Opinion

I dare Pauline Hanson to stand up for Australians

STREET LIFE: There are plenty doing it rough on the streets in a rapidly growing problem.
STREET LIFE: There are plenty doing it rough on the streets in a rapidly growing problem. Scottie Simmonds

I UNDERSTAND there are nuances within Federal Parliament.

Quirky and 'unwritten rules' that many abide by when it comes to traditions and gestures of respect for symbolic events.

But Pauline Hanson's second-go at a maiden Senate speech should not have been an event that came under any of those categories.

She received standing applause, embraces and nods of approval from a number within the Senate for a speech that only inflated growing ideological tensions within Australian communities through its bigotry, inflammatory tone and flagrant disregard for a pillar of social cohesion. Respect.

To the uneducated she markets herself as the 'Australian' alternative.

The last bastion of red-haired reason against the onslaught that supposedly awaits us if multiculturalism is to flourish.

Sadly there are voters blind to her political opportunism and others equally as ready as the outspoken former fish and chip shop owner to judge masses on the actions of a few.

If Ms Hanson is truly for Australia, why not really show it?

According to Australian Bureau of Statistics' Census data, about 1.5% of the Australian population in 2001 was Muslim.

Surprisingly, and possibly a statistic that could blown Hanson's mind, 36% of all Muslims in Australia were born here 15 years ago.

According to the 2011 Census, 2.2% of the population identified as being of Islamic faith.

The amount of people of Islamic faith (the second-fastest growing religion from 2006-2011) in Australia grew by less than 200,000 in the 10 years from 2001-2011.

So Ms Hanson's hate-fuelled speech is driven by her love of Australia and the need to quash a movement that has grown less than 1% in 10 years.

It's a shame her standing up for Australians doesn't reach as far as those less fortunate.

Homelessness Australia's summary of the 2011 Census data showed there were more than 105,000 homeless people in Australia in 2012, one in 200 people on any given night.

In the five years from 2006-2011, the organisation identified a staggering rate of increase of homelessness.

Queensland (-5.1%) and the Northern Territory (-7.8%) were the only two states or territories to record a decline. In New South Wales, homelessness grew by 20.4% from 2006-2011, behind only Victoria (up 20.7%), Tasmania (up 32.9%) and the ACT (up 70.6%).

One might conclude the rate of homelessness may be more deserving of attention than a scaremongering platform.

I dare you to actually stick up for Australians Pauline and shine a light on a real problem rather than just fuelling the fires of fear.

Topics:  column, federal politics, federal politics 2016, opinion, senate



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