Queensland premier dismisses Hanson's call for burqa ban

Hanson made the comments on Sky News. Source: Sky News

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palasczuk has dismissed One Nation leader Pauline Hanson's claims she would push for a burqa ban in the state, saying a ban was not necessary.

Pauline Hanson's proposal to ban the burqa in Queensland government buildings would be a waste of time according to Premier Annastacia Palasczuk, because such a measure is effectively already in place.

Ms Palaszczuk said on Tuesday the state already adhered to a series of national procedures and policies that required people to show their full face when entering government buildings.

"Also for driver's licences this is already the law so I don't know what she's particularly talking about when this already exists," she said.

Ms Palaszczuk said the existing policies did not specifically ban burqas, but rather required people to display their full face.

Ms Hanson on Monday said she would move to prohibit burqas in specific areas if she wins the upcoming Queensland state election.

“We have some big plans and ideas, and you know what I’m going to do – we’re going to investigate it – ban the burqa in government buildings and banks and schools in Queensland," Senator Hanson said on Sky News.

“We’re going to lead the way in Queensland.”

The burqa is a religious veil which covers the entire body or face of a woman, with a mesh panel across the eyes to enable vision.

“No drivers licences wearing the burqa or anything like that,” Senator Hanson said, despite that already being the case.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull agreed people should be required to show their face for the purpose of identification, but said otherwise banning items of clothing isn't the Australian way.

"We've got a very easygoing society, we don't tell people what to wear. Australians wear a wide range of clothing," Mr Turnbull told reporters at Redcliffe.

LNP defector Steve Dickson, who joined One Nation last week, supported his leader's stance on the issue on Tuesday.

"You can't smoke in a government building, you can't wear a motorcycle helmet so why should you wear a burqa?" Mr Dickson told ABC Radio.

"You're still covering your face."

Any form of face covering is not permitted by the Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads.

“If you wear headwear for religious reasons, it must be adjusted so that all facial features from the bottom of your chin to top of your forehead (including both edges of your face) are clearly shown,” current guidance states.

Six countries currently have some form of restriction on the burqa, while several others have bans in process.

In addition the banning the burqa, One Nation has called for a Royal Commission into Islam – which it says is a political ideology and not a religion – and a ban on new mosque construction.

ASIO has provided advice to the government that a burqa ban is likely to increase tensions and aid extremists.

"The security implications of any such ban are likely to be predominantly, if not wholly, negative," a 2011 report said.

One Nation, which plans to field more than 30 candidates in the Queensland state election, is polling at 16 per cent according to a recent Courier Mail report.

Internal polling by the Labor and Liberal parties shows One Nation eating into their base, the report says.

The Queensland branch of One Nation dropped candidate Shan Ju Lin earlier this month after anti-gay comments, while another candidate offered to resign over his blog posts on conspiracy theories about the Port Arthur massacre and a drowned Syrian toddler.

- with AAP

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