Pauline Hanson interjected the Acknowledgement of Country in the Senate on Wednesday before walking out of the chamber entirely.
The second day of the 47th Parliament of Australia hadn’t even begun before Pauline Hanson made quite the scene during the Acknowledgement of Country and the traditional land owners.
As the Acknowledgement of Country was being read by President of the Senate Sue Lines, Queensland Senator Pauline Hanson interrupted to say she didn’t and would never acknowledge Indigenous lands in Australia, before walking out of the chamber altogether.
The Acknowledgement of Country has been included alongside a prayer before every chamber meeting for over a decade and Hanson has sat in as an elected representative for Queensland since 2016.
While this is the first time Hanson has made such a scene over this tradition, she has previously openly opposed the inclusion of the Aboriginal flag in the Senate chamber.
Unsurprisingly a number of politicians have condemned Hanson’s decision and are calling her actions “racist” and hateful.
Victorian Greens Senator Lidia Thorpe said: “I was immediately furious to see such blatant disrespect and racism in my workplace,”
“She talks about creating a unified nation, yet she comes out with hate speech like that.”
Day two of the 47th Parliament and racism has reared its ugly head. Pauline Hanson disrespectfully stormed out of the acknowledgement of Country in the Senate, refusing to acknowledge “those people.” You want to make parliament safe? Get rid of racism.
— Senator Lidia Thorpe (@SenatorThorpe) July 26, 2022
Thorpe went on to explain that Hanson represents a disturbingly significant part of the Australian population who need further education on the country’s history with First Nations people.
“She’s their poster girl, the racism poster girl right there, no-one is even surprised at what she says any more, but she’s still there,” she said.
“So it shows that we have a very toxic element of our country that votes this person in. That’s the element we need to educate and call out for their racist behaviours in the places where they live.”
NSW Labor senator Jenny McAllister said though she disagreed with Hanson, the QLD Senator has the right to make up her own mind.
“I really couldn’t disagree with Pauline Hanson more,” McAllister said.
“I think it is up to Pauline Hanson to make her own decisions about that but I am really clear about my position. I think acknowledging country and acknowledging traditional owners is the right thing to do.”
A spokesperson for Hanson released a divisive statement to really rub salt in the wounds.
“Like many non-indigenous Australians, Senator Hanson considers this country belongs to her as much it does belong to any other Australian, indigenous or otherwise,” the statement read.
“From this point forward, Senator Hanson will refuse to acknowledge country in the Senate.
“Senator Hanson does not accept that acknowledgement of country is any sort of indigenous Australian tradition.”
It’s honestly unfathomable to think that these kinds of views are being represented in our government in 2022.
Another Green Senator, Nick McKim said: “It was a racist act and we condemn it out of hand, and it was extremely disrespectful to First Nations people and ultimately the act of an absolute racist,”