Elise Cottam at the Mayoral Forum at Isis Cultural Centre in Childers. Photo Craig Warhurst / NewsMail
Elise Cottam at the Mayoral Forum at Isis Cultural Centre in Childers. Photo Craig Warhurst / NewsMail Craig Warhurst

One Nation sacks candidate from party

A FORMER Bundaberg mayoral candidate has been dumped by Pauline Hanson's One Nation for failing to pay a $2400 fee to cover costs in a state campaign.

Elise Cottam, the party's candidate for the central Queensland seat of Callide, was disendorsed this week after failing to meet a deadline to pay the money.

Ms Cottam contested the Bundaberg mayoral seat at the local government election last year eventually won by Bundaberg Mayor Jack Dempsey.

One Nation campaign director Michael Pucci said in a statement on Friday Ms Cottam had agreed to pay the fee when she was endorsed and had been given ample time to comply with the requirement.

"Unfortunately Ms Cottam chose to not comply with the requirements for documentation and fees she had previously agreed upon; therefore Pauline Hanson's One Nation (PHON) Queensland State Executive has removed the parties endorsement for Ms Cottam to stand as PHON Candidate,' he said in a statement.

"The party believes in giving everyone a fair go; however, when one does not live up to the standards set and they choose not to follow through on agreements made, the party cannot just stand by and let it happen."

 

Elise Cottam has been axed by One Nation for failing to pay campaign fees.
Elise Cottam has been axed by One Nation for failing to pay campaign fees. Contributed

Ms Cottam said she did not pay the money because she planned to get her son to provide campaign materials for "next to nothing" and was disappointed by the decision to disendorse her.

"I'm not upset with their decision but I am disappointed for the people of Callide, who I won't be representing any more," she told the Guardian.

She said she also refused to pay a $150 administration fee because she had stood as a federal candidate in 2016, though she was happy to pay a $250 registration fee to the Electoral Commission of Queensland.

Ms Cottam is the fourth candidate to stand down or be axed by the party since it unveiled its Queensland election team in December.

Bundamba candidate Shan Ju Lin was dumped from the party in late January after making a series of anti-LGBTI posts on her Facebook page.

Peter Rogers was axed as the party's Mulgrave candidate after a conspiracy-laden article - claiming the Port Arthur massacre and a photo of a Syrian refugee toddler found dead on a Turkish beach were fabricated - was published on his website.

Andy Semple quit just three days after he was announced as the candidate for the Gold Coast seat of Currumbin after concerns about comments he had made on Twitter.



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