Ashby-Hanson aircraft saga investigated

Paul Osborne, AAP Senior Political Writer



Late - James Ashby telephones One Nation treasurer Ian Nelson offering cheap printing through his company, Coastal Signs and Printing.


Early - Ashby joins One Nation as an advisor and executive member.

February - Victorian businessman Bill McNee emails Pauline Hanson saying he would "like to become a major financial supporter of your party".

April 11 - McNee attends a dinner at Hanson's home with Ashby and One Nation officials. Ashby reveals he is a pilot and the party should be flying Hanson to events. McNee says "we'll have to get you a plane", according to Nelson.

April 13 - ECQ records show McNee's Vicland company gives $30,000 to One Nation.

May 8 - Hanson and Ashby test-fly a Jabiru at Caboolture Recreational Aviation. Ashby is understood to have contacted McNee from the airfield saying Hanson is comfortable with the small plane.

May 13 - McNee sends an email to Hanson and Ashby: "James, we will sort out the plane tomorrow..." Funds are transferred to Ashby, according to former party treasurer Nelson.

June 5 - Jabiru 230-D aircraft, registration number 24 8637, acquired and registered by Ashby from Jabiru Aircraft in Bundaberg.

June 29 - ECQ records show McNee gives One Nation $27,720, which pays for a year's rent on the party's Brisbane office.

July 16 - The Jabiru has its maiden flight from Caloundra airport, with Hanson telling reporters: "I am thankful to now have a plane as this will enable me to visit people around the state, and interstate, including those in small remote communities."

July 17 - Hanson and Ashby fly to Rockhampton ahead of a Reclaim Australia rally.

July-Dec - ECQ returns show $10,000 donation from Vicland. And four payments totalling $9533 to Ashby's company Coastal Signs and Printing.


January - Hanson tells Sky News: "I've still got my plane, well the party's plane, but all the trips I've done in that since the election I've filled it up myself."

July - Hanson elected to the Senate, bringing with her three other senators. Ashby takes up role of chief of staff.

September - One Nation tells ECQ in disclosure form that in Jan-June 2016 the party paid $1187 to Jabiru Aircraft in Bundaberg for servicing aircraft. No other mention of other spending on aircraft. Same disclosure shows more payments made to Ashby's printing companies. Disclosure was prepared by Greg Smith, Hanson's brother-in-law, not Nelson.


March/April - Media reports around Jabiru plane and questions about disclosure.

April - Labor senator Murray Watt refers issues of alleged disclosure breaches to Australian Electoral Commission, following ABC Four Corners program.

May - AEC launches investigation using its coercive powers after unsuccessfully seeking the voluntary handover of documents from One Nation. AEC says it is already doing a "compliance review" of One Nation's financial disclosures. Australian Federal Police say they are "evaluating" allegations against party.

(Source: Based on media reports, ECQ returns)