Pauline Hanson

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Pauline Hanson
Pauline Hanson (438351804) (cropped).jpg
Hanson in 2007
Leader and President of
Pauline Hanson's One Nation
Assumed office
as Leader
29 November 2014[1]
Deputy Ian Nelson
Jim Savage (2014–2015)
Preceded by Jim Savage (as President)
Rosa Long (as Leader)
In office
as President
11 April 1997 – 27 January 2002[1]
Vice President John Fischer
David Ettridge
David Oldfield (1997–2000)
Preceded by Party created
Succeeded by John Fischer
President of Pauline Hanson's
United Australia Party
In office
24 May 2007 – 31 March 2010
Vice President Graham MacDonald
Preceded by Party created
Succeeded by Party dissolved
Member of the Australian Parliament
for Oxley
In office
2 March 1996 – 3 October 1998
Preceded by Les Scott
Succeeded by Bernie Ripoll
Senator for Queensland
Assumed office
2 July 2016
Personal details
Born Pauline Lee Seccombe
(1954-05-27) 27 May 1954 (age 62)
Woolloongabba, Queensland
Political party Pauline Hanson's One Nation (1997–02; 2013–)
Previous affiliations;
Independent (before 1994; 1996–97; 2010–12)
Liberal (1994–96)
United Australia (2007–10)
Spouse(s) Walter Zagorski
(m. 1971–77)
Mark Hanson
(m. 1980–87)
Children 4
Education Buranda Girls' School,[2]
Coorparoo State High School [3]

Pauline Lee Hanson (née Seccombe, formerly Zagorski; born 27 May 1954) is an Australian politician.

Hanson first entered politics as a member of Ipswich City Council in 1994. She joined the Liberal Party of Australia in 1995 and was preselected for the Division of Oxley at the 1996 federal election, but was disendorsed shortly before the election. Listed on the ballot as the Liberal Party of Australia candidate, she won Oxley as an independent.

In 1997, Hanson co-founded Pauline Hanson's One Nation, a right-wing political party with a populist and conservative platform. She lost her seat at the 1998 federal election.

After leaving federal parliament, Hanson contested several state and federal elections as the leader of One Nation, as the leader of Pauline Hanson's United Australia Party and as an independent. She was expelled from One Nation in 2002. A Brisbane District Court jury found Hanson guilty of electoral fraud in 2003 though the convictions were later overturned by three judges on the Queensland Court of Appeal. As a result of the convictions, Hanson spent 11 weeks in jail prior to the appeal being heard.

Hanson rejoined One Nation in 2013, becoming leader again the following year. At the 2016 Australian federal election she was elected to the Senate, representing Queensland, together with three other senators of her party.

Early life and career[edit]

Hanson was born on 27 May 1954 in Brisbane, Queensland.[4][5] Her parents, Jack Seccombe and Hannorah Webster Seccombe, owned a fish and chip shop in Ipswich, Queensland, in which Hanson and her siblings worked. She is the fifth of seven children.[6]

Hanson (then known as Pauline Seccombe) met Walter Zagorski, a Polish refugee, in 1970, at 15 after she left school.[7] The pair married a year later, when Hanson was 16, after they discovered that she was pregnant with their son, Anthony (born 1972). Zagorski worked away in central Queensland, leaving Hanson to raise their children alone. In 1975, Zagorski left Hanson for another woman, after months of several extramarital affairs. Hanson was heavily pregnant with their second child, Steven (born 1975). They reconciled briefly in 1977, but later divorced that same year.[8] Zagorski has claimed to doubt that he is the father of Steven. Hanson repeatedly requested a paternity test, however Zagorski refused, claiming that the result would be inconclusive.[8]

In 1978, Hanson (then known as Pauline Zagorski) met Mark Hanson, a tradesman on the Gold Coast. They married in 1980 after Hanson became pregnant with their son, Adam, and honeymooned in South-East Asia. Their daughter Lee was born in 1984. They started a plumbing and roofing business, settling in Ipswich. After the couple divorced, Hanson opened a fish and chip shop in Ipswich.[9] Mark Hanson made claims that "[he] was blackmailed" into marrying Hanson because of her pregnancy and that she made racist and derogatory remarks about their Aboriginal clients.[8]

Political offices[edit]

Hanson entered politics as a member of Ipswich City Council in 1994 when she stood for councillor to oppose funding of a new library.[10]

Hanson was an Australian Member of Parliament from 1996 to 1998. In 1996 she joined the Liberal Party of Australia and was endorsed as the Liberal candidate for the House of Representatives electorate of Oxley (based in Ipswich) for the March 1996 Federal election. At the time, the seat was thought of as a Labor stronghold. Hayden's successor, Les Scott, held it with a 12.6% two-party majority, making it the safest Labor seat in Queensland.

