She’s made no secret of her beliefs on migration, but Jacqui Lambie is now facing the refugee crisis first-hand as she joins a team of Aussies in war-torn Syria for hard-hitting new ABC TV show Go Back To Where You Came From.
In a new clip from the show – which is set to air its first of three episodes on Tuesday night – the controversial politician is filmed firing an AK-47 assault rifle, leaving her companions visibly shocked.
The 47-year-old mum is joined on the trip by immigration lawyer Marina, 28, who has polar opposite views on migration. Marina believes Australia isn’t contributing enough to the global refugee crisis, while Jacqui insists the country needs to look after its “own backyard” first – and prioritise Aussie veterans over migrants.
The latest clip from the show sees Marina stand open-mouthed behind some soldiers before uttering “far out” as Jacqui fires the weapon – proving she hasn’t forgotten her past military training.
While Marina admits on camera that she “feels like running away”, she then asks Jacqui how it feels for her being there and hearing gunshots, having been trained in the army. The politician replies: “Do you know what, to be honest with you, I know this sounds terrible but it makes me wanna go pick up a weapon and go help out.”
Luckily, she was only shooting at a target in the footage that followed. From there, the pair are led through dangerous grounds littered with mines before coming face to face with a decaying dead body – the horrific aftermath of a recent battle with ISIS in the area.
“It’s someone from Daesh. His body is decomposing it’s all swollen, there’s been animals eating at it, it’s changed colour,” Marina says on camera as she stands back – unable to go closer. “I just feel like I want to be sick, humanity can be so cruel and, you know, all this for an ideology. It’s too much.”
Later in the bus, Jacqui gives a passionate speech on how brave soldiers standing their ground are the reason ISIS had been contained in the area – before hitting out at those who choose to flee. However, it ignites a debate with Marina, who admits her human instinct would be to save her own life first instead of “sacrificing her life for a concept”.
Before kickstarting her political career, Jacqui served in the Australian Army and the Royal Australian Corps of Military Police. She used her platform as Tasmanian Senator from 2014-2017 to campaign on foreign affairs and veterans’ affairs. She also famously sparked controversy for campaigning to ban the burqa in Australia.
“We need to worry about our own backyard first,” she says elsewhere on the show. “You have the Chinese in one place, the bloody Muslims in one place, the Indians are taking over the suburbs. That’s not integration.”
Jacqui and Marina will be joined by comedian Meshel Laurie, ex-AFL player Spida Everitt, writer Gretel Killeen, prison youth worker and anti-refugee provocateur Steve, student Gareth and young conservative Dannii.
Go Back To Where You Came From Live airs from Tuesday, October 2 over three consecutive nights at 8.30pm on SBS.