Monday, 13 February 2017
Questions without Notice
Pauline Hanson's One Nation
My question is to the Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science, Senator Sinodinos. I refer to his statement in relation to One Nation:
The One Nation of today is a different beast … They are a lot more sophisticated.
How is the One Nation of today a lot more sophisticated? Does the minister believe warnings about being swamped by Muslims are more sophisticated than warnings about being swamped by Asians?
I thank the honourable senator for her question. Let me begin by saying that they are more sophisticated because in this chamber, since they have been here, they have supported important pieces of government legislation. They have been prepared to cooperate with us, and if the opposition were prepared to cooperate with us on more legislation not only would the opposition be more sophisticated but also we would not have to rely on the crossbenches as much. It is important to understand that. In those same remarks on that program yesterday I made the point that when it comes to values there is a clear divide. For example, I said that on this side of the House we believe in a non-discriminatory immigration policy very strongly. We do not discriminate on the basis of ethnicity, race, creed or colour in our immigration program. I made that very clear.
I refer to the Prime Minister's statement, reported on 1 June 2016:
Pauline Hanson is, as far as we're concerned, not a welcome presence in the Australian political scene.
Has the minister explained to the Prime Minister why he considers the One Nation of today to be 'a lot more sophisticated'?
In Australia, the people speak and when they speak we have to listen. We have a parliament that has been thrown up to us by the Australian people. It includes representatives of the Greens, One Nation and the opposition. We have to work with all sides, and when they are willing to approve or support our legislation we will work with them. As I said before, if the opposition wants us to do less business with One Nation they should support more of our policies—the policies which we promised at the last election. Please help us keep our promises to the Australian people.
I refer to the minister's earlier answer where he justified his change of position on the basis that One Nation votes with the government. Isn't the real reason that Malcolm Turnbull is cuddling up to One Nation that the Turnbull government not only need One Nation to govern but now think they need One Nation to get re-elected?
A government senator: Mr Turnbull.
One of the other points I made yesterday is that we are in the business of taking votes away from One Nation, away from the Greens and away from the opposition. In the next two years before the election we will not be cuddling up to anybody. We will be out there arguing the case that a vote for the Liberal-National Party coalition is a vote for economic stability, economic growth and economic development. It will be a vote for Australian jobs.