It is unfortunate that those who protest against One nation and me have not extended to my supporters the same courtesy that has been extended to them. I call upon those who oppose us to respect everyone's right to freedom of speech, and that just as we do not disrupt their rallies, they will allow us to hold our meetings free of disruptions.
With regard to Manly Council's involvement, it is indeed a distasteful and irresponsible act for a local council to sponsor, and in many ways associate themselves with the organisation of political protests such as this. I would suggest that councillors resist the temptation of letting their personal political views overcome their charter of responsibility and the management of their level of government.
We each have the right to an opinion. We each have the right to be heard. Yesterday's highly staged and politicised demonstration against One Nation and me allowed those who oppose us to express their views - there was no staged demonstration against them. Surely it is not too much to ask that those who wish to hear me be afforded the same right of assembly and with equal tolerance and courtesy.
This is Australia - we settle our political differences at the ballot box, not in the boxing ring, and I will do all I can to assure that's how it stays. I hope the message gets across and that those who oppose me will allow me to speak to those who come to listen, in an atmosphere completely free of violence and abuse."
Statement issued by Pauline Hanson MP, Member for Oxley