Queensland Senator Fraser Anning at Saturday’s far-right rally in Melbourne. Picture: AAP Image/Kenji Wardenclyffe
Queensland Senator Fraser Anning at Saturday’s far-right rally in Melbourne. Picture: AAP Image/Kenji Wardenclyffe

Premier urges voters to oust Anning

PREMIER Annastacia Palaszczuk is urging Queensland voters to use their power at the looming federal election to get rid of Senator Fraser Anning after his attendance at a far-right rally where the Nazi salute was performed.

Senator Anning, whose term expires this year, used taxpayer funds to attend the rally in Melbourne "to represent the people of Queensland" in protesting "African gangs".

But his attendance has attracted widespread condemnation from political leaders across the spectrum, including from Ms Palaszczuk and Acting Prime Minister Michael McCormack, who called on the senator to consider his political future.

"As the granddaughter of Polish migrants who made Australia home after fleeing the brutality of the Nazi regime, I am appalled that an elected representative would attend such a rally," Ms Palaszczuk said.

"I condemn his actions.

"Queenslanders have an opportunity to get rid of him if he stands for re-election."

Prime Minister Scott Morrison interrupted his summer holiday to decry the "ugly racial protests", but he did not criticise Senator Anning for attending.

"I thank Vic police for their efforts dealing with the ugly racial protests we saw in St Kilda yesterday. Intolerance does not make Australia stronger," Mr Morrison said on Twitter.

Mr McCormack later rebuked Senator Anning, saying his "future in parliament is something for his conscience to decide and no doubt the voters will also have a say on that matter in time".

 

Far-right extremists make the Nazi salute at the St Kilda rally. Picture: ABC News
Far-right extremists make the Nazi salute at the St Kilda rally. Picture: ABC News

 

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg described the use of the Nazi salute as "particularly repugnant and abhorrent" and said that the views of the protesters "should be confined to the dustbin of history".

Mr Frydenberg said that Senator Anning's attendance at the event was "unacceptable", but said it was up to the Independent Parliamentary Expenses Authority to rule on his use of taxpayer funds to attend the event.

Labor's acting leader Tanya Plibersek earlier called for Mr Morrison to "criticise Fraser Anning for going to such a thing" and urged the Senator to repay the cost of attending the rally.

Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young called for the Government to refuse to accept Senator Anning's vote in parliament.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk’s grandparents experienced the brutality of the Nazi regime in Poland. Picture: AAP Image/Darren England
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk’s grandparents experienced the brutality of the Nazi regime in Poland. Picture: AAP Image/Darren England

Senior Palaszczuk Government Minister Kate Jones described Senator Anning's attendance as shameful on a global scale.

State LNP Opposition frontbencher David Janetzki said he believed it was "gobsmacking that any politician would want to be at a rally where the Nazi salute is being used and it is shocking that Senator Anning seems to be proud of it".

Senator Anning yesterday insisted suggestions the rally was racist were a "left-wing" media conspiracy.

"I went to Melbourne to represent the people of Queensland who have also been subjected to African gang violence recently; these issues are not just confined to Melbourne, as we have seen they are rapidly spreading to my own state," he said.

"I didn't see any people there who appeared to be radicals. There were no skinheads, just ordinary working people who'd had enough."