1 November 2023
The Hon. R.A. SIMMS (15:44): The matter I rise to speak on this afternoon is one that will be of interest to all South Australians who care about the health of our democracy, and that is the rising influence of the One Nation political party. It is fitting that yesterday was Halloween because this party's record will send a shiver down the spine of many people in our community. They are a dangerous political party, one that casts a sinister shadow over our democracy, and this is something that the government should consider very carefully when they strike deals with One Nation.
One Nation is the only political party in this place that is on a registry of Australian hate groups. Back in October of the last year, the Global Project Against Hate and Extremism added One Nation to their register for its track record on anti-multiculturalism, white nationalism and COVID-19 conspiracy theories. Looking at the history of this party, you can see why.
I found it galling to hear the One Nation party talking about the voice of division during the recent debate about a First Nations Voice to Parliament. It is galling because the One Nation party has been a consistent voice of division over the past 25 years. They are the party of racism. In 1996, Pauline Hanson launched One Nation with an inflammatory and offensive speech in which she claimed that Australia was 'in danger of being swamped by Asians'. She went on to make another series of appalling claims in that speech.
What a despicable thing to say of Asian-Australians, who are such a vital part of the fabric of our multicultural society. Pauline Hanson has doubled down on this rhetoric over the years, attacking a range of other groups in our community: First Nations people, African-Americans, African-Australians, and people of the Islamic faith. In fact, she has even referred to Islam as 'a disease'. In 2017, Pauline Hanson wore a burqa into federal parliament as part of her grotesque stunt. She made a mockery of the Muslim community, and she used that stunt to call for a ban on the burqa.
Pauline Hanson has called for an end to multiculturalism in Australia. She wants to axe the Racial Discrimination Act, ban mosques and also have a royal commission into Islam. This is the party that has the gall to criticise those who are campaigning for a Voice to Parliament, and claim that they are being divisive. Give me a break!
But it is not just racism that defines One Nation, it is also their contempt for democracy itself. In 2018, Senate candidate Steve Dickson met with the National Rifle Association in Washington and said that if One Nation won the balance of power in the federal parliament they would seek to weaken Australia's gun laws.
Hanson does not respect our democratic traditions, either. Back in 2017, she heaped praise on Vladimir Putin. This was after Putin was exposed for his complicity in the downing of the M17 flight that killed 298 people, including 38 Australians. On climate change and COVID-19, One Nation peddles lies and bizarre misinformation—Senator Malcolm Roberts is a treasure trove of strange quotes; he once suggested that climate data had been corrupted by NASA—and they have peddled lies and misinformation about COVID-19.
The Hon. Sarah Game is not Pauline Hanson, but she is a representative of the One Nation party. If she does not support these views then she must disassociate herself from them. She must make her position on One Nation's policies clear. In the meantime, the Greens will continue to call out the divisive and dangerous politics of One Nation in our state and federal parliaments, and caution all members of parliament from sharing the rostrum with One Nation.