Hanson: ‘You can’t blame the whites’
Pauline Hanson has blamed shocking outcomes for Indigenous Australians on Aboriginal people not taking responsibility for themselves.
Labor and Greens senators slammed her for racism after the One Nation leader branded Closing the Gap "complete rubbish" and a "joke".
"The biggest problem facing Australian and Aboriginal Australians today is their own lack of commitment and responsibility to helping themselves," Ms Hanson told parliament on Wednesday.
She attacked Indigenous mums and dads for being behind poor school attendances, noting one school with 400 children enrolled often had a 50 per cent attendance rate.
"Whose fault is that? Lazy parents. You can't blame the whites when it's your own negligence," the senator said.
Labor frontbencher Jenny McAllister said Ms Hanson's speech was not OK. "Her racist comments - and they are racist - have no place in this chamber," she told the upper house.
Greens Senate leader Larissa Waters apologised to anyone listening to the Queensland senator, saying a code of conduct was needed to stop hate speech in parliament. "It's the racism that we've come to expect from her and her party," she said. "They don't reflect the sentiment of this chamber or (the) vast majority of Australians."
Ms Hanson insisted she was speaking on behalf of "quiet Australians" and claimed her comments were echoed by many Indigenous people that meet with her.
"When you spend billions of dollars a year on any group of people you expect outcomes but sadly those billions have gone to the nonproductive, unrepentant Aboriginal industry," she said.
She said Closing the Gap was a marketing term used by politicians and bureaucrats to pretend they're doing something to "lift remote First Nations people out of their self-perpetuating hellholes".
The One Nation leader said Indigenous people should "stop playing the victim".
"If you want to close the gap, start taking some responsibility for your own people," Ms Hanson said.
"We've provided the schools - it's now up to you to send your own kids to school. 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."
Ms Hanson has been criticised throughout her career for racism but denies she discriminates against people.