Senator Fraser Anning has been ordered by his party leader Bob Katter the rest of the Katter Australian Party Executive to stop talking about immigration issues after the failure of his immigration plebiscite proposal in the Senate yesterday.
Anning had first called for a plebiscite on Australia’s future immigration program in his maiden speech where he notably called his proposal a ‘final solution’. His bill tabled to the Senate would have given the Australian people a vote to restrict non-European and Muslim immigration to Australia. Anning said of his bill “I can’t think of anything more democratic than that but apparently everyone else in this room can.”
Anning tried to postpone debate on his bill until next month but all the major parties referred the deferral and put the bill to a vote immediately. It was defeated on the voices and Senator Anning’s call for a division which would have recorded who voted for the bill was not supported.
The vote on Anning’s immigration plebiscite bill came in the same week as One Nation leader Pauline Hanson’s ‘It’s okay to be white’ motion which the government claimed it only voted in favour of due to an ‘administration error’. The Government made sure they voted down Senator Anning’s bill with Government Senate Leader Mathias Cormann stating “Australia has got a very proud track record over many decades now of welcoming people to Australia from all corners of the world”
The rest of the right wing Senate crossbench voted for Hanson’s motion including Senator Anning but still took a swipe at his former party leader for not being authentic about her concern about anti-white racism “to say it’s OK to be white and remain silent on the issue of who comes here, is at best a truism and at worst, disingenuous” arguing that “It gives the impression of supporting European Australia when in fact you’re not engaging with the real issue”.
But Anning’s pursuit of immigration issues and his rhetoric about preserving European Australia has raised the ire of the Katter Party leadership. Party leader Bob Katter initially defended him after his maiden speech by calling it a “magnificent speech”.
However appearing on Sky News yesterday lunchtime Katter said he had enough of Anning talking about immigration “I have made it perfectly clear to Fraser Anning there’s no more going down this pathway. This is an anti-racist party”. The party President Shane Paulger was reported to have “expressed some very grave reservations” about Senator Anning’s direction.
Anning also has a strong social media presence where he has attacked migrant crime, foreign aid, globalism and foreign investment. He recently also strongly attacked the Safe Schools program calling it “disgusting garbage” designed by “commo perverts” who 50 years ago “would probably have been strung up”.
Anning joined Katter’s Australian Party in June this year before his maiden speech was delivered. He was elected as a replacement for One Nation Senator Malcolm Roberts in November 2017 who was found to be dual citizen. Anning’s Senate term expires in June 2019.
If he does part ways with Katter Party it would leave him without a party less than a year before he is up for election. Anning has however gained a significant nationalist following since his maiden speech hence leaving the Katter Party might not be the end of his political career.