Pauline Hanson

Yesterday, Pauline Hanson’s One Nation committed its Senate votes to the passage of the Coalition’s long fought corporate tax cuts, making it increasingly likely they will pass.

Hanson said she was ultimately convinced to do so by a letter from the Business Council of Australia.

But don’t think One Nation didn’t get something in return for helping the Turnbull government along. If the tax cuts get through, Hanson will be rewarded with 1000 new government-funded apprenticeships. Labor Senator Murray Watt has described it as “Pauline Hanson’s biggest sellout yet“.

We’re not so sure. In the year and a half Hanson has been back in parliament, she’s already established a long history of supporting policies that have an adverse affect on the very people who elected her.

Save up to 50% on a year of Crikey

Choose what you pay, from $99.

Sign up now

The Family Court

In a speech — littered with attacks on single mothers, apparently rorting the welfare system by having multiple children — after returning to the Senate, Hanson took aim at the Family Court system, saying fathers were murdering family members out of “sheer frustration” at the system.

“Children have two parents and until we treat mums and dads with the same courtesy and rights, we will continue to see murders due to sheer frustration, depression and mental illness caused by their unworkable scheme,” she said. 

Legal experts and activists said abolishing the Family Court would actually put the most vulnerable people in society — victims of domestic violence, economically vulnerable women — at greater risk. 

Decreasing welfare

Soon after, Hanson had to defend her party’s decision to back more than $6 billion in welfare cuts proposed by the Coalition. Not for the last time, she would have to face the fact that many who voted for her party were low-income earners, with some on welfare.

“I’m sorry, I can’t please everyone and not everyone’s going to agree with me, but I have to make decisions I believe are right for this country and future generations.”

She said her supporters would not tolerate “welfare bludgers”.

Penalty rates

First, she backed the decision of the Fair Work Commission to cut the penalty rates for hospitality and retail workers on Sundays and public holidays — and again, she had to field questions about the low-paid workers who voted for her and would be hurt by this decision, and simply replied: “They are getting their wage.”

After weeks of negative feedback from her base, Hanson was forced to row back, posting a Facebook video saying she had changed her mind.

Let me make it quite clear. After listening to people coming through my office, and on the streets, and back home over the weekend in the lead-up to this, generally the majority of people do not want a cut to penalty rates. You’ve got my support. I’ve listened and this is what you want and I will not support any cut to penalty rates.

Of course, you can’t please all the people all of the time. But base politics should be a gimme.

I subscribe to Crikey because I believe in a free, open and independent media where news and opinions can be published that I can both agree with and be challenged by.

As a Crikey subscriber I always feel more informed and able to think more critically about issues and current affairs – even when they don’t always reflect my own political viewpoint or lived experience.


Join us and save up to 50%

Subscribe before June 30 and choose what you pay for a year of Crikey. Save up to 50% or, chip in extra and get one of our limited edition Crikey merch packs.

Join Now