Greens senators walked out of the chamber as One Nation leader Pauline Hanson delivered her maiden speech on Wednesday evening, which also included several digs at fellow senator Derryn Hinch.
Ms Hanson echoed her infamous speech to Parliament in 1996 when she stated on Wednesday that “now we are in danger of being swamped by Muslims”.
“Islam cannot have a significant presence in Australia if we are to live in an open, secular, society.
“We have seen the destruction it has caused around the world … have no doubt we will be living under Sharia law if we keep heading down the path with the attitude ‘she’ll be right mate’.
had to do it – here's Pauline Hanson's maiden speeches, 1996 and 2016 – what a difference 20 years makes https://t.co/uH70T7rtW4
— Josh Butler (@JoshButler) September 14, 2016
“If you are not prepared to become Australian and give this country your undivided loyalty … then I suggest you go back to where you came from.
“I suggest you go back where you came from [and] if it will be any help I will take you to the airport and wave you sincere wishes.”
Mr Hinch – who was also elected at the July election – has had several public run-ins with Ms Hanson, including mocking her calls for CCTV in all mosques.
But on Wednesday Ms Hanson had the last laugh.
“I am not going to do a Derryn Hinch and speak for 45 minutes [like he did in his maiden speech]. Oh, oh Derryn is, oh he’s still awake [referencing the time Mr Hinch fell asleep in the chamber].
“I have a lot more to say, but I have got six years in this place, Derryn you’ve only got three.”
In a speech that focused on immigration, welfare, foreign land ownership and family law, Ms Hanson began defiantly.
“It has taken numerous elections, countless legal battles and doing a stint in maximum security on trumped up charges … to find myself here,” she said.
“I’m back but not alone.
“Some call it persistence and tenacity, my daughter describes it as a ‘Johnny Farnham’ comeback … I call it not allowing the bastards to grind you down.”
Ms Hanson claimed her maiden speech in the House of Representatives 20 years ago was still relevant today.
She said that her warning that “Australia is in danger of being swamped by Asians” was not meant to be disrespectful toward Asians.
‘Ban all immigration’
On Wednesday, Ms Hanson also called for a halt to all immigration.
“Indiscriminate immigration and aggressive multiculturalism have caused crime to escalate and trust and social cohesion to decline,” she said. “Too many Australians are afraid to walk alone at night.
“I call for stopping further Muslim immigration and banning the burqa… In addition, no more mosques or schools should be built.”
Ms Hanson called for a National Identity Card to be introduced for and also spoke at length about welfare payments.
“If people bring children into the world, it is their responsibility, not the taxpayers. Therefore I propose that if a woman has a child, the taxpayer supports the first child. If they have more, there will be no more increase to the welfare payment. Get a job.”
Greens leader Richard Di Natale tweeted during the speech to explain why Greens’ senators left the chamber.
“Together, our MPs have left Senator Pauline Hanson’s 1st speech because we’ll call out racism wherever it occurs, including Parliament,” Mr Di Natale tweeted.
“Racism has no place in Parliament but that is what we have just heard from Senator Hanson. I stand with those people hurt by her words.”
Senator Nick Xenophon told Sky News his heart “sank” when he heard the speech.
“To categorise parts of our community – Islamic Australians, Muslim Australians – basically vilifying them in that way was just heartbreaking,” he said.
“This is not what Australia’s all about. We’re an open and inclusive country and Pauline Hanson is wrong when she says Islam and democracy aren’t compatible.
“Just north to our border is the world’s biggest Muslim country, Indonesia, which happens to be one of the most robust democracies in the world.”