At the 2016 Australian federal election Hanson was elected to the Senate, representing Queensland.

Racism allegations[edit]

Despite Hanson's repeated denials of charges of racism,[11] her views on race, immigration and Islam have been discussed widely in Australia.


Indigenous affairs[edit]

In her maiden speech to Parliament in 1996, Hanson appealed to economically disadvantaged white Australians by expressing dissatisfaction with government policy on indigenous affairs, saying that, "Present governments are encouraging separatism in Australia by providing opportunities, land, moneys and facilities available only to Aboriginals. Along with millions of Australians, I am fed up to the back teeth with the inequalities that are being promoted by the government and paid for by the taxpayer under the assumption that Aboriginals are the most disadvantaged people in Australia. [...] I have done research on benefits available only to Aboriginals and challenge anyone to tell me how Aboriginals are disadvantaged when they can obtain three and five per cent housing loans denied to non-Aboriginals. This nation is being divided into black and white, and the present system encourages this. I am fed up with being told, ‘This is our land.’ Well, where the hell do I go? I was born here, and so were my parents and children. I will work beside anyone and they will be my equal but I draw the line when told I must pay and continue paying for something that happened over 200 years ago. Like most Australians, I worked for my land; no-one gave it to me."[12]

Anti-immigration and anti-multiculturalism[edit]

In her maiden speech, Hanson envisioned a drastic reduction in immigration with particular reference to immigrants from Asia, saying that, "I and most Australians want our immigration policy radically reviewed and that of multiculturalism abolished. I believe we are in danger of being swamped by Asians." Hanson criticised the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC), saying "Anyone with a criminal record can, and does, hold a position with ATSIC"."[13]

Condemning multiculturalism as a "threat to the very basis of the Australian culture, identity and shared values", One Nation rallied against government immigration and multicultural policies which, it argued, were leading to "the Asianisation of Australia."[14]

After Hanson was elected to Parliament in 1996, journalist Tracey Curro asked her on 60 Minutes whether she was xenophobic. Hanson replied, "Please explain?"[15] This response became a much-parodied catchphrase within Australian culture and was included in the title of the 2016 SBS documentary film Pauline Hanson: Please Explain!.

In 2006 Hanson asserted that Africans bring disease into Australia, saying she was concerned by the ease with which people were able to gain Australian citizenship, especially Muslims and Africans. In relation to African immigration, Hanson said, "Do you want to see your daughter or a family member end up with AIDS or anyone for that matter?". In relation to this, the Federation of African Communities Council said that the group's lawyers were lodging a complaint of racial discrimination with the Australian Human Rights Commission.[16][17] Ten years after her maiden speech, its effects were still being discussed within a racism framework,[18] and were included in resources funded by the Queensland Government on 'Combating racism in Queensland'.[19]

In 2007, Hanson publicly backed Kevin Andrews, then Minister for Immigration under John Howard, in his views about African migrants and crime.[20]


In 2015, Hanson claimed that Halal certification in Australia was funding terrorism.[21]

After the 2016 Orlando nightclub shooting, Hanson posted a video on her Facebook page calling for a ban on Muslim immigration to Australia. Stating that, "We have laws here that we don’t bring in pitbull terriers because they are a danger to our society… we have laws to protect Australians," Hanson stated that Australia had to take a strong stance against Muslims, Islam, its teaching and its beliefs.[22][23]

The same year Hanson announced policies including a ban on building new mosques until a royal commission into whether Islam is a religion or a political ideology has been held, and installing CCTV cameras in all existing mosques.[24] She has called for a “moratorium” on accepting Muslim immigrants into Australia.[25]

Public opinion[edit]

