Pauline Hanson is back after 18 years in the political wilderness and it took just a matter of minutes for her to confirm she’s still at her outspoken best.
While it may be some time until the makeup of the federal government is known, Ms Hanson looks to have secured a Queensland Senate seat and a platform for her right wing, anti-immigration views.
Speaking with Channel Nine’s Lisa Wilkinson from her campaign headquarters as part of the broadcaster’s election night coverage on Saturday, Ms Hanson unleashed her wrath after taking offence at a question.
A jubilant Ms Hanson, flanked by supporters, was asked by Wilkinson what she had learnt since being voted out of Parliament in 1998.
Celebration quickly turned to condemnation as the One Nation Party boss turned on the Channel Nine personality.
“You have got to be kidding,” the clearly furious Queenslander replied. “Hold on a minute. Has the Liberal, Labor or Greens learnt anything?
“I don’t need to listen to anything. I know what the people are thinking and how they are feeling. So let’s get this country on track.”
After the interview, Wilkinson insisted she said “lessons”, not “listen”.
Wilkinson’s co-host Karl Stefanovic couldn’t hide his amusement at the exchange.
“She learned you. Pauline is all over you,” Mr Stefanovic joked. “Pauline is all over you like a cheap suit.”
“I have been told,” a grinning Wilkinson replied.
— The Today Show (@TheTodayShow) July 2, 2016
Labor Senator Sam Dastyari, who was part of the Channel Seven election coverage, also incurred Ms Hanson’s ire when he invited her out for a Middle-Eastern takeaway on air.
“Pauline, right now I will invite you to join me in Sydney and I will take you out for a halal snack pack … whenever you want,” Dastyari, who is of Iranian heritage, said, using a colloquial term for a kebab box.
Ms Hanson was not tempted.
“It’s not happening, not interested in halal, thank you,” she said while waving a finger in the air. “I’m not interested in it. I don’t believe in halal certification.”
While Ms Hanson’s on-air anger was generally met with amusement, he political opponents in The Greens don’t see the funny side to her return to politics.
Greens leader Richard Di Natale says the party will stand up to Ms Hanson.
“We will take it right up to her, to show that in a modern Australia there is no place for racism, there is no place for bigotry, for the sort of hatred that she is spreading through her views,” the Senator told reporters in Melbourne on Sunday.
“We won’t roll over like [former prime minister] John Howard did when Pauline Hanson first came on to the political scene federally.”
Ms Hanson, the founder of One Nation and a former Queensland Liberal MP, could bring with her running-mate Malcolm Roberts with her in the Senate.
One Nation is also in the running for Senate seats in NSW, Western Australia and Victoria.
Ms Hanson said she had no problems working with any parties.
“If they have got a problem with me, that’s their issue, not mine,” she said.
“I’ve got 20 years’ experience in politics and I believe that we need maturity in the parliament to start passing legislation that is right for the people and our future generations.”