• Rikki Lambert

Bring back tariffs, retreat from free trade: One Nation Victorian candidate

If Pauline Hanson is joined by more One Nation senators in her push for re-election on 21 May, the likes of Victoria's Warren Pickering would revisit Australia's trading relations and reimpose some tariffs to protect Australian jobs.

Bricklayer and Gippsland resident Warren Pickering is One Nation's lead Victorian senate candidate and says free trade agreements should be scrapped if they have been proven to be detrimental to Australia's economy:

"We need to reimplement import tariffs on select countries to protect current and future industry and in doing so, we protect Australian and regional jobs.
"Most people want to support Australian made, we know this, but there's just a plethora of substandard items for a quarter of the price on our shelves, and it makes it difficult for us to compete.

Hear the full interview with One Nation Victorian senate candidate Warren Pickering on the Flow podcast player below:

Mr Pickering said recent visits to regional Victoria demonstrated the infrastructure problems faced by country communities:

"I see a lot of problems with rail infrastructure, it's fairly problematic .. why are we still falling back to single-lane highways in these regional areas?
"In this day and age if we are genuine in supporting our regions' growth, then we need to get on top of this stuff.
"Let's re-set what the benchmark of a regional airport should be, should it be able to sustain cargo or should they just be for personnel? We need to have these discussions and then make those decisions and then build our infrastructure projects around our findings."

Mr Pickering said One Nation was the 'benchmark' for conservative politics in Australia, explaining:

"People have had a gut full with finally coming to realise that the majority of these lifelong career politicians that claim to have the best interests of hard-working Australia at the core of their belief - it's become abundantly clear that that's not true.
"We need some fresh blood in there and I think from my age demographic, I'm only 40, my age demographic happens to be the backbone of the growth domestic product that we need for this country right now."
"I say that places myself personally in a unique position to have a finger on the pulse as to the collective mindset of where working-class Australia is right now."

Victoria's senate race sees Labor's two lead candidates replacing former senators, with No. 2 candidate Jana Stewart seeking to hold on to the seat she took in a casual vacancy following the death of Kimberley Kitching. No. 1 candidate Linda White is looking to replace retiring long-term senator Kim Carr. The Greens' Lidia Thorpe is also seeking to hold on to the seat she filled in a casual vacancy created upon the retirement of former Greens leader Richard di Natale. The Liberals and Nationals' ticket sees south western Victorian Liberal MP Sarah Henderson in the No. 1 slot, Nationals minister Bridget McKenzie in No. 2 and newly appointed Liberal Greg Mirabella seeking to retain the seat he filled upon the retirement of former Senate president Scott Ryan.

One Nation's Pickering will be among a number of candidates hoping to claim the sixth and final Victorian senate seat up for grabs on 21 May, most likely at the expense of senator Mirabella.