Pauline calls for burqa ban to be added to postal vote
OVER half of Australians support banning the burqa in public places, according to a new poll - sparking Senator Pauline Hanson to call for the question to be added to national postal plebiscite.
Senator Hanson said the poll results reflected how Australians felt about the garb, while conservative crossbencher Senator Cory Bernardi said an "abject cowardice" among politicians prevented them from taking action despite public support.
But Islamic Council of Queensland spokesman Ali Kadri said only a small number of Muslim women wore face-covering and they were not a threat to anyone.
It comes as the One Nation annual general meeting revealed the party was struggling to find enough candidates to field for the state's 93 seats.
Ms Hanson told the AGM, which was marred by protests last night outside the venue, the party had 53 high-calibre candidates but there was room for more.
About 30 people entered Rydges Hotel, South Brisbane where party delegates are currently staying, shouting anti-One Nation messages and disrupting staff just after 5pm.
A Sky News/ReachTEL poll released yesterday, which surveyed 2832 people, found 44 per cent of people strongly supported banning the burqa in public places, while a further 13 per cent supported it.
This compared to 19 per cent of people who strongly opposed a ban, 12 per cent opposed, while the rest were undecided.
After controversially wearing a burqa to the Senate last week as she called for a ban, Senator Hanson said the results reflected what Australians were telling her.
"Perhaps while the Government are conducting their plebiscite on same sex marriage, we include the question as to whether Australians want to ban all full face coverings in government buildings and public spaces," she said.
Senator Bernardi said he first called for a ban in 2009 and the idea was popular then.
"There is an abject cowardice among politicians to do the things that are necessary to maintain our social and cultural cohesion," he said.
Mr Kadri said the burqa and niqab were a choice made by a small number of Muslim women and accused Senator Hanson of projecting her intolerance of those who were different.
"I think people who are afraid of burqa or find it confronting know very little about women who wear it," he said.
Labor senator Murray Watt said Australia had a proud history of respecting all cultures and religions.
Meanwhile, Senator Hanson told the AGM that Rockhampton and Mackay were key regional seats the party wanted to fill.
"There are still seats we would like to stand candidates in, so if you know of anyone who wishes to be a candidate please contact the office," she said.
Queensland One Nation leader Steve Dickson said the party would scrap the Cross River Rail in favour of dams, coal fired power stations and roads.