Nik Reddy tried his luck in the 2019 federal elections as a One Nation candidate, a party not usually known to champion the cause of Australia’s migrants. A new migrant himself, he isn’t in favour of increasing migration numbers, supports the Adani mine and wants to drive down crime if elected from Bancroft in Brisbane.
“One Nation is the only party that really focuses on the majority of Australians,” says Nikhil Aai Reddy, who is One Nation’s candidate for Brisbane’s electoral district of Bancroft in the upcoming Queensland elections.
- Indian-Australian Nikhil Aai Reddy is One Nation's candidate for Bancroft in Queensland polls
- He entered Australia as an international student in 2007, now works for state government public housing
- Mr Reddy is non-committal about hiking immigration numbers, supports Pauline Hanson's theory of 'assimilation of Australian values' for migrants
Mr Reddy, who came to Australia as an international student in 2007, is the candidate chosen for the upcoming Queensland state elections by the political party helmed by Pauline Hanson, who is known as a polarising and divisive figure in Australian politics with a strong opposition towards immigration.
But Mr Reddy disagrees with that image and says Ms Hanson is “a very nice person.”
He endorses Ms Hanson’s doctrine of “assimilation” of “Australian values” by migrants and supports “sustainable immigration” for Australia.
“It doesn’t matter what your ethnic background is. As Pauline mentioned, migration really builds the nation. However, assimilation is really important,” says the 34-year-old who initially came to Adelaide as an international student.
One Nation’s website details how the party proposes to “bring back Australian values”. “Returning permanent immigration numbers closer to the 20th century average of 70,000 until our infrastructure can handle a population increase,” is a One Nation policy.
“We need sustainable migration. We don’t have enough infrastructure that can cope with the current population. In my seat in Bancroft, there’s no coordination between the three levels of government and hence a blame game continues. I’ll be pushing in parliament for Deception Bay Road which is still a single-lane road. We need infrastructure that can sustain itself for the next 20-25 years,” suggests Mr Reddy.
His party leader, Ms Hanson, had said in her speech to parliament in 1996, that Australia is in “danger of being swamped by Asians.”
It just so happens that hailing from the southern Indian city of Hyderabad, Mr Reddy also migrated to Australia from South Asia.
One Nation’s website also supports the idea of giving jobs to “Australians first”.
Mr Reddy works for the Queensland government’s public housing sector. What does he think of Australians being considered for jobs over new migrants like himself?
“It doesn’t matter where you come from. You are Australian first,” he justifies.
One Nation’s website also opposes foreign ownership of Australian businesses. But the party’s stance on Adani’s controversial Carmichael coal mine in Queensland’s Galilee Basin has changed over the past couple of years, from staunch opponent to active supporter, with news coming in about the Indian mining giant’s big donation to Ms Hanson’s One Nation last year.
Mr Reddy says he “isn’t aware of any donation” that came his party’s way from Adani but he firmly believes that “Australia’s land and water resources need to be owned by Australians”.
He says building the Adani mine will not only generate employment but also make energy affordable and boost manufacturing.
“We do support coal power stations in Queensland as it reduces the cost of energy,” he adds.
However, when asked about the potential environment risks thermal power stations pose and the attached carbon footprint, Mr Reddy excused himself from the discussion.
“There’s a lot of discussion (about it). I don’t want to get into all that,” he retorts.
Whether Australia’s migration numbers should be pushed back to 20th century figures as propounded on One Nation’s website, Mr Reddy maintains his cautious non-committal stance for or against it and says “sustainable migration” is what he stands for.
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