Malcolm Roberts' replacement avoids bankruptcy, is ready to step in

Malcolm Roberts' hopes of replacing himself in the Senate appear doomed after Queensland publican Fraser Anning - the next candidate on One Nation's ticket - successfully avoided bankruptcy.

Creditors have officially withdrawn their bankruptcy petition against Mr Anning and his wife Fiona, Fairfax Media can reveal.

The move comes after Mr Anning struck a confidential settlement agreement with ABL Nominees - a subsidiary of the Bendigo and Adelaide Bank - which launched the bankruptcy case over debts associated with a failed agribusiness scheme.

One Nation senator Malcolm Roberts.

One Nation senator Malcolm Roberts.

The deal means there should now be no barrier preventing Mr Anning taking up the seat, likely to be left vacant by Senator Roberts in the coming weeks. The High Court is widely expected to disqualify Senator Roberts from Parliament for failing to renounce his British citizenship before last year's election.

Senior figures close to Senator Roberts had hoped to engineer a situation in which Senator Roberts could immediately return to the upper house. If Mr Anning was elected to the seat in a High Court-ordered countback but then declared bankrupt, it would have given the party a "casual vacancy" it could have filled with anyone.

But with Mr Anning - a publican from Gladstone who attracted just 19 first preference votes last year - now believed to be in the clear there is little the party can do to prevent him entering Parliament, if he wants the job.

Mr Anning said it was a "relief" to have the matter behind him.

"I am not bankrupt. I have never been bankrupt and am able to pay my debts as and when they fall due," he told Fairfax Media. "We finally have an agreement with the bank but any further details are subject to a confidentiality clause."

The Annings are currently in the United States visiting with their two newborn grandchildren. Contrary to reports, Mr Anning says he is not pursuing business opportunities in the US and intends to return to Australia.

"I am booked to return to Brisbane to hear the High Court's decision soon," Mr Anning said. "I will stand by my earlier statement to Fairfax Media about letting the High Court process take its course without any further comment from me as we should all properly and patiently wait for their considered decision to be announced."

Anning - who first ran for One Nation in the lower house seat of Fairfax in 1998, and gave the Liberals a run for their money - comes from a sheep and cattle grazing family in far north Queensland.

He and his wife have bought and managed a number of hotels throughout the state and also started their own consultancy business. The pilot has also worked as a marketing manager for an aviation company.

The couple has worked in the hotel industry in Gladstone for much of the past five years.

On the One Nation candidate page last year, Anning was quoted as saying: "We need to get Australia back on track with real people in government instead of the privileged fools we have in power now."

If Anning does take up the job he will serve the final two years of Roberts' three-year term.

This story Malcolm Roberts' replacement avoids bankruptcy, is ready to step in first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.