Indigenous program a ‘billion-dollar handout’: Hanson

 

A NON-apologetic Pauline Hanson said drunk and drug-addicted Aboriginal parents were failing their children in a sharp contradiction to the grieving shared in Parliament yesterday over failing indigenous targets.

In her most controversial speech since she declared in 1996, "I believe we are in danger of being swamped by Asians", Senator Hanson shouted down the guilt imposed on "whites".

Prime Minister Scott Morrison yesterday unveiled the Closing the Gap annual report, which found only two of its seven targets were being met.

Senator Hanson later said the Closing The Gap report was "complete rubbish".

" … And my thoughts are echoed by many Aboriginals who take the time to meet with me. When you spend billions of dollars a year on any group of people - you expect outcomes," she said.

"(There are Australians) who have had a gutful of the billion-dollar handouts with very little to show for it.

One Nation leader Pauline Hanson said the Closing the Gap program was a billion-dollar handout. Picture: AAP Image/Mick Tsikas
One Nation leader Pauline Hanson said the Closing the Gap program was a billion-dollar handout. Picture: AAP Image/Mick Tsikas

"If you want to close the gap - start taking some responsibility for your own people. As the old saying goes, you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink.

"We've provided the schools - it's now up to you to send your own kids to school.

"We've provided the jobs - but it's up to you to turn up when you're rostered on - not when it suits."

Senator Hanson said it was also indigenous Australians' responsibility to "stay off the grog and the drugs".

"Far too many Aboriginal kids are fearful of their alcoholic parents and family members who prey on their vulnerability," she said.

"And those Aboriginal children in my home state of Queensland … remain vulnerable to sexual assault and a life of petrol and paint sniffing under the current weak plans by our federal and state governments."

Senator Hanson praised some communities trying to break the cycle of poverty and said she had met with them to hear their stories.

Within seconds, Senator Hanson was lambasted by others in the Upper House.

Greens Senator Larrissa Waters said the speech reflected racism that had come to be expected from One Nation.

"I would like to apologise on her behalf for the offence that was likely caused to many listeners to those words," she said.

Labor Senator Jenny McAllister accused Senator Hanson of dedicating her public life to lowering the tone of every debate.

"Her racist comments, and they are racist, have no place in this chamber," she said. "Our First Nations people have endured far worse over the years and I have faith in their strength and their resilience."