Australian MPs condemn Fraser Anning for 'final solution' Muslim ban speech

4:55 pm on 15 August 2018

Australian MPs have widely condemned senator Fraser Anning for advocating a return to the White Australia policy and using a Nazi phrase, but he is unapologetic.

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull described the senator's comments as a "shocking insult" to those who died in the Holocaust. Photo: AFP

Mr Anning used his maiden speech last night to call 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 used the phrase "final solution", which was the phrase used by the Nazis under Adolf Hitler which meant annihilating Jewish people from Europe.

He called for a national vote on who should be allowed to enter the country.

"The final solution to the immigration problem is of course a popular vote," he told Parliament.

It has been strongly criticised by politicians from across the divide in both chambers, with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull describing the "final solution" comment as a "shocking insult" to those who died in the Holocaust.

But Mr Anning was unmoved and his party leader Bob Katter called the speech "magnificent" and "solid gold".

Mr Katter said he discussed the speech with Mr Anning before he delivered it.

"His speech was absolutely magnificent and it's everything that this country should be doing."

When challenged this morning on the use of the term Mr Anning told Channel Nine he "didn't even think about that funnily enough".

"I know that Mr Frydenberg earlier on had a go at me on that but the fact is all I said was the final solution to the immigration problem is a vote of the Australian people," Mr Anning said.

"That has nothing to do with 'the final solution', the thought police got onto that.

"Good men died for our right to say whatever we wanted to say and use whatever words we want to use. If people want to take it of context that is entirely up to them.

"It was never meant to denigrate the Jewish community, it is two words and if that offends anyone unfortunately that is the way it has to be.

"I don't regret anything, I am not going to apologise or regret anything that I say."

'It was Pauline Hanson on steroids': Hinch

Mr Anning joined Parliament last year as a One Nation senator but has since defected to Katter's Australian Party.

Crossbench senator Derryn Hinch was sitting in the Upper House listening to the speech and said it was excruciating.

"It was Pauline Hanson on steroids," he told the ABC's AM program.

"There was hardly a group of Australians he did not offend unless you were close to being a member of the Ku Klux Klan."

He later told the Senate he deeply regretted shaking Mr Anning's hand after he gave the speech last night.

He said he followed protocol "and shook this unworthy man's hand I then went home and washed my own".

Mr Hinch called it one of the most "disgraceful, racist, homophobic, divisive, misogynist, spiteful hateful speeches" he had ever heard.

Hanson found speech 'appalling', offended by comparison

Senator Hanson took offence at Derryn Hinch referring to Senator Anning's words as "Pauline Hanson on steroids".

"I am appalled by Fraser Anning's speech," she said.

She was not in the Upper House when Mr Anning gave the speech last night and criticised the senators who were there and chose to shake his hand.

"How gutless are members in this Parliament? The fact is if you were so appalled you should have got up and walked out of the place," Ms Hanson said.

Parliament stops short of censuring Mr Anning's comments

The Greens moved a motion in the Upper House to censure Mr Anning over his comments, but it did not get enough support to pass.

The Senate did, however, pass a motion recognising the merits of immigration and multiculturalism, and a similar motion was moved in the House of Representatives.

Many MPs and senators spoke during the debate over those motions, in shared condemnation of Mr Anning's speech.

The Prime Minister rejected Mr Anning's repeated references to Islamic terrorism as a reason to end Muslim migration.

"The vast majority of the victims of Islamist terrorism are Muslims," Mr Turnbull said.

"Let's be quite clear: those who seek to demonise all Muslims on the basis of the crimes of a tiny minority are helping the terrorists.

"Be very clear about this. I say this as Prime Minister, whose most solemn responsibility is to keep Australians safe."

Cabinet Minister Josh Frydenberg had relatives who went through the Holocaust and this morning slammed the words as ignorant, insensitive, divisive and hurtful.

"The Nazi war machine was responsible for the deaths of more than 10 million innocent lives including 6 million Jews and 1.5 million children," Mr Frydenberg said.

Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton told Parliament he strongly supported the motion moved by Labor to condemn racism.

"All of us unite together to fight against the scourge of racism," he said.

Labor MP Anne Aly, who is a Muslim, broke down as she spoke during a motion supporting Australia's non-discriminatory immigration policy.

Ms Aly told Parliament she was proud of the response from all sides of politics against Mr Anning's speech.

But she said she was sick of being forced to defend multiculturalism.

"I'm tired of fighting, I'm tired of having to stand up against hate, against vilification, time and time and time again," Ms Aly said.

Shadow Multicultural Minister Tony Burke gave a passionate speech in response to Mr Anning.

"There has to be a point when this Parliament says enough, and if we haven't reached that point tonight then for some of us there is apparently no limit at all," he said.