'There's no excuse for racism': Burney slams Hanson

The Labor Party member for Barton, Linda Burney, answers a question during a press conference in Sydney on Sunday, July 3, 2016. Source: AAP

The first Indigenous woman to be elected to the federal House of Representatives says public statements by Pauline Hanson demonstrates the ignorance of the One Nation party leader.

Pauline Hanson is set to return to the federal parliament after claiming a senate seat in Saturday's election.

This week she labelled Islam as an ideology, not a religion, and that the NSW seat of Hurstville had been flooded with Asian migrants.

During a speech on Monday, Ms Hanson said: "You go and ask a lot of people in Sydney, at Hurstville or some of the other suburbs. They feel they have been swamped by Asians."

The MP who now overlooks Hurstville after winning the western Sydney seat of Barton, Indigenous woman Linda Burney, told the ABC's Lateline program on Tuesday she won't tolerate Ms Hanson's views on multiculturalism.

"You cannot excuse stupidity for ignorance and that's what is being displayed," she said.

"I think there is alot of apologising going on about her at the moment. That we've got to negotiate, that we've got to understand that she represents people with these views.

"But it does not mean that you have to accept those view or tolerate them. And I will not be doing that."

Ms Burney in turn praised her seat's diversity.

"It is one of the most dynamic, wonderful suburbs that you could go to. Pauline Hanson is speaking from a point of ignorance," she said.

"There is no excuse for racism."

In response to a question about Hanson's criticisms of so called 'preferential treatment' of Indigenous Australians, Ms Burney replied: "Well, she also wrote that Aboriginal people ate their babies at some point in the distant past." 

The weekend's election resulted in nearly a quarter of voters turning away from the major parties, an outcome Ms Burney said showed a lack of trust for politicians.

"People have grown to think that politicians are there for themselves, they've grown to distrust politicians, and I think one of the reasons that Labor did so well in this election is because we put as our slogan, people first," she said.

Source SBS News

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