Crossbench senator Jacqui Lambie has introduced a private bill to ban the burqa in public places.
Crossbench senator Jacqui Lambie wants to ban the burqa from public places.
And she's likely to find some support in the upper house, among crossbench colleagues like Cory Bernardi and Pauline Hanson.
Senator Lambie introduced a private senators' bill on Wednesday banning people from wearing full face coverings in commonwealth jurisdictions such as airports, as well as the ACT and Northern Territory.
It also makes it an offence to force another person or child to wear a full face covering, punishable by imprisonment.
She insists full face coverings make Australians fearful and the right to feel safe must outweigh the right for expression of religious freedom.
She says a nationwide ban on all identity-concealing garments is needed for national security reasons, unless the wearer has a reasonable and lawful excuse.
"Gone are the easy days of the past where we knew and trusted our neighbours and left our backdoors unlocked," she told parliament.
"The threat from organised crime and terrorism is real."
The ban would kick in when the national terrorism threat level reached `probable'.
Given it already is at `probable', the ban would begin immediately.
Senator Bernardi, who quit the coalition on Tuesday to sit as an independent conservative, backs the ban, labelling the burqa a security issue.
"The burqa is the flag of fundamentalist Islam and it's really not compatible with our values," he told 2GB.