Pauline Hanson is not backing down on her decision to storm out of the Senate during the Acknowledgement of Country ceremony, defending her outburst in a recent interview despite being condemned for her behaviour.
The One Nation leader came under fire after she stormed out of the Senate on Wednesday, July 27 as Senate President Sue Lines recognised the Ngunnawal and Ngambri peoples as the traditional custodians of the Canberra region.
“No, I won’t,” Hanson yelled as she exited the chambers.
“I never will.”
The outspoken Hanson later told Australian Associated Press that she had been “feeling this way for a long time”.
“I have called from the first day for equality for all Australians. I see this as divisive,” she said.
She went on to claim that “our people that have fought for this country” need acknowledgement and those “who have sacrificed their lives”.
She continued to criticise the Acknowledgement of Country ceremony before taking aim at the Indigenous Flag.
“I find this flag divisive,” she said.
“We are now hearing it on flights and aeroplanes. I’m sorry – this is my country as well.
“This is heading towards division in our nation. A ‘them and us’. And we’ll never close the gap if we continue down this path. All Australians should be treated equally and the same.”
Despite widespread criticism for her behaviour, Hanson defended her actions on 2GB Radio on Thursday, July 28 claiming “a lot of people have contacted my office and said thank you”.
“A farmer from NSW called up and said, ‘We go to every meeting, we hear it at every meeting and we are sick of it.’ People are so over it. We don’t need to hear this every time,” she said.
“A lot of people are fed up with it.”
Although Hanson claimed she has received “a lot” of support for her Senate protest she was met with swift condemnation from the public and fellow ministers alike.
Indigenous Greens Senator Lidia Thorpe was among the first to take aim at Hanson, taking to Twitter to make her thoughts known.
“Day two of the 47th parliament and racism has reared its ugly head,” Thorpe tweeted.
“Pauline Hanson disrespectfully stormed out of the acknowledgement of Country in the Senate, refusing to acknowledge “those people.” You want to make parliament safe? Get rid of racism.”
Pauline Hanson, you are ignorant and you are racist.
— Senator Lidia Thorpe (@SenatorThorpe) July 26, 2022
An avalanche of responses to Hanson’s outburst from members of the public soon followed with many criticising the Senator for her behaviour.
Pauline Hanson just displayed once again in the Senate this morning why she is an inappropriate person for any Parliamentary role. Welcome to Country is an essential element of Australian democracy- Xenophobia isn’t!
— ????????Michael Springer???? (@MichaelSpring17) July 27, 2022
From the world of ignorant bigots.
Pauline Hanson has kicked off her contributions to the 47th parliament in typical fashion, storming out of the acknowledgement of country during the opening formalities of the Senate’s first proper sitting day.
— ????The Hon. Hammyhamster (@Hammyhamster10) July 27, 2022
Is anyone really surprised Pauline Hanson is acting in a bigoted manner? This is Pauline Hanson we’re talking about.
— Jonathan (Jono) Greenwood (IT’S TIME) (@JonathanGwood) July 27, 2022
The facts are the Aboriginal people have history in australia going back tens of thousands of years well before the British invalided their land. Acknowledgement of this fact is important for Australians and Australia
— Tezza Sewer Rat four jabs ???? ???????????? (@TerryBrady2097) July 27, 2022
Attention seeking stunt as usual ????
— ButterflyBabes (@ButterflyBabes5) July 27, 2022
Hanson released a video statement on Wednesday stating that she believes the “‘acknowledgement of country’ perpetuates racial division in Australia”.
“From this point forward, I will refuse to acknowledge country in the Senate,” she said.
“What is more, woke virtue-signallers continue with their politics of racial division by demanding the Aboriginal flag be displayed in the Senate chamber. Parliament is the people’s house. It is there to represent all Australians equally, regardless of their racial heritage.”