Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has announced she will strip Katter’s Australian Party of five extra staff positions it was granted last term because it has refused to denounce federal senator Fraser Anning’s contentious maiden speech last month.
Senator Anning called for a complete overhaul of the immigration system, insisting most migrants should be from a European Christian background and all Muslims should be banned.
In that speech, he also used the term “final solution”, the same phrase used by the Nazis under Adolf Hitler to describe their program of systematically annihilating Jewish people from Europe.
Ms Palaszczuk had called upon KAP to denounce Senator Anning or face losing the five extra discretionary staff granted to the state party last term during the hung parliament.
“Because his party will not denounce Senator Fraser Anning, I denounce his party,” she told the Labor State Conference on Sunday.
Ms Palaszczuk said “racist extremism will not be tolerated”.
“To believe as we do in equality and basic human rights means we do not merely support their existence … we stand up to and call out those who would rip them way,” she said.
“No-one uses the words ‘final solution’ except in sorrow, anger and shame.”
Ms Palaszczuk said her own grandparents fled the work camps and appalling conditions and misery of World War II to come to Queensland.
“We have the right to free speech in our parliaments, but that free speech is not free of consequence,” she said.
“I am withdrawing the additional staff I granted to the Katter’s Australian Party because it tolerates the intolerable and defends the indefensible.”
When Ms Palaszczuk threatened to reduce his party’s parliamentary staff funding, Mr Katter said previously the Premier would effectively be punishing his constituents by cutting back his staff over a difference of views.
“I think this is a very serious breach of democracy in Queensland and freedom of speech,” he said.
“I think people appreciate having alternative views in the Parliament.”
Mr Katter had said there were only four extra positions filled from the extra allocation.
Senator Anning was unmoved by the widespread criticism he received after the speech and his party leader Bob Katter called the speech “magnificent” and “solid gold”.
Mr Katter said he discussed the speech with Senator Anning before he delivered it.
“His speech was absolutely magnificent and it’s everything that this country should be doing.”