Hanson claims credit for Nationals debate over burqa ban stance

Federal Nationals MP George Christensen is proposing a motion at the party’s federal conference this weekend that calls for a ban on wearing the burqa and niqab in public.

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He argues the Islamic garments are not conducive to the Australian way of life.

Senator Hanson, who controversially wore a burqa in parliament, believes the Nationals are falling in behind her campaign to ban the garment.

“After polls showed majority support for my actions Nationals have followed my lead & will vote on banning the oppressive burqa,” she tweeted on Wednesday.

After polls showed majority support for my actions Nationals have followed my lead & will vote on banning the oppressive burqa. -PH #auspol

— Pauline Hanson (@PaulineHansonOz) September 5, 2017

Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce is predicting a “jolly good debate” at the conference, but won’t say how he will vote.

“I’m never going to stand in the way of democracy but whether I support (the motion) is something completely different,” he told reporters in Canberra on Wednesday.

Nationals senator Bridget McKenzie expects a vigorous debate saying the supported and valued religious freedom.

“But we’re also very keen to ensure the safety and security of Australians,” she said.

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Nationals MP David Gillespie argued the burqa was not a religious garment.

“In most of Australia, people like to see people’s faces. I can appreciate the sentiment. In Islamic countries, it’s the norm but here it’s not,” he said.

Labor deputy leader Tanya Plibersek said having governments tell people what to wear was not on other than for specific situations where people need to be identified.

0:00 Frydenberg says he won’t back burqa ban Share Frydenberg says he won’t back burqa ban

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“Do (the Nationals) really think it’s convincing to say they support freedom of speech but they don’t support the freedom to wear what you want if you’re a woman in Australia?”

Liberal MP Trevor Evans doesn’t believe in banning things “full stop”.

“Blanket bans are poor and clunky policy and we live in a country where we should be trying to support freedom,” he said.

Greens MP Adam Bandt said Australia was meant to be a place where people respected beliefs different to their own.

“If the Nationals want to turn Australia into a place where everyone thinks the same thing and isn’t allowed to practice the religion they want then the Nationals want to turn Australia into a very different country,” he said.