One of the highlights of the current round of Senate estimates hearings was outgoing Australia Post CEO Ahmed Fahour’s response to Pauline Hanson’s targeting of his religion, in which he described how he felt sorry for Hanson, “that she feels the need to say those things about someone whose 100% objective is to do the right thing for the country”. Was Hanson present to see the response of the man whom she had attacked? No — she didn’t show up to the hearing. In fact, as far as we can work out, she hasn’t shown up to any estimates hearings.

Yesterday, instead of being in Canberra to attend estimates, Hanson was engaged in a stunt in Brisbane to draw attention to the “plight” of a pair of English migrants who had breached their visa conditions and were in danger of being deported. Despite being anti-immigrant, Hanson apparently thinks it’s OK for white immigrants to breach our rules. Hanson’s office says she’s not in Canberra today either. Say what you like about her offsider Malcolm Roberts, at least he has shown up at various committees this week to peddle his wacky conspiracy theories and attack Muslims. NSW One Nation Senator Brian Burston was also in Canberra yesterday, his office says. But the One Nation leader was absent. In addition to being too cowardly to face Fahour, it seems Hanson can’t be bothered to do the job she gets $200,000 a year to do. A peculiar way to represent voter disaffection toward mainstream politicians who are actually showing up to work from 9am to 11pm this week …

Peter Fray

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