Speaking of first speeches, Pauline Hanson’s NSW One Nation colleague Brian Burston gave his first speech to the Senate yesterday afternoon, and like Derryn Hinch he tested the president’s patience with a very long speech that focused almost entirely on immigration and the Australian identity. He opened with a new version of an acknowledgement of country:
“I acknowledge Australia’s historic nation, forged by Christian explorers and pioneers from Britain and other European lands who created the federal Commonwealth under the Crown, and I acknowledge Australia’s first peoples, the Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders, who have become valued members of our nation.”
Burston massively overstated the magnitude of Australia’s refugee intake and linked refugees with an increase in crime, including “drive-by shootings”:
“Australia’s refugee intake is so large that it surpasses many countries’ immigration programs. Nevertheless, we do not select the intake for employability or cultural compatibility. The result is too often havoc in Australian society: carjackings, home invasions, flash riots and drive-by shootings. And, of course, when citizens object, there are endless complaints under section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act, administered by the ethnocentric Human Rights Commission. The refugee intake should be subject to the same basic criteria applied to immigrants, otherwise we continue to wound our own society. The precedent for selecting refugees responsibly was the very large intake following the Second World War, which had positive results. But refugees were selected according to the same criteria applied to immigrants.”
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Burston seemed to advocate for an immigration policy with similar principles to the White Australia Policy:
“Immigration restriction is a principle wider than the White Australia Policy. The motivation for the Immigration Restriction Act 1901 was threefold: to maintain high wages, preserve social cohesion and protect national identity. British and European immigration was thought to meet all criteria, not without reason. Immigrants from Anglophone countries continue to assimilate most quickly.
“One Nation does not advocate racially selective immigration but does seek to minimise cultural incompatibility, evident in the case of Islamic immigration. A predictable objection from Liberals and Labor is that they are opposed to selecting immigrants on the basis of identity. What immoral nonsense.
“That is why One Nation promises to discriminate by cultural and religious identity in selecting migrants and refugees, because any country that does not restrict immigration, to preserve its identity and thus social cohesion, will lose it sooner or later, sooner if it is a country as attractive as Australia.”