Australia

Pauline Hanson: Australian anti-Islam senator criticised

Australian senator-elect Pauline Hanson Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Australian senator-elect Pauline Hanson has outlined a series of protectionist and anti-immigration positions at her first post-election press conference

Comments made by Australian senator-elect Pauline Hanson could lead to violence, according to the country's racial discrimination commissioner.

Ms Hanson won a Senate seat in Australia's recent election, and has called for an inquiry into Islam and "zero-net" migration.

She also repeated claims that Australia was being "swamped by Asians".

Her One Nation party could win several Senate seats once votes are counted.

"We have plenty of examples about how licensing hate can lead to serious violence and ugliness in our streets and communities," racial discrimination commissioner Tim Soutphommasane said, according to the Australian Broadcasting Corp.

"We shouldn't be doing anything to compromise the remarkable success story of Australian multiculturalism," he said.

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Neither of Australia's major parties have been able to form a majority government after Saturday's election, and whoever can once the count is finalised will likely need to negotiate with Ms Hanson and other minor party senators to pass legislation.

A record number of Australians voted for minor parties such as One Nation, with commentators speculating that she secured a conservative vote that would have traditionally gone to the Liberal-National coalition government.

Islam inquiry

During a news conference Ms Hanson said she was "not sold" on climate change, and was against foreign ownership of Australian agricultural land.

She also called for a royal commission into Islam, said no new mosques should be built in Australia and suggested existing mosques should face increased surveillance.

However, she said her policy priorities would be a royal commission into the banking sector and reform of the family court system, which makes decisions on child-custody disputes.

Ms Hanson first entered Australia's lower house as an independent MP in 1996, using her maiden speech to warn that Australia was at risk of being "swamped by Asians".

She repeated this view after her recent election victory, saying "a lot of Australians feel Asians are buying up prime agricultural land, housing".

Her "zero-net" migration policy would mean the number of people moving to Australia from overseas could be no greater than the amount of people leaving.

Counting of votes resumes on Tuesday and could see one of the major parties secure the 76 seats required to form a majority in Australia's House of Representatives.

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