Pauline Hanson’s political advisor James Ashby is seeking a new tenant
CONTROVERSIAL political advisor James Ashby has listed his Yeppoon investment property for rent.
One of four units within the complex owned by Mr Ashby, who is One Nation leader Pauline Hanson’s right hand man, has recently been listed.
The block of units has been on the market for over a year, with Ashby seeking offers over $465,000.
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The unit listed for rent is on the market for $230 a week, up from $220 last year.
Property data shows the median sales price for a unit in Yeppoon is $297,500, making the sale of Ashby’s block of four a relative bargain.
But median unit values have been seesawing in Yeppoon over the past five years, with values down 18.5 per cent in five years. However, values have increased 17.8 per cent in 12 months, according to CoreLogic.
Yeppoon is about 40km northeast of Rockhampton, and is the gateway to the Southern Great Barrier Reef and Keppel Bay Islands.
An increase in mining activity and several major company and infrastructure announcements have given a boost the region as a whole, according to the latest REIQ Market Monitor.
Harcourts Yeppoon agent Daniel Spyve, who is marketing Ashby’s unit complex for sale, said the focus was now on renting the individual units.
He said vacancy rates were tight, boosting rentals yields for owners.
“The mood is really positive in the resources sector and they have been in a good place, regardless of Adani,” he said.
“Our rental market has gone up, and with every lease coming up for renewal rent has been increased.
“Vacancy rates are really tight so renters are willing to pay the extra.
“We recently had eight groups through one property, and they were all competitive … one bloke asked if he could pay extra (to secure the property).”
Ashby’s block of units in Yeppoon is the only property still in his name, according to property data.
He sold a block of land near Tully in 2009, and offloaded another Yeppoon unit back in 2002, well before entering public life.
Ashby, a former radio presenter, started his political career as an advisor to Federal Member for Fisher, Peter Slipper, and has been a human headline ever since entering the political arena seven years ago.
The Ashby-Slipper relationship soured in 2012 when Ashby made allegations that he was sexually harassed by the former Speaker, a scandal dubbed “Ashbygate”.
He ultimately dropped the lawsuit but the whole saga created a quagmire for the government.
At the time, Ashby reportedly retreated back to his safe haven in Yeppoon, but the trained pilot made a comeback as a media advisor to Ms Hanson in 2015.
Since then, the media spotlight has continued to shine on Ashby, who was fined for failing to promptly answer questions about the ownership of the aircraft used by One Nation, and had his parliamentary pass revoked and then reinstated following allegations of a physical altercation with former UAP senator Brian Burston.
Ashby was also involved in further controversy after a meeting with a fake gun lobbyist working undercover for Al Jazeera, a meeting where he and Queensland One Nation leader Steve Dickson were caught on camera allegedly soliciting donations.