Senator Pauline Hanson held little back as she slammed Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s Indigenous Voice to Parliament proposal, claiming it is “deliberately stoking division”.
The proposed Indigenous Voice to Parliament would see an elected body of First Nations representatives advising the government on the handling of Indigenous issues.
Enshrining an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice to Parliament is an opportunity for our nation to advance reconciliation and Close the Gap. pic.twitter.com/Hs5tODyZiT
— Anthony Albanese (@AlboMP) August 1, 2022
Although the proposal has received support from fellow ministers and members of the community, it has also attracted its share of criticism. Hanson is one such critic who has taken issue with the proposal, stating that “the creation of a voice to parliament will not, as the Prime Minister would have us believe, be a unifying moment” to a mostly vacant Senate chamber on Thursday, August 4.
“I’ve already been contacted by elders on traditional lands who say they do not support the voice and had no say in the Uluru statement. This will be no different to the stolen generations apology,” she said.
“Let me remind you of the reason for this apology. We were told it was necessary for us to move forward together as a united nation. How has that worked out?
“He (the Prime Minister) is not promoting unity at all. The Prime Minister is deliberately stoking division and stoking it on racial lines.
“There is nothing in this proposal that will end the violence, poverty and failure of service delivery in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
“There is nothing in this proposal that indicates how much this entire exercise will cost Australian taxpayers.”
Hanson went on to question the reason for the proposal before offering her own theories.
“What is the real ulterior motive? This can only be about power – creating a nation within a nation,” she said.
“This is Australia’s version of apartheid.”
Hanson has been no stranger to outbursts in the Senate of late, on Wednesday, July 27 the outspoken Senator stormed out of the chambers during the Acknowledgment of Country ceremony.
While recognising the Ngunnawal and Ngambri peoples as the traditional custodians of the Canberra region, Senate President Sue Lines was interrupted by Hanson.
“No, I won’t,” Hanson yelled as she exited the chambers.
“I never will.”
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.
Hanson’s outburst was met with swift condemnation from the public and fellow ministers, including Indigenous Greens Senator Lidia Thorpe who took 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.”