After her election in 1996, an estimated 10,000 people marched in protest against racism in Melbourne, and other protests followed, while Anglican and Catholic church leaders warned that the "ill-conceived controversy" threatened the stability of Australia's multicultural society. Also repudiating Hanson's views on immigration and multiculturalism were Victorian Premier Jeff Kennett, the Queensland National Senator Ron Boswell, Sir Ronald Wilson and former Prime Minister Paul Keating.[26] At the 1997 annual conference of the Australian and New Zealand Communications Association (ANZCA) at La Trobe University, a paper was presented with the title 'Phenomena and Epiphenomena: is Pauline Hanson racist?'.[27] In 1998, social commentator Keith Suter argued that Hanson's views were better understood as an angry response to globalisation.[28] A poll in The Bulletin magazine at this time suggested that if Hanson formed a political party, it would win 18 percent of the vote. After months of silence, then-Prime Minister John Howard and Opposition Leader Kim Beazley forwarded a bipartisan motion against racial discrimination and reaffirming support for a nondiscriminatory immigration policy. The motion was carried on the voices.[29] Howard later said that Hanson was plainly wrong and was "an empty popularist offering a cure worse than the disease".[30] Hanson did not relent in articulating her views and continued to address public meetings around Australia. The League of Rights offered financial and organisational support for her campaign against Asian immigration, and in December she announced she was considering forming a political party to contend the next election.[29] Alexander Downer, Minister for Foreign Affairs under John Howard, issued a media release calling on Pauline Hanson, David Oldfield and David Ettridge to "disassociate themselves from the racist slurs being promoted in the Asian media by people claiming to be their closest supporters".[31] Fiona Probyn notes that several of Hanson's views were shared by Graeme Campbell, a "right-wing Labor dissident" and Hanson attracted much more media attention and this became a moral panic, but Campbell's views were largely written off.[32] In 2000, the University of NSW Press published the book Race, Colour and Identity in Australia and New Zealand,[33] which identified Hanson as a central figure in the 'racism debate' in Australia of the 1990s, noting that senior Australian academics such as Jon Stratton, Ghassan Hage and Andrew Jakubowicz had explored Hanson's significance in an international as well as national context.[34]

International outcry[edit]

Following Hanson's maiden speech her views received negative coverage across Asian news media in 1996, and National Party Deputy and Trade Minister, Tim Fischer, criticised the race "debate" initiated by Hanson, saying it was putting Australian exports and jobs at risk.[35] Other ministers and state and territory leaders followed Fischer's lead in attacking Hanson.[29] In December, then-Prime Minister of Malaysia Mahathir Mohamad, said he would recall more than 11,000 Malaysian students from Australia after a girl who returned from the country reported to Malaysian media that Asian students were becoming targets of racial abuse at car parks and bus stops in Melbourne.[36]

In 1998, the resurgence of popularity of Hanson was met with disappointment in Asian media, with the South China Morning Post reporting, "The sudden resurgence of support for Australia’s obnoxious One Nation Party is disheartening, but should not come as a surprise".[37] Her resignation from politics in 2002 was met with support from academics, politicians and the press across Asia. KP Waran, the former Executive Editor of the Malaysian newspaper, New Straits Times told the ABC, "good riddance to bad rubbish" while Singaporean, Dr. Bilveer Singh and the former adviser to former Indonesian president B.J. Habibie, Dewi Fortuna Anwar also expressed their agreement of Hanson's resignation.[38]

Enough Rope interview[edit]

In 2004, Hanson appeared on the nationally televised ABC interview show Enough Rope. Archival footage from a 60 Minutes program shot on the streets of Ipswich was used to introduce claims about racism and bigotry in Hanson's views. Hanson challenged interviewer Andrew Denton to show her things that she had said that were racist. Denton instead responded with an example of an abusive letter sent to an Asian girl after Hanson's speeches. The letter included a racist tirade. Hanson was then challenged about derogatory comments about Aboriginals made by her "fellow travellers". Hanson distanced herself from the comments, by countering that several elected candidates of One Nation were "radicals that tagged themselves to me". She also stated that she had limited knowledge of her book, Pauline Hanson -- the Truth: On Asian Immigration, the Aboriginal Question, the Gun Debate and the Future of Australia and its contents.[6]

Political career[edit]

Founding of Pauline Hanson's One Nation[edit]

In February 1997, Hanson, David Oldfield and David Ettridge founded the Pauline Hanson's One Nation political party.[39] Disenchanted rural voters attended her meetings in regional centres across Australia as she consolidated a support base for the new party. An opinion poll in May of that year indicated that the party was attracting the support of 9 per cent of Australian voters and that its popularity was primarily at the expense of the Liberal Party-National Party Coalition's base.[30]

Hanson's presence in the suburb of Dandenong, Victoria, to launch her party was met with demonstrations on 7 July 1997, with 3000-5000 people rallying outside. A silent vigil and multicultural concert was organised by the Greater Dandenong City Council in response to Hanson's presence, while a demonstration was organised by an anti-racism body. The majority of attendees were of Asian origin, where an open platform attracted leaders of the Vietnamese, Chinese, East Timorese and Sri Lankan communities. Representatives from churches, local community groups, lesbian and gay and socialist organisations also attended and addressed the crowd.[40]

