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MPs take Hanson to task over speech

AAP logoAAP 14/09/2016

Pauline Hanson has been labelled a "one-trick pony" as federal MPs react to the One Nation leader's explosive first speech to the Senate in which she warned Australia is being swamped by Muslims.

Labor backbencher Graham Perrett condemned the senator for peddling division and fear.

"She's a one-trick pony, and that trick is fear and division," he told reporters in Canberra on Thursday.

Senator Hanson called for a ban on Muslim immigration, as well as a halt to all immigration.

"We are in danger of being swamped by Muslims who bear a culture and ideology that is incompatible with our own," she told parliament

"If we don't make changes now there will be no hope in the future.

"Have no doubt we will be living under Sharia law and treated as second-class citizens with second-class rights if we keep heading down the path with the attitude 'she'll be right mate'."

Labor frontbencher Linda Burney said Senator Hanson's speech was "outdated, outmoded, inaccurate and pretty outrageous".

She condemned the senator for blaming domestic violence victims for their plight.

"We will not tolerate hate speech, we will not tolerate racism and we certainly will not ever endorse the idea that family violence is acceptable," Ms Burney said.

Liberal frontbencher Craig Laundy, who represents the multicultural Sydney seat of Reid, reminded people that parliament was a contest of ideas and acknowledged some people would take exception to what Senator Hanson said.

The best way to combat such views was to "continue to live shoulder to shoulder" in harmony.

"You're entitled to an opinion in Australia - that's freedom of speech," he said.

Greens leader Richard Di Natale defended his party's walkout during what he called a "vulgar speech".

"We wouldn't dignify it by staying in there," he told Sky News.

Labor frontbencher Tony Burke says the silliest argument anyone could make about Senator Hanson was to claim she was stupid.

"She is smart. She is strategic. She is calculating," he said.

"Pauline Hanson wanted the exact conversation across Australia that we're having now, that the media is running now."

Labor colleague Penny Wong said prejudice and fear could tear a community apart, but it could never build one.

"Which country in the world has ever become stronger and safer through targeting a group of people because of their ethnicity or their religion? None," she told reporters.

Independent senator Derryn Hinch called the Greens' walk-out "disgusting" despite strongly disagreeing with Senator Hanson's comments on Muslims.

"We didn't ban all Catholics when the IRA was blowing up restaurants in London," he said.

Another independent, Nick Xenophon, hoped it wouldn't take 20 years for Senator Hanson to again admit she'd been wrong about minorities.

"Pauline Hanson, years after making her 1996 maiden speech in the House of Representatives, said that she was wrong about Australian being swamped by Asians," he said.

"She regretted those remarks. I just hope that it won't take 20 years for her to regret her remarks about Muslim Australians."

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