The Age – by Michael Koziol –
Queensland senator Fraser Anning has praised the White Australia Policy and called for a plebiscite as “the final solution to the immigration problem” in the most inflammatory maiden speech to an Australian Parliament since One Nation leader Pauline Hanson’s in 1996.
The Katter’s Australian Party senator, formerly of One Nation, used his first speech to the Senate on Tuesday to lament the demise of “our predominantly European identity” of the 1950s and ’60s.
“A key part of this great pre-Whitlam consensus was bipartisan support from both Liberal and Labor for a European-based immigration program,” Senator Anning said.
“Great Labor statesmen – Ben Chifley, John Curtin and Arthur Calwell – all strongly supported an immigration program that actively discriminated in favour of Europeans.”
But he said this was dismantled when “[Gough] Whitlam and his hard-left cronies adopted Soviet-inspired United Nations treaties on discrimination and banned preferential selection of migrants based on their ethnicity”.
This had “allowed the cultural conquest of our nation”, Senator Anning warned, bringing about “an insidious silent revolution”.
As a remedy, the Queensland senator proposed radical changes to Australia’s immigration program, including a “drastic” cut to the annual migrant intake and the resumption of discrimination based on race.
“Diversity should be managed to remain compatible with social cohesion and national identity,” he said. “We as a nation are entitled to insist that those who are allowed to come here predominantly reflect the historic European-Christian composition of Australian society.”
Senator Anning took aim at Muslim migrants in particular, claiming they had proven to be the least able to assimilate and integrate into Australian society and other countries. He said a gun attack on a train in Broken Hill in 1915 was Australia’s first terrorist incident and “Muslim immigrants have been a problem ever since”.
“While all Muslims are not terrorists, certainly all terrorists these days are Muslims, so why would anyone want to bring more of them here?” Senator Anning asked.
He advocated a plebiscite on immigration, calling it “the final solution to the immigration problem”, and said he would be happy to abide by the result.
The Senator’s use of the words “final solution”, sparked a storm of criticism.
Labor frontbencher Chris Bowen said using those words was ”utterly unacceptable”.
“It has connotations and meanings to history which it are deeply offensive to right-thinking people, not only in Australia but across the world,” he told ABC Radio on Tuesday.
Greens leader Richard Di Natale said if Senator Anning had a shred of decency he would apologise, saying using the same language as Nazis was vile, racist and bigoted.
But Senator Anning hit back at those claims, arguing left-wing politicians had taken him out of context to shut down debate on immigration.
He said it was ironic to be criticised by the same politicians who voted against his pro-Israel stances on funding the Palestinian Authority and moving Australia’s embassy to Jerusalem.
In his speech, Senator Anning also argued that Australia was “on the brink of irreversible change” if citizens failed to “rise up” and unleash a “cultural counter-revolution” against the subversion of Australian society.
“We stand now at the turn of the tide. What we need is a cultural re-conquest of our own country,” he said. “Ethnicity is not just skin-deep – more than anything else, it is our ethno-religious identity that defines us and shapes our nation and national identity.”
Following the speech, Senator Anning shook hands with Coalition and Centre Alliance senators, as well as Australian Conservatives leader Cory Bernardi, Derryn Hinch and Tim Storer.
Senator Anning was declared elected in November last year to replace former One Nation senator Malcolm Roberts, who was found ineligible by the High Court as a dual British citizen. He quit One Nation upon taking his seat and later joined KAP, but did not make his first speech until Tuesday.
The incendiary comments about immigration are reminiscent of Senator Hanson’s first speech as an MP in 1996, when she infamously warned Australia was on the verge of being “swamped by Asians”.
Labor’s Senate leader Penny Wong, who was born in Malaysia to an Australian mother and Malaysian father, repudiated Senator Anning’s speech.
“My parents were married in the dying days of the White Australia Policy. We’ve rightly consigned that policy to the dustbin of history,” she said.
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Malcolm Turnbull and a range of federal MPs have condemned Queensland senator Fraser Anning for advocating a return to the White Australia policy, but he is unapologetic.
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