In its late 1990s incarnation, One Nation called for zero net immigration, an end to multiculturalism and a revival of Australia's Anglo-Celtic cultural tradition which it says has been diminished, the abolition of native title and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC), an end to special Aboriginal funding programs, opposition to Aboriginal reconciliation which the party says will create two nations, and a review of the 1967 constitutional referendum which gave the Commonwealth power to legislate for Aborigines. The party's economic position was to support protectionism and trade retaliation, increased restrictions on foreign capital and the flow of capital overseas, and a general reversal of globalisation's influence on the Australian economy. Domestically, One Nation opposed privatisation, competition policy, and the GST, while proposing a government subsidised people's bank to provide 2 per cent loans to farmers, small business, and manufacturers. On foreign policy, One Nation called for a review of Australia's United Nations membership, a repudiation of Australia's UN treaties, an end to foreign aid and to ban foreigners from owning Australian land.[41]

One Nation attracted nearly one-quarter of the vote in the 1998 state election and won 11 of 89 seats in the Legislative Assembly of Queensland.[42] During this period, new right-wing parties emerged in most states, running on platforms which were equally anti-elitist but not as populist as One Nation.[citation needed] Australia First, led by Graeme Campbell, built support in Newcastle and the southern suburbs of Sydney. The United Australia Party fielded candidates in the 1997 state election in South Australia; the Australian Reform Party was active in rural Victoria and New South Wales; The Australians formed out of the defunct Confederate Action Party in Queensland; and Tasmania First fielded candidates in the 1998 state election.[43]

1996 election campaign[edit]

Hanson early in her political career.

Leading up to the 1996 election, Hanson advocated the abolition of special government assistance for Aborigines, and she was disendorsed by the Liberal Party. Ballot papers had already been printed listing Hanson as the Liberal candidate, and the Australian Electoral Commission had closed nominations for the seat. As a result, Hanson was still listed as the Liberal candidate when votes were cast, even though Liberal leader John Howard had declared she would not be allowed to sit with the Liberals if elected.[44] On election night, Hanson took a large lead on the first count and picked up enough Democrat preferences to defeat Scott on the sixth count. She won 54 percent of the two-candidate preferred vote. Had she still been running as a Liberal, the 19.3 percent swing would have been the largest two-party swing of the election.[45][unreliable source?] Due to her disendorsement, she entered parliament as an independent.[46]

Maiden speech[edit]

On 10 September 1996, Hanson gave her maiden speech to the House of Representatives, which was widely reported in the media. In her opening lines, Hanson said that "I won the seat of Oxley largely on an issue that has resulted in me being called a racist. That issue related to my comment that Aboriginals received more benefits than non-Aboriginals". Hanson then asserted that Australia was in danger of being "swamped by Asians", and that these immigrants "have their own culture and religion, form ghettos and do not assimilate". Hanson argued that "mainstream Australians" were instead subject to "a type of reverse racism ... by those who promote political correctness and those who control the various taxpayer funded 'industries' that flourish in our society servicing Aboriginals, multiculturalists and a host of other minority groups". This theme continued with the assertion that "present governments are encouraging separatism in Australia by providing opportunities, land, moneys and facilities available only to Aboriginals". Among a series of criticisms of Aboriginal land rights, access to welfare and reconciliation, Hanson criticised the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC), saying "Anyone with a criminal record can, and does, hold a position with ATSIC". There then followed a short series of statements on family breakdown, youth unemployment, international debt, the Family Law Act, child support, and the privatisation of Qantas and other national enterprises. The speech also included an attack on immigration and multiculturalism, a call for the return of high-tariff protectionism, and criticism of economic rationalism.[12] Her speech was delivered uninterrupted by her fellow parliamentarians as it was the courtesy given to MPs delivering their maiden speeches.

Time in office[edit]

Hanson became a familiar face in Australian politics, gaining extensive media coverage during her campaign and once she took her place in the House. Her first speech attracted considerable attention for the views it expressed on Aboriginal benefits, welfare, immigration and multiculturalism. During her term in Parliament, Hanson spoke on a wide range of social and economic issues including the need for a fairer child support scheme and concern for the emergence of the working class poor. She also called for more accountable and effective administration of Indigenous affairs. Hanson's supporters viewed her as an ordinary person who challenged ‘political correctness’ as a threat to Australia's identity.

