into council’s library services and whether they were distributing sexualised material to children.

“I’ve had people come to me showing me books the local library is populated with for kids that are completely and utterly inappropriate,” he said.

“So there are a lot of problems there in that cultural war space I guess.”

Mr Christensen ran as part of the Mackay First team led by mayoral candidate Steve “Jacko” Jackson, with Mr Jackson presenting an upstart challenge to incumbent Mayor Greg Williamson.

Mr Williamson edged out Mr Jackson with about 51.5 per cent of the vote after preferences.

The Mackay council is an undivided council, meaning there are no wards or divisions, led by a mayor with 10 councillors.

Alongside Mr Christensen, three other Mackay First candidates will sit in the chamber after securing victories, namely Namarca Corowa, Heath Paton and Nathenea MacRae.

Former rugby star Martin Bella, who won re-election to the council, told NCA NewsWire he was “s**t-scared” about the next term and expressed alarm about what he called “unrealistic” promises on the campaign trail.

“I believe there was a lot of misinformation out there prior,” he said.

“This idea vast numbers of things could be done and you could cut rates was just an absolute nonsense.

“You can’t get more for less.

“Everything has gone up, so council costs have gone up. They have to go up.”

It is not Mr Christensen’s first dance in local government.

The right-wing firebrand first entered politics as a councillor in 2004 before moving into federal politics as the Nationals member for Dawson in 2010.

He represented Dawson, which covers coastal North Queensland from Mackay in the south to Bowen and Ayr in the north, for 12 years before resigning in 2022 and announcing a shock run for the Senate in the May federal election on the One Nation ticket.

Mr Christensen jumped ship for One Nation claiming the Liberal National Party was no longer a conservative enterprise.

Mr Christensen has been contacted for comment.

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