One Nation leader Pauline Hanson has accused a parliamentary committee of allowing foreign citizens to influence the democratic process.
In an unusual move, an online survey was set up to help politicians review proposed changes to Australia’s citizenship laws.
The poll, run by the company SurveyMonkey, did not stop people voting multiple times or prevent them from using fake email addresses.
It asks people one question — do they support a push by One Nation for migrants to wait eight years before they can become an Australian citizen?
Under the current laws, migrants must wait four years.
Senator Hanson said she was furious the online poll was being shared overseas and promoted by people who disagreed with the proposed changes.
“This is foreign interference,” Senator Hanson told AM.
“Keep your noses out of our politics and out of our country and out of our laws. It has nothing to do with them.”
Senator Ian MacDonald, chairman of the Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee, said the secretariat recommended the online poll to reduce an influx of submissions.
“In a similar bill to this one that occurred quite recently, we had over 12,000 submissions,” Senator MacDonald said.
“That involves … a lot of clerical work, taking submissions, reading it, putting it online.”
Senator Hanson said she was in favour of the survey until she saw it on social media sites across the world and on the Facebook pages of the Brazilian and German Consulates in Queensland.
“This is about Australians who are citizens, who were born here or those that have migrated here and taken out citizenship,” she said.
“It’s all about control of our own country. We would not be able to have a say in China, none whatsoever.”
Senator Hanson said the survey lacked integrity and she wanted the committee to disregard the results.
Senator MacDonald said that would not happen, but he had reassured Senator Hanson he would take all opinions into account when making a final decision on the legislation.
“The weight that I give those online opinions where there are campaign-type responses is not as much as I give to those who have made detailed submissions and those who give evidence directly to the committee at hearings,” he said.
The poll closes at 5.00pm on Friday.