The reaction of the mainstream political parties was negative, with parliament passing a resolution (supported by all members except Graeme Campbell) condemning her views on immigration and multiculturalism. However, the Prime Minister at the time, John Howard, refused to censure Hanson or speak critically about her, acknowledging that her views were shared by many Australians,[47] commenting that he saw the expression of such views as evidence that the "pall of political correctness" had been lifted in Australia, and that Australians could now "speak a little more freely and a little more openly about what they feel".[29]

Hanson immediately labelled Howard a "strong leader" and said Australians were now free to discuss issues without "fear of being branded as a bigot or racist". Over the next few months, Hanson featured prominently on television and talkback radio, attracting populist anti-immigration sentiment and the attention of the Citizens' Electoral Council, the Australian League of Rights and other right-wing groups. Then-Immigration Minister Phillip Ruddock announced a tougher government line on refugee applications, and cut the family reunion intake by 10,000, despite an election promise to maintain immigration levels.[29] Various academic experts, business leaders and several state premiers attacked the justification offered by Ruddock, who had claimed that the reduction had been forced by continuing high unemployment. Various ethnic communities complained that this attack on multiculturalism was a cynical response to polls showing Hanson's rising popularity. Hanson herself claimed credit for forcing the government's hand.[30]

1998 re-election campaign[edit]

In 1999, The Australian reported that support for One Nation had fallen from 22% to 5%.[48] One Nation Senate candidate Lenny Spencer blamed the press together with party director David Oldfield for the October 1998 election defeat,[49] while the media reported the redirecting of preferences away from One Nation as the primary reason, with a lack of party unity, poor policy choices and an "inability to work with the media" also responsible.[50]

Ahead of the 1998 federal election, an electoral redistribution essentially split Oxley in half. Oxley was reconfigured as a marginal Labor seat, while a new seat of Blair was created in the rural area surrounding Ipswich. Hanson knew her chances of holding the reconfigured Oxley were slim, especially after former Labor state premier Wayne Goss won preselection for the seat.[51] Hanson launched her 1998 election campaign with a focus on jobs, rather than a focus on race/ethnicity or on "the people" against "the elites". Instead Hanson focused on unemployment and the need to create more jobs not through government schemes but by "cheap loans to business, by more apprenticeships, and by doing something about tariffs".[52] She opted to contest Blair, where most of her support was now located. On paper, Blair was a very safe Liberal seat with a notional majority of 18.7 percent. Hanson won 36 percent of the primary vote,[53] slightly over 10% more than her nearest rival. However, preferences were enough to elect the Liberal candidate, Cameron Thompson, who had been third in the primary vote. Because all three major parties preferenced each other ahead of Hanson, Thompson overtook the Labor candidate on National preferences and defeated Hanson on Labor preferences.[53] It has been suggested by Thompson that Hanson's litigation against parodist Pauline Pantsdown was a distraction from the election which contributed to her loss.[54]

Nationally, One Nation gained 8.99 percent of the Senate vote[55] and 8.4% of the Representatives vote,[53] but only one MP was elected – Len Harris as a Senator for Queensland. Heather Hill had been elected to this position, but the High Court of Australia ruled that, although she was an Australian citizen, she was ineligible for election to sit as a Senator because she had not renounced her British citizenship, which the Court assumed she possessed because she had been born in Britain.[56] Hanson alleged in her 2007 autobiography Pauline Hanson: Untamed & Unashamed that a number of other politicians had dual citizenship yet this did not prevent them from holding positions in Parliament.

Unsuccessful state and federal election campaigns[edit]

Hanson at the Kurri Kurri Nostalgia Festival in 2011

At the next federal election on 10 November 2001, Hanson ran for a Queensland senate seat but narrowly failed. She accounted for her declining popularity by claiming that the Liberals under John Howard had stolen her policies.[57]

"It has been widely recognised by all, including the media, that John Howard sailed home on One Nation policies. In short, if we were not around, John Howard would not have made the decisions he did."[57]

Other interrelated factors that contributed to her political decline from 1998 to 2002 include her connection with a series of advisors with whom she ultimately fell out (John Pasquarelli, David Ettridge and David Oldfield); disputes amongst her supporters; and a lawsuit over the organisational structure of One Nation.

In 2003, following her release from prison after a reversal of an electoral fraud conviction, Hanson unsuccessfully contested the New South Wales state election, running for a seat in the upper house. In January 2004, Hanson announced that she did not intend to return to politics.[58] but then stood as an independent candidate for one of Queensland's seats in the Senate in the 2004 federal election. At the time Hanson declared, "I don't want all the hangers on. I don't want the advisers and everyone else. I want it to be this time Pauline Hanson." She was unsuccessful, receiving only 31.77% of the required quota of primary votes,[59] and did not pick up enough additional support through preferences. However, she attracted more votes than the One Nation party (4.54% compared to 3.14%)[59] and, unlike her former party, recovered her deposit from the Australian Electoral Commission and secured $150,000 of public electoral funding.[60] Hanson claimed to have been vilified over campaign funding.[61]

Hanson contested the electoral district of Beaudesert as an independent at the 2009 Queensland state election.[62] After an election campaign dominated by discussion over hoax photographs, she was placed third behind the Liberal National Party's Aidan McLindon and Labor's Brett McCreadie. There were conflicting media reports as to whether she had said she would not consider running again.[63][64]

On 23 July 2010, while at an event promoting her new career as a motivational speaker, Hanson expressed interest in returning to the political stage as a Liberal candidate if an invitation were to be offered by the leader Tony Abbott in the 2010 federal election.[65] No such offer was made.


