Di Natale scolds 'self-congratulations' after Fraser Anning speech


Greens leader Richard Di Natale believes the condemnation of a Queensland senator's anti-Muslim speech will do very little to improve the immigration debate.

Greens leader Richard Di Natale has scolded the "self-congratulations" of the two major parties following the loud condemnation of an incendiary first speech by a Queensland senator.

Katter's Australian Party Senator Fraser Anning drew fierce criticism from all sides of politics last week after praising the White Australia policy and calling for a "final solution" to Muslim immigration.

However, Senator Di Natale believes the response will do little to quash talk of a return to discriminatory immigration settings, arguing the new senator's speech must be put in context.

Fraser Anning and Bob Katter at a press conference at Parliament House.
Fraser Anning and Bob Katter at a press conference at Parliament House.

He said it came after Tony Abbott called for a return to discriminatory immigration, while Malcolm Turnbull fanned fears about African gangs and Peter Dutton expressed regrets about Lebanese Muslim migrants.

"Those sorts of behaviours, that language ... let's be clear about it, it's race-baiting, it's calculated, it's deliberate, it's desperate," Senator Di Natale told the ABC's Insiders on Sunday.

He said the coalition government was trying to have an election based on race to give themselves a chance of winning.

"They're doing it for base cynical purposes and giving permission and encouragement for the sort of language we heard."

Senator Di Natale pointed to bipartisan support between the Liberal and Labor parties for offshore immigration detention on Manus Island and Nauru.

"That's a policy that's based on race," he said.

"We discriminate by means of arrival, but if that's a de facto racist discrimination policy, I don't think that there's anything to be proud about."

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