Penrith’s at times controversial conservative Councillor Marcus Cornish has joined Pauline Hanson’s One Nation party.
Having recently returned from the Queensland State Election where he helped One Nation, Cr Cornish spoke about his decision to join the party.
“I’d been thinking about it for quite a while,” he told the Weekender.
“One Nation has appeal across Australia and is set to be in the shorter term a balance of power player, and in the long-term, a power in its own right.
“In the last few weeks before the Queensland election I decided to join and help out wherever the party needed me.
“I was extremely well received by Pauline and the party.”
Despite the switch, Cr Cornish is adamant that he will continue putting his constituents first by remaining an independent Councillor.
“I’ve been elected as an independent Councillor, and I will remain an independent Councillor,” he said.
He said that while his decision to join the party might turn some people off him, he feels it will enhance his ability to serve.
“I think I can gain more for the people, which is harder as an independent,” he said.
“One Nation does have regular meetings out here, and the following is growing in the area.
“People are discontent with a lack of representation.”
Cr Cornish slammed both the Labor and Liberal parties, saying they have very little differences today.
“I think Labor and Liberal are so similar now. Their members aren’t allowed to speak,” he said.
“I’ve got more respect for someone who says what they think, whether I agree with it or not.
“They don’t want anyone rocking the boat. One Nation previously 20 years ago, their highest vote was in Lindsay. That’s why they’re all worried about me.”
In the 1998 Federal Election, One Nation candidate for Lindsay Rick Putra received 9.97 per cent of votes, pulling votes away from both major parties.
Whether he leaves local Council to move into State or even Federal politics is something Cr Cornish is leaving to Ms Hanson and her team.
“I’m leaving my options open,” Cr Cornish said.
“Wherever the party decides I’d be of best use, I’ll see.”
Emily Newton is the Weekender’s police and political reporter. Emily is also the Weekender’s Senior Journalist.