Independent Senator Fraser Anning in the Senate chamber yesterday. Picture: AAP
Independent Senator Fraser Anning in the Senate chamber yesterday. Picture: AAP

‘Abberation’ Anning to be censured

PARIAH senator Fraser Anning will be formally censured by parliament today over hateful remarks he made following the Christchurch massacre.

It will be one of the first items of business when the Senate meets from 9.30am.

The censure comes after NZ deputy leader Winston Peters said: "I could call him a four-flushing, jingoistic moron, but you already know that in Australia

"He is a national, absolute, democratic aberration. We all know why he's there. He's there by pure accident," he said on Sky News yesterday.

Senator Anning drew international rebuke for remarks he made immediately following the massacre.

"The real cause of bloodshed on New Zealand streets today is the immigration program which allowed Muslim fanatics to migrate to New Zealand in the first place," Senator Anning wrote in a media release.

 

Senator Fraser Anning arrives at Parliament House today in Canberra. Senator Anning is facing a censure motion over his comments following the Christchurch terror attack. Picture: Tracey Nearmy/Getty
Senator Fraser Anning arrives at Parliament House today in Canberra. Senator Anning is facing a censure motion over his comments following the Christchurch terror attack. Picture: Tracey Nearmy/Getty

 

RISING BACKLASH

Senator Anning copped a cracked egg on the head from a young protester the following day.

Yesterday Senator Anning used Question Time to complain that his rights of free speech had been impeded and he had been subjected to political violence from the egg attack.

Trade Minister Simon Birmingham, acting as government leader, rounded on him.

"The lack of compassion you have shown demonstrates, frankly, a basic lack of basic humanity," said Senator Birmingham, who said the Queensland senator had failed "the test of character".

"Lives were lost, families were ruined, a community was devastated and, rather than rightly reflecting upon the terrible act that occurred and the loss of life that occurred, you instead acted in a way that was inflammatory, that was divisive and that, indeed, fuels, potentially, further acts of terror and violence."

 

ANNING TURNS HIS BACK

Earlier, during a condolence motion condemning the Christchurch massacre and offering sorrow and support to New Zealand, Senator Anning left the chamber before others stood in silence to support the motion.

Senator Anning was not named during the condolence motion but some senators said the worst hatred seen in the aftermath of Christchurch came from one of their own.

Liberal and Labor Senate leaders Mathias Cormann and Penny Wong kept away from attacking Senator Anning during the condolence motion, but Greens senator Richard Di Natale could not hold back.

 

Senator Fraser Anning is being increasingly isolated. Picture Gary Ramage
Senator Fraser Anning is being increasingly isolated. Picture Gary Ramage

 

"We must all face up to the uncomfortable truths how racism and xenophobia have been exploited by the voices of hate, those who seek to divide us," said Mr Di Natale.

"And there is no escaping it, Mr President, some of those voices reside here in this chamber."

Labor senator Larissa Walters rose to speak "as a Queenslander, and I think that's important given the extremely hurtful remarks that were made in the wake of this incident by some other representatives of my beautiful and warm-hearted state."

Senator Anning left the chamber when Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young spoke in condolence.

 

Australian senator Fraser Anning, center, bows his head in the chamber at the start of the senate session yesterday. Picture: AP
Australian senator Fraser Anning, center, bows his head in the chamber at the start of the senate session yesterday. Picture: AP

 

"Some people in this place have sought to use what happened in New Zealand for their own political gain," she said. "Nastiness, vulgar statements. And while today is not the day to take action on that, the day will come."

Senator Pauline Hanson was not in the chamber, being reportedly ill, but her party colleague Peter Georgiou - another beneficiary of a colleague who fell foul of electoral law - kept it brief.

"I would like to state on the record as a One Nation senator in West Australia I condemn the terror, pain and violence inflicted on Christchurch last month, which caused the loss of 50 lives and hurt so many more," he said.

"I offer my condolences to all the families affected and to the people of Christchurch."


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