Guns sting on One Nation prompts candidate to walk away

Guns sting on One Nation prompts Farrer candidate to walk away


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Flashback: Tom Weyrich in Albury in 2001 when he stood as an independent against then Liberal Party first-time candidate Sussan Ley. He will have a second shot as a One Nation candidate in 2019.

Flashback: Tom Weyrich in Albury in 2001 when he stood as an independent against then Liberal Party first-time candidate Sussan Ley. He will have a second shot as a One Nation candidate in 2019.

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Sting on Pauline Hanson's One Nation hits home.

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THE fallout from a television sting on One Nation officials in the US has prompted a party member not to stand in Farrer.

Tom Weyrich had been planning to represent the Pauline Hanson-led party in the federal election after having stood for One Nation in Murray in the NSW poll.

However, the criticism directed at One Nation, after its duo James Ashby and Steve Dickson were caught on camera seeking US help to change Australian gun laws, has spurred Mr Weyrich to end his tilt for Farrer.

"The turmoil of the last week has certainly had an effect on my view," Mr Weyrich said.

"It's had a detrimental effect, without pointing the finger at anybody, and it's hard enough to go out and campaign without that sort of stuff."

Mr Weyrich did not watch all of the Al Jazeera program, broadcast by the ABC in Australia, but said he "saw enough to know it's a set-up".

"It was unfortunate; it was just a weak moment," he said.

"I know James, I think he's an alright guy, I don't know Steve."

Mr Weyrich's move, which follows him landing 8.32 per cent of the Murray vote, was also driven by his belief the Liberal member for Farrer Sussan Ley is unbeatable.

"I just can't see that (a Ms Ley loss) happen, even though I think the Coalition has done a disastrous job in Farrer," he said.

"For a start she's a female and the Coalition and Liberal Party are well versed in how to win campaigns.

"I just think it wouldn't be achievable."

Asked about the prospects of independent candidate for Farrer and Albury mayor Kevin Mack winning, Mr Weyrich was dismissive.

In the fray: Tom Weyrich (white shirt) with other Murray candidates during an election forum for the seat which was won by the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers candidate Helen Dalton over incumbent Austin Evans (Nationals).

In the fray: Tom Weyrich (white shirt) with other Murray candidates during an election forum for the seat which was won by the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers candidate Helen Dalton over incumbent Austin Evans (Nationals).

"I know KMack, I'm the ex-mayor of the Murray Shire, and I did talk to him, but I think the area is so great it's impossible for an independent to man booths and dedicate the time to get around the electorate," Mr Weyrich said.

"I know he's been over to Deniliquin and Moama but it's not enough.

"Hats off to him for having a go and I know he would be sincere in his attempt, but I know it's not happening."

Mr Weyrich told The Border Mail last week his bid for Farrer was contingent on legal advice over his citizenship due to his parents being from Germany.

He said he had since received feedback from a lawyer that he would not be ineligible to stand for federal parliament. 

Corowa-based One Nation NSW secretary Kate McCulloch said Mr Weyrich's withdrawal did not mean the party had given up on standing in Farrer.

"We still have interest, that's what we're going through," Mrs McCulloch said.

One Nation has stood a candidate in Farrer three times, with the last occasion being 2004.

Border Mail

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