Queensland senator Fraser Anning called for a ‘final solution to the immigration problem’ whilst making his maiden speech.
Anning delivered what is arguably the most inflammatory speech in the Australian parliament since leader of the far-right One Nation Party, Pauline Hanson delivered hers in 1996.
Anning, formerly of Australia’s One Nation party himself addressed the demise of ‘predominantly European identity’ in Australian society.
Anning expressed support for the White Australia policy that aimed to prevent non-white European immigration from the nation’s federation in 1901 until it was dismantled as a policy in the 1960s and 1970s.
To address the issue of immigration Anning proposed a cut to the annual migrant intake, whilst also returning to a system of discrimination based on race.
The senator also addressed what he called Australia’s first terrorist attack, a 1915 gun attack on a train in Broken Hill, further claiming that ‘Muslim immigrants have been a problem ever since’.
Anning cited ‘black African Muslim gangs terrorising Melbourne’ during the speech, however, provided little in the way of evidence besides professing that the problem was ‘self-evident’.
He also claimed that ‘whilst all Muslim’s are not terrorists, certainly all terrorists these days are Muslim’.
Despite his inflammatory Islamophobic language, it is his final solution remarks that are sparking the most criticism.
Labor frontbencher Chris Bowen said the use of the term was ‘utterly unacceptable’, a sentiment that is difficult to disagree with.
Despite the criticism, Anning has hit back, saying that his words on the ‘final-solution’ have been taken out of context to shut down a necessary debate on immigration.
Anning’s speech is a clear sign that despite Australia’s strong relationship with much of Asia, racism and bigotry is still as big a problem as it is across much of the western world.