PAULINE Hanson says accusations of racism and xenophobia flung at during her first tilt at federal politics will not mar her chances of being elected or hang around the Senate hopeful’s head.
“It hangs around Tony Abbott’s head because he is terrified of having me in Parliament because I’m going to speak out about issues that both Liberal and Labor don’t want the people to know,” she said.
“Liberal and Labor have treated the Australian people like mushrooms ... they shit on us and keep us in the dark.”
Although 17 years have past since she first entered federal politics in the lower house, Ms Hanson’s platform remains similar.
“I’m very strong on the boat people,” she said.
“We need to take control of our borders and people coming into Australia.”
She says the current situation is Kevin Rudd’s fault for scrapping John Howard’s Pacific Solution and introducing the “Band-Aid” Manus Island PNG model.
Ms Hanson’s suggestion - going directly to Indonesia, but not to take-up Tony Abbott’s “ridiculous” idea of buying back the boats.
“If you have a look at them, they don’t look like refugees to me,” she said.
“I’ve seen so many of them that are built like tanks.”
Asylum seekers who have already been resettled in Australia should be reviewed and family reunions scrapped.
Her hard line on indigenous people, when a member of the lower house, was also controversial, but she makes no apologies and says she has since been vindicated by indigenous elders.
“I said years ago that alcohol and welfare was killing them, I got called racist,” she said.
“[Aboriginal activist] Noel Pearson comes out and says it, he gets a pat on the back.”
Ms Hanson said the government needed to work with indigenous people, but also needed to treat everyone the same when it came to crime.
“Don’t just give them a slap on the wrist and let them go because no one wants to do anything because they’re indigenous, it’s wrong,” she said.
While her old ways haven’t wavered she’s spruiking new policies too.
Under 38-year-olds should be able to use their superannuation for a deposit on their first home and financial assistance for apprentices should be stepped up to avoid the reliance on skilled migrants on 457 visas.
She would also push for the number of House of Representative seats to be slashed by 20 per cent, and the introduction of ID cards to wipe out fraudulent voting.
Foreign ownership of agricultural land has to be stopped and she’s “terrified” about the potential privatisation of water.
Despite agreeing with the Coalition on core policies such as scrapping the carbon tax/ETS (she admits to being a climate change sceptic) and stopping the boats, Ms Hanson insists she offers an alternative for alienated voters.
She also opposes same-sex marriage, but suggests a referendum to ask voters if they support same-sex “unions”.
New parties that have sprung up since she left Canberra, including the Palmer United Party and Katter’s Australia Party, are indicators of public dissatisfaction, she says, not competitors.
“I don’t think Kevin Rudd or Tony Abbott have any leadership qualities ... or any vision for this country,” she said.