Hanson tries hand at selling property

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 12 February, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 12 February, 2006, 12:00am

She was the fish and chip shop owner whose xenophobic attacks on Asian immigration made her better known outside Australia than the prime minister.

Pauline Hanson's political influence may have waned, but she has never strayed far from the spotlight.

And following a stint in jail plus a star turn on a TV ballroom dancing show, the ginger-haired twice-divorced mother-of-four has launched a new career - as a real estate agent.

Ms Hanson, 51, started work at The Professionals agency in the Brisbane suburb of Annerley late last year. She has yet to seal a deal, but remains optimistic.

'Everything I have had a go at I have done reasonably well,' she said. 'I think it is a great honour that people would want me to sell their house, that they believe I will do a good job.'

Hanson burst onto the political scene in 1996 when she was elected to the Federal Parliament on a right-wing anti-immigration platform.

In her maiden parliamentary speech she provoked uproar when she said the country was in danger of being swamped by Asians, and denounced welfare payments to Aborigines.

The launch of her One Nation Party soon followed, and in 1998 the party won 23 per cent of the vote - and 11 seats - in the Queensland state election. But the party and Ms Hanson's fortunes quickly slumped, culminating in her 2003 jailing after she was found guilty of fraudulently obtaining almost A$500,000 (HK2.9 million) in electoral funds. Ms Hanson served just 11 weeks of the three-year sentence before the conviction was quashed on appeal.

Pledging never to return to politics, she says she's thrilled to be working with her son Tony Zagorski, the principal at the suburban agency. In a newspaper advert promoting her arrival, the agency declared: 'She has personal experience buying, selling and renting properties and ... if you truly want someone who is honest, hard-working and prepared to fight for your best interest, don't go past Pauline - GIVE HER A GO.'