Pauline Hanson blasts aboriginal people as 'lazy' and 'negligent' in controversial speech

The One Nation leader's comments have been condemned by fellow politicians.
The One Nation leader's comments have been condemned by fellow politicians. Photo credit: Watch parliament

A Queensland politician has shocked fellow MPs with comments claiming aboriginal people are disadvantaging themselves out of "negligence".

Leader of One Nation Pauline Hanson was speaking in parliament on Wednesday when she made the controversial comments.

The comments, which have been labelled as "racist" by fellow politicians, were made during discussion about the Closing the Gap strategy which aims to reduce disadvantage among people of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander descent. 

The Australian senator said the way the initiative was being handled was "complete rubbish". Hanson said the Government couldn't make the lives of aboriginal people better if they did not want to change.

"The biggest problem facing Aboriginal Australians today is their own lack of commitment and responsibility to helping themselves."

"If you want to close the gap, start taking some responsibility for your own people," she said.

"We've provided the jobs, but it's up to you to turn up when you're rostered on, not when it suits. It's up to the Aboriginals to stay off the grog and the drugs."

She used the example of children being able to get free meals at school, but the kids not turning up to take advantage of the initiative.

"Whose fault is that? Lazy parents. You can't blame the whites when it's your own negligence," she said.

"We can throw all the money in the world at building these schools, with three meals a day for $2 to make sure Aboriginal kids are given a wholesome meal while they're at school, but, if they don't turn up, how do they get ahead in life?"

Hanson argued that the money from the initiative would be better spent elsewhere.

"When you spend billions of dollars a year on any group of people, you expect outcomes. Sadly, those billions have gone to the non-productive, unrepentant Aboriginal industry," she said.

Hanson said she was speaking on behalf of 'quiet Australians' and claimed her thoughts were echoed by many aboriginals who had met with her.

Labour Frontbencher Jenny McAllister said Hanson's comments were not acceptable, according to the Canberra Times. 

"Her racist comments - and they are racist - have no place in this chamber," she said.

Greens Senate Leader Larissa Waters agreed and called for a code of conduct to stop hate speech in parliament. 

"It's the racism that we've come to expect from her and her party," she was reported as saying.

"They don't reflect the sentiment of this chamber or the vast majority of Australians."

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