In March 2011, Hanson ran as an independent candidate for the New South Wales Legislative Council in the 2011 state election,[66] but was not elected, receiving 2.41 percent of the primary statewide vote but losing on preferences.[67][68][69] Following the election, Hanson alleged that "dodgy staff" employed by the NSW Electoral Commission put 1,200 votes for her in a pile of blank ballots, and she claimed that she had a forwarded NSW Electoral Commission internal email as evidence of this.[70] Hanson then commenced legal proceedings to challenge the outcome of the election in the NSW Supreme Court, which sat as the Court of Disputed Returns.[71]

From the start of proceedings, the NSW Electoral Commissioner maintained the view that Hanson's claims lacked substance.[72] The man who alerted Hanson to the alleged emails, who identified himself as "Michael Rattner", failed to appear in court on 8 June 2011[73] "Rattner" was revealed to be Shaun Castle, a history teacher who posed as a journalist to obtain embargoed progressive poll results.[74]

"Michael Rattner" was a pun on Mickey Mouse and reports linked the pseudonym to an "anti-voter-fraud" organisation led by Amy McGrath and Alasdair Webster.[75]

After having refused to answer questions on the grounds of self-incrimination, Castle apologised to the court and was granted protection from prosecution by Justice McClellan, before being compelled to answer questions relating to the fraudulent email.[76] The judge ordered that Hanson's legal costs of more than $150,000 be paid by the State of New South Wales – a move which outraged Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham, who would have been replaced by Hanson had her challenge been successful. Questioning whether Hanson's legal action should have gone ahead at all given the nature of the evidence, Buckingham said that "This lack of judgement shows that she's unfit for public office."[77] Earlier, the judge, Justice McClellan, said Hanson had no other remedy but to take legal action after receiving the fraudulent email.[78]

Election to Senate, 2016[edit]

In mid-2015, Hanson announced that she would contest the Senate for Queensland at the 2016 federal election, and also announced several other candidature endorsements throughout Australia. Hanson began campaigning in a tour she called "Fed Up" in 2015, and spoke at a Reclaim Australia rally.[79] Hanson won a seat in the Senate.[80] One Nation won 9% of the vote in Queensland.[81] According to the rules governing double dissolution elections, Hanson will serve a full 6-year term in the senate.[82] Hanson has secured a spot on the National Broadband Network parliamentary committee.[83]

Ouster from One Nation and launch of Pauline's United Australia Party[edit]

At the 1999 election, One Nation politician David Oldfield was elected to the New South Wales Legislative Council, the state parliament's upper house. However, in 2000, Oldfield was expelled from One Nation for an alleged verbal dispute with Hanson. Within weeks, Oldfield had established the splinter group, One Nation NSW, an organisation similar to the historical Lang Labor and Democratic Labor parties, which were splinter groups of the original Australian Labor Party.

One Nation won three seats in the Western Australian Legislative Council at the 2001 state election, but the electoral success of One Nation began to deteriorate after this point because the split-away of One Nation NSW began to spark further lack of party unity, and a series of gaffes by One Nation members and candidates, particularly in Queensland.

Hanson resigned from One Nation in January 2002 and John Fischer was elected the Leader of One Nation in Western Australia.[citation needed]

On 24 May 2007, Hanson launched Pauline's United Australia Party.[84] Under that banner, Hanson again contested one of Queensland's seats in the Senate in the 2007 federal election, when she received over 4 percent of total votes.[85] The party name invokes that of the historic United Australia Party.[86] Speaking on her return to politics, she stated: "I have had all the major political parties attack me, been kicked out of my own party and ended up in prison, but I don't give up."[87] In October 2007, Hanson launched her campaign song, entitled "Australian Way of Life", which included the line: "Welcome everyone, no matter where you come from."[88]

