Hanson: We do not want migrants to return to Australia in the same numbers

Senator Pauline Hanson (Queensland) : One Nation submitted today's matter of public importance: (Migration May 2020)

When Australia restarts our migration program, we do not want migrants to return to Australia in the same numbers and in the same composition as before the crisis.

I have to admit that they are not my words; they are Senator Keneally's words, which she used in her article. It's quite interesting. I've always said there should be a debate on this, and I'm pleased that we actually got to call on this debate.

Forcing debate about immigration and foreign workers is often a thankless task. No-one knows this more than me. When you bring up facts such as more than half of the nation's population growth since 2005 has come from overseas migration, you get called a racist. When you explain that instead of flooding Australia with migrants to drive economic growth we should be increasing productivity or investing in skills and training, people call you xenophobic. When you make commonsense statements like, 'Australians should get a fair go and the first go at jobs,' people call you a white supremacist. When you argue, like Senator Keneally did the other day, that once Australia restarts its immigration program migrants must not return to Australia in the same numbers and in the same composition as before the coronavirus crisis, people might even accuse you of stealing One Nation policy.

This is why I today want to say thank you to Labor's shadow immigration minister, Kristina Keneally. I know she will not be getting much support from her Labor colleagues. Reading through some of the recent comments made by Senator Keneally, I can only assume she has spent much of her time in quarantine reading through my speeches from 1996 and taking copious notes, because so much of what she said could have been taken from comments and arguments I've made over the past 24 years. Perhaps Senator Keneally may want to make an admission here today that she's a closet One Nation supporter. I know it took Mark Latham a couple of decades to come out of the One Nation closet, but look how great he's doing! He's a new man and loving it, and so are the Australian people.

Today I want to reassure the Senate that if Senator Keneally wants to cross the floor in support of her own comments and finds herself thrown out of the Labor Party for breaking ranks, I will always have a position in my office for talented immigration speechwriters such as herself. I know I don't often get a chance to congratulate my Labor Senate colleagues, but I always give credit where credit is due. Credit is due, because, by revealing herself as a convert to One Nation's position on immigration, Senator Keneally has proven that what I have long said is true: so powerful are my arguments on immigration that even a staunch opponent of One Nation like Senator Keneally will eventually be dragged kicking and screaming to support cuts to immigration and cuts to foreign workers. I know there are many in the Labor Party, and even more among Labor's allies and the unions, who agree with my position on immigration and foreign workers behind closed doors but refuse to speak the truth publicly out of fear of being called a racist or some other meaningless insult.

Right now, due to coronavirus, there are millions of Australians unemployed or underemployed. These are the people we need to look after, not foreign workers. This is the debate we need to have. We can't go back to our old immigration program. Australians have a right to a job and to a way of life that is not tied to welfare handouts. For decades, the coalition and Labor parties have used mass migration and foreign workers to artificially pump up economic growth. For decades they have cynically used insults and slurs to try and shut down this debate. For decades they have refused to admit that this is creating problems with increased demand on our limited services, housing affordability, unemployment and underemployment, wage stagnation and congestion in our cities. Senator Keneally and I have now warned each and every one of you that if we continue down the same path, the path of mass migration and foreign workers, our economy will come crashing down. I moved a notice of motion today on the floor of parliament, and I'll just read out some of the comments in this notice of motion:

… relying on high levels of immigration to boost the population to fuel economic growth is arguably a lazy approach letting lots of migrants come to Australia to drive economic growth rather than increasing productivity or investing in skills and training is a lazy approach instead of letting lots of migrants come to Australia to drive economic growth, we should be increasing productivity or investing in skills and training as at June 2019, there were 2.1 million temporary visa holders in Australia Australia hosts the second-largest migrant workforce in the OECD, second in total number only to the US one in five chefs, one in four cooks, one in six hospitality workers, and one in 10 nursing support and personal care workers in Australia hold a temporary visa …

Another one says: when Australia restarts its immigration program, we must understand that migration is a key economic policy lever that can help or harm Australian workers in the economic recovery and beyond …

Senator Davey talks about regional areas. It says here: we must also ensure that regional areas don't only get transient people but community members who will settle down, buy houses, start businesses and send their kids to the local school …

The whole fact is that Labor said I was pulling a stunt. No. All those words were from Senator Keneally, from her article. That was from Labor's shadow minister for immigration, yet they said I was pulling a political stunt. No, I wasn't pulling a political stunt. The fact is that I called Labor out for what this is: they themselves pulled a political stunt. Keneally was the one that actually made those comments, but Labor clearly do not stand by them, because they did not support the notice of motion today. So who's really pulled a political stunt? They use it when it suits them. As I've said, high immigration props up our economy and has been used by both the major political parties.

And I will make a comment about Senator Faruqi today saying that One Nation stands by white supremacy. At no point have we ever. I'm sick of the lies put across in this chamber with regard to One Nation, and I'm going to call that out for what it is. I encourage people to go to One Nation's website and look at our immigration policy, which is nondiscriminatory. That is purely a lie. To talk about immigration policy, we need a debate; Australians want the debate. The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT ( Senator Brockman ): That concludes this matter of public importance.

https://www.aph.gov.au/nAttribution: Parliament of Australia

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