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Monday, 13 February 2017
Page: 572


Senator ROBERTS (Queensland) (10:14): As a servant to the people of Queensland and Australia, I rise to speak to the Migration Amendment (Character Cancellation Consequential Provisions) Bill 2016. This bill is a welcome first step in a set of policies proposed and supported by Pauline Hanson's One Nation party. We see the bill as a beginning in moving the discussion on a core issue of concern to Australians across our nation, from the quantity of immigration to the quality of immigration. When we talk about quality, we talk about the willingness and ability of immigrants to assimilate. May we remind all parliamentarians that governments have three core responsibilities: to protect life, to protect property and to protect freedom. As part of our sworn duties we have a solemn responsibility to preserve social cohesion, which flows from a secure sense of national identity.

I say to the establishment among us in this chamber who want to understand the Trump phenomenon and the Brexit phenomenon and Pauline Hanson's phenomenal success: to understand what drives people's needs, what people are saying to us as we travel and listen across this great country, we all need to get to the root of people's economic concerns. To everyday Australians, jobs matter. That is why we need to cut immigration quantity. More importantly, social cohesion matters—so does trust, so does a sense of belonging. These are all qualities that tap into people's sense of achievement, and if people have no job and the government cannot support them because they are burdened by non-assimilating immigrants, they feel ostracised in their own country, forgotten, taken advantage of.

Culture and integration matter to Australians. These values are undermined by rapid diversity, especially when Islam is in the mix. The Scanlon surveys of social cohesion conducted annually out of Monash University demonstrate our point specifically: social cohesion is important to Australians. Dr Frank Salter, the One Nation academic researcher in sociological matters, has reviewed the international literature on diversity, including extensive studies from Harvard University. The data supports what we say about cohesion. Global studies converge with the Australian data. As much as the Greens try, the data cannot be hidden, because people see it and feel it every day, all around them. Senator Hanson has been talking about social cohesion for as long as she has been on the national stage. In her first speech as a senator, she talked about how precious a sense of belonging really is, as well as trust. She said, 'It is about belonging, commitment to fight for, protect and respect. This will never be traded or given up for diversity.'

Social cohesion comes from national identity, and that is something that grows organically. It cannot be legislated. It cannot be imposed top down by condescending politicians and bureaucrats—the establishment elites. It cannot be created by naming government departments 'Multicultural Affairs'. Social cohesion can come only from the people. But it can be wrecked by sloppy governments, as Minister Dutton courageously admitted last year when he chided his own party for its immigration policies of the 1980s. For his courage Minister Dutton was pilloried by the Labor-Green coalition that fails to understand the essence of national cohesion and identity. Everyone gets it, except for the chattering classes. Instead of no nation, we must have one nation.

My colleague Senator Burston in his first speech noted the social research science on diversity and social cohesion. The research has been done overseas and in Australia. The data indicates that the social fabric in this country is fraying, and that is why voters are deserting the old parties. The fraying of our identity was foretold, was predicted, was warned of. The Liberal and Labor parties imposed permanent mass immigration without taking national identity into account or even asking voters' permission. Senator Burston spoke of the coldness and arrogance of our political elites, and I fully support his views.

Poverty—that is, an individual's economic situation—cannot explain why more Muslims have tried to volunteer to fight in the Middle East for outlawed Islamist forces than are presently in the Australian armed forces fighting in that theatre. Economics cannot explain why Australians are fleeing areas of heavy migrant settlement, especially Islamic settlement. This is not only white flight, it is every kind of flight. Every type of Australian is fleeing these new ghettos. In our fraying society, self-segregation has become a reality. We the people are seeking to protect our children, our daughters, our property, our liberty.

There are solutions to these problems that go beyond what is proposed in this bill. If we applied international standards of social impact assessment to the selection of immigrants, the gradual process of assimilation would begin to restore social cohesion, belonging and trust. How can we expect people who are wedded to an ideology masquerading as a religion that specifically precludes assimilation to assimilate and integrate? We cannot.

Pauline Hanson's One Nation is willing to say the things that need to be said and do the things that need to be done. We listen to the people of Australia across our nation and implement the policies people have asked us to champion. A common question I am asked is: how many Australians complain of or are afraid of Buddhists, who comprise a larger proportion of our nation than those of Islamic ideology? Australians do not complain about Buddhists, or Sikhs, or Hindus, or Jews or Catholics or Protestants and so on.

So it is not only the scale of immigration that counts but the content—the quality. If immigrants are to assimilate we should be choosing those from cultures with a track record of ready assimilation. That is why we need to congratulate the minister for immigration for his success in the implementation of the operational plan to take control of our country's borders, after the open borders policies of Labor-Greens coalition. It is no wonder that a recent Channel 7 poll found the number of supporters of a ban on Islamic immigration all but matched those opposing a ban. Do I need to remind that a poll last year from even the control-oriented Essential polling group found that more people supported a ban on Islamic immigration than opposed it? That Essential poll showed that over one-third of Greens voters supported a ban on Islamic immigration. What was the Greens leader's response? Of course, being left wing—that is, control oriented—Senator Di Natale said his party needed to do more educating. Isn't that so typical of the Greens? Speaking to sell, not listening to learn.

That reminds us all that under the Greens labelling and demonising of those with whom they disagree debate in Australia has been shut down. That is why people across Australia are asking what is happening to our nation. Senator Bernardi rightly said that the political elites and establishment are now being held accountable, and he left his party to join with us in holding the old establishment accountable.

This bill is the first step in the crawl towards the conversation that needs to be had on quality of immigration. The parliament needs to get away from window dressing and face core issues. We need all remember that we do not lock our home at night because we hate the people outside; we lock our home because we love the people inside. The real division in politics is not the confected and vague labels of Left versus Right or regressives versus conservatives; it is control versus freedom. In this case, to protect personal freedoms within Australia we must protect our borders.

We in Pauline Hanson's One Nation party value diverse views, and we welcome those of varied religions and races and skin colours and ethnic groups and political persuasions within our borders who have assimilated. We value our nation, our Constitution our laws and our culture. Assimilation and integration occur only when the pace, or quantity, of immigration does not swamp the host culture and when the quality of immigration focuses on people with the intent, willingness and ability to assimilate. We need to cancel visas of people with a criminal history. This bill is an important first step, and we support the character and visa amendment, because instead of no nation we must have one nation.