After an unsuccessful campaign in the 2009 Queensland state election, Hanson announced in 2010 that she planned to deregister Pauline's United Australia Party, sell her Queensland house and move to the United Kingdom.[89][90][91][92] The announcement was warmly welcomed by Nick Griffin, leader of the far-right British National Party (BNP).[93] When considering moving, Hanson said that she would not sell her house to Muslims.[94] However, following an extended holiday in Europe, Hanson said in November 2010 that she had decided not to move to Britain because it was "overrun with immigrants and refugees."[95] Hanson lives in Beaudesert, Queensland.[96]

Return as One Nation leader[edit]

In 2013 Hanson announced that she would stand in the 2013 federal election.[97] She rejoined the One Nation party and was a Senate candidate in New South Wales.[98] She did not win a seat, attracting 1.22% of first preferences.[99]

In November 2014, Hanson announced that she had returned as One Nation leader, prior to the party's announcement, following support from One Nation party members. She announced that she would contest the seat of Lockyer in the 2015 Queensland state election.[100] One Nation held the Queensland seat of Lockyer from 1998 to 2004. In February 2015, Hanson took the lead in early vote counts for the seat, before losing by a narrow margin.[101][102][103][104]

Activity between offices[edit]

After a civil suit in 1999 that reached the Queensland Court of Appeal in 2000, involving disgruntled former One Nation member Tony Sharples and a finding of fraud when registering One Nation as a political party,[105] Hanson was facing bankruptcy. She made an appeal to supporters for donations. Shaun Nelson, who had been a One Nation member of the Queensland parliament, attacked Hanson, saying, "She can afford to live in a $700,000 mansion just outside of Rosewood. The people up here that she's asking to give money to are pensioners and farmers that are doing it tough."[106] Hanson, however, claimed that she had considered selling her home.[citation needed]

Fraud conviction and reversal[edit]

On 20 August 2003, a jury in the District Court of Queensland convicted Hanson and David Ettridge of electoral fraud. Both Hanson and Ettridge were sentenced to three years imprisonment for falsely claiming that 500 members of the Pauline Hanson Support Movement were members of the political organisation Pauline Hanson's One Nation in order to register that organisation in Queensland as a political party and apply for electoral funding. Because the registration was found to be unlawful, Hanson's receipt of electoral funding worth $498,637 resulted in two further convictions for dishonestly obtaining property, each with three-year sentences, to run concurrently with the first. Hanson's initial reaction to the verdict was "Rubbish, I'm not guilty. It's a joke."[107]

The prime minister, John Howard, said that it was "a very long, unconditional sentence" and Bronwyn Bishop said that Hanson was a political prisoner, comparing her conviction with Robert Mugabe's treatment of Zimbabwean opponents.[108] The sentence was widely criticised in the media as being too harsh.[109]

On 6 November 2003, delivering judgment the day after hearing the appeal, the Queensland Court of Appeal quashed all of Hanson and Ettridge's convictions. Hanson, having spent 11 weeks in jail, was immediately released along with Ettridge.[110] The court's unanimous decision was that the evidence did not support a conclusion beyond reasonable doubt that the people on the list were not members of the Pauline Hanson's One Nation party and that Hanson and Ettridge knew this when the application to register the party was submitted. Accordingly, the convictions regarding registration were quashed. The convictions regarding funding, which depended on the same facts, were also quashed.[111] This decision did not specifically follow the Sharples case, where the trial judge's finding of such fraud had not been overturned in the appeal by Hanson and Ettridge. That case was distinguished as a civil suit – in administrative law, as to the validity of the decision by Electoral Commissioner O'Shea to register the party – in which proof had been only on the balance of probabilities. Chief Justice Paul de Jersey, with whom the other two judges agreed overall, suggested that if Hanson, Ettridge and especially the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions had used better lawyers from the start, the whole matter might not have taken so long up to the appeal hearing, or might even have been avoided altogether. The Court of Appeal president, Margaret McMurdo, rebuked many politicians, including John Howard and Bronwyn Bishop MHR. Their observations, she said, demonstrated at least "a lack of understanding of the Rule of Law" and "an attempt to influence the judicial appellate process and to interfere with the independence of the judiciary for cynical political motives", although she praised other leading Coalition politicians for accepting the District Court's decision.[112]

In 1998, Tony Abbott had established a trust fund called "Australians for Honest Politics Trust" to help bankroll civil court cases against the One Nation Party and Hanson herself.[113] John Howard denied any knowledge of the existence of such a fund.[114] Abbott was also accused of offering funds to One Nation dissident Terry Sharples to support his court battle against the party. However, Howard defended the honesty of Abbott in this matter.[115] Abbott conceded that the political threat One Nation posed to the Howard Government was "a very big factor" in his decision to pursue the legal attack, but he also said he was acting "in Australia's national interest". Howard also defended Abbott's actions saying "It's the job of the Liberal Party to politically attack other parties – there's nothing wrong with that."[116]

