It is clear Pauline Hanson is often misrepresented by the press and the recent headlines that suggest she questioned Aboriginal Australians rights to vote is yet another example of selective reporting. Is this because of the search for what will be the most inflammatory or is it just that some members of the press pick out of context what they believe will do the most damage to Pauline Hanson?
I have not and would not question the right to vote of any Australian citizen. What I question is whether Australians would have thought twice about their vote in the 1967 referendum if they had known their attempt to bring about equality was going to cause the pendulum to go the other way.
The main point of the 1967 referendum was the change of section 51 of the constitution that allowed the government to make special laws with respect to Aborigines. It is from this that successive governments have created race based policies such as Abstudy and 1.5% loans for Aboriginals starting businesses.
Aboriginal Australians like all Australians should and do have the right to vote but no one should be treated differently on the basis of race - all Australians should be treated equally and the same. I am quite certain that if Australians had understood where the 1967 referendum would lead, many would have voted differently.
These special laws based on race have led to reverse discrimination and the rorting of taxpayers money without helping the Aborigines in most need. We must assist Aborigines, but as Australians in need, not on the basis of race. We must not make laws that set Australians apart and are open to abuse by those who pretend to look after the Aboriginal people.
It is often reported that I want to take benefits from Aboriginal people, that is not correct and never was correct. It is true many Aboriginal people are seriously disadvantaged but they do not have a monopoly on being disadvantaged and should not be singled out on the basis of race. Everyone should be assisted on the basis of need.
Statement issued by Pauline Hanson MP, member for Oxley