Freedom of speech, freedom of assembly
and freedom of the press

26th June

In recent times it has become obvious that many of the freedoms enjoyed by Australians are more than under threat. Freedom of speech and freedom of assembly are under attack from extremists whose, "ends justify the means" approach, must be a concern for all Australians who believe in democracy.

In the last few weeks, there have been many incidents that can only be described as an assault on the Australian way of life. Suddenly, now that Australians once again feel free to talk about the issues that political correctness had expelled from public debate, we find the dangerous and misguided enemies of all we hold dear popping up to oppose the freedom of speech and the freedom of assembly of anyone who has a different view.

It is becoming clear there is an element of intervention occurring through government authorities as well as the obvious manipulation and sometimes intimidation attempted by minority interest groups. Some Local Government Mayors and Councillors have done there level best to thwart my supporters from their right to hold meetings - some of which were simple branch formation meetings without my attendance. These formation meetings have as much right to occur as any that would be held by Liberal, Labor and others.

The recent impediments to the formation of the first One Nation branch in Canberra smacks of obstruction by local authorities. The Mayor of Wyndham in Victoria, emphasises he has done everything in his power to prohibit Australians from having their right to assembly. All Australians should be grateful this man did not have enough power to stop those Australians who want to attend, listen and have their say. This Mayor is one who should never be allowed an influence in public life for he is unable to divorce his own beliefs from decisions affecting the rights of those who may not hold the same views he holds.

It is incumbent on leaders of all kinds in our community to never allow their prejudice or personal views to darken the fairness of decision making. This is equally true in the issue of cross media ownership and the conflict of interest that may exist between big business and our country's shadowy political powerbrokers. I know many journalists are in fear of not only losing their ability to be even handed in their reporting, but possibly their careers.

While the freedom enjoyed by the press carries with it the responsibilities not adhered to by all journalists, that essential freedom to honestly report what is of genuine public interest or concern must be maintained through a situation of independence, and not be allowed to in any way to be influenced by one or two powerful individuals. The Australian people have reason to be concerned by any decision that may lead to any form of conflict or potential monopoly. I urge our current government to be very careful with the issue of media.

Statement issued by Pauline Hanson MP, member for Oxley.

One Nation - Pauline Hanson's One Nation Press Releases.

© Pauline Hanson's One Nation, 1997.