Television appearances[edit]

In 2004, Hanson appeared in multiple television programs such as Dancing with the Stars, Enough Rope, Who wants to be a Millionaire and This is Your Life.[117]

In 2011, Hanson was a contestant on Celebrity Apprentice.[118]

Following her successful relaunch of Pauline Hanson's One Nation party at the 2016 federal Senate election, with four senators elected, including herself, a documentary was made by the Special Broadcasting Service (SBS) entitled Pauline Hanson: Please Explain![119]

Published books[edit]

Soon after her election to Parliament, Hanson's book, Pauline Hanson -- the truth : on Asian immigration, the Aboriginal question, the gun debate and the future of Australia, was published. In it she makes claims of Aboriginal cannibalism, in particular that Aboriginal women ate their babies and tribes cannibalised their members. Hanson told the media that the reason for these claims of cannibalism was to "demonstrate the savagery of Aboriginal society".[citation needed] David Ettridge, the One Nation party director, said that the book's claims were intended to correct "misconceptions" about Aboriginal history. These alleged misconceptions were said to be relevant to modern-day Aboriginal welfare funding. He asserted that "the suggestion that we should be feeling some concern for modern day Aborigines for suffering in the past is balanced a bit by the alternative view of whether you can feel sympathy for people who eat their babies".[120] The book predicted that in 2050 Australia would have a lesbian president of Chinese-Indian background called Poona Li Hung who would be a cyborg.[121] In 2004, Hanson said that the book was "written by some other people who actually put my name to it" and that while she held the copyright over The Truth, she was unaware that much of the material was being published under her name.[6]

In March 2007, Hanson published her autobiography Untamed and Unashamed.[122][123]


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Further reading[edit]

  • Pal Ahluwalia and Greg McCarthy, (1998) "‘Political Correctness’: Pauline Hanson and the Construction of Australian Identity." Australian Journal of Public Administration 57#3 (1998): 79-85.
  • Scott Balson (2000), Inside One Nation. The inside story on a people's party born to fail, Interactive Presentations, Mt Crosby News (Queensland), ISBN 0-9577415-2-9
  • Helen J Dodd (1997), Pauline. The Hanson Phenomenon, Boolarong Press, Moorooka (Queensland), ISBN 0-646-33217-1
  • David Ettridge (2004), Consider Your Verdict, New Holland Publishers, Frenchs Forest (New South Wales) ISBN 1-74110-232-4
  • Bligh Grant (ed.) (1997), Pauline Hanson. One Nation and Australian Politics, University of New England Press, Armidale (NSW), ISBN 1-875821-38-4
  • Pauline Hanson (2007), Untamed and Unashamed — Pauline Hanson's autobiography, Jo–Jo Publishing, Docklands (Victoria) ISBN 978-0-9802836-2-4
  • James Jupp (1998), 'Populism in the land of Oz,' in Meanjin, Vol.57, No.4, pp. 740–747
  • Margo Kingston (1999), Off the Rails. The Pauline Hanson Trip, Allen and Unwin, St Leonards (NSW) ISBN 1-86508-159-0
  • Michael Leach, Geoffrey Stokes, Ian Ward (eds.) (2000), The Rise and Fall of One Nation, University of Queensland Press, St Lucia (Queensland) ISBN 0-7022-3136-3
  • George J Merritt (1997), Pauline Hanson. The Truth, St George Publications, Parkholme (South Australia), ISBN 0-646-32012-2
  • John Pasquarelli (1998), The Pauline Hanson Story by the Man Who Knows, New Holland Publishers, Frenchs Forest (NSW), ISBN 1-86436-341-X
  • Deutchman, Iva; Ellison, Anne (January 2004). "When Feminists Don't Fit The Case of Pauline Hanson". International Feminist Journal of Politics. 6 (1): 29–52. doi:10.1080/1461674032000165923. 
  • Hill, Lisa (January 1998). "Pauline Hanson, free speech and reconciliation". Journal of Australian Studies. 22 (57): 10–22. doi:10.1080/14443059809387376. 
  • Shoemaker, Adam (18 May 2009). "'Don't cry for me, Diamantina': An alternative reading of Pauline Hanson". Journal of Australian Studies. 21 (53): 20–28. doi:10.1080/14443059709387313. 

External links[edit]

Parliament of Australia
Preceded by
Les Scott
Member for Oxley
Succeeded by
Bernie Ripoll