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Pauline Hanson exposes ‘coward’ senators for refusing to allow Australians a vote on immigration

Pauline Hanson immigration

One Nation leader Pauline Hanson has called senators who voted down her proposal for a national plebiscite on immigration “cowards” and accused them of being terrified of giving Australians a say on the issue.

Only two other senators – One Nation’s Malcolm Roberts and the United Australia Party’s Ralph Babet – voted in favour of Ms Hanson’s Future Migration Level bill on Thursday.

38 voted No, mainly Labor, The Greens and independent senators, but also including two Liberal Party members – James Paterson and Paul Scarr – while the rest abstained.

Ms Hanson said that those who refused to support her bill were afraid of giving Australians a voice, because they know that a majority of the country does not support mass immigration like they do themselves.

“Last year’s [Voice to Parliament] referendum showed the elites of this nation are out of touch with the Australian people,” Senator Hanson said.

“Today’s vote in the Senate on my immigration plebiscite bill has demonstrated this fact again.

“The Liberals said the question was ‘too complex’ to put to the people. This obvious contempt for the intelligence of the Australian electorate is disgusting.

“Last year’s referendum showed the majority of Australians get it right when they’re given the opportunity, and that issue wasn’t considered too complex to put to them.”

Australia immigration
Source: IFM Economics

Ms Hanson said the political class were not just ignoring poll after poll showing that more than 60% of Australians want migration lowered, but that they were ignoring the housing and cost of living crises caused by a record-high influx of immigrants.

“They’re ignoring the huge numbers of people lining up to inspect a single property, desperate to secure a rental. They’re ignoring the growing congestion in our cities,” she said.

“They’re ignoring the families struggling to find the money to pay skyrocketing rents amid our cost of living crisis. They’re ignoring the growing cities of tents, swags and cars as more Australians fall into homelessness and despair.

“One Nation has always championed lower immigration in solidarity with the majority of Australians. On their behalf I am demanding a halt on immigration, and for the government to put the Australian people first.”

Disgusted supporters responded to the result by accusing the Liberal Party of being no different from Labor, and saying democracy was broken.

“The will of the people doesn’t seem to matter to politicians and bureaucrats. They disregard and go ahead with their predeterminded plan no matter what we say. Where the hell are our voices?” wrote one of Ms Hanson’s followers.

“The Liberals are exactly the same as the ALP,” said another.

Another pointed out that conservative senators Gerard Rennick and Alex Antic abstained from voting, but had voted against the same bill last year while in government in 2019, while this time Paterson and Scarr had broken from their party to vote against it even while in Opposition.

“Lib Senators Paterson and Scarr both voted with Greens and Labor, rejecting a plebiscite that would finally give Australians a say on immigration. The rest of the Liberal Party abstained,” the X user wrote.

“Despite song and dance in opposition, there’s bipartisan support for mass immigration.”

When another X user asked Mr Rennick why he did not vote for an immigration halt, the senator replied: “You don’t need a referendum to know that immigration needs to be lowered – waste of time and money”.

“It’s called a political mandate chief, maybe you have never of it before?” another user asked Mr Rennick in response.

“Libertarian cop-out,” said a third.

“While you pat yourself on the back for not using the power of the state to get what your voters want, your opponents wield it to redraw the lines of power. Being a doormat is not noble.”

The vote on Ms Hanson’s immigration bill came as updated figures were released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics showing that net migration hit 518,000 in the year to September 2023.

The top three countries of birth contributing to this figure were India, China and the Philippines, with a net loss of 32,000 Australian born emigrants.

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