Hanson refuses to apologise for inaccurate refugee comments

POLITICAL PROBLEMS: Pauline Hanson addresses the crowd at the Reclaim Australia Rally in Rockhampton in July during one of two visits to the region this year.
POLITICAL PROBLEMS: Pauline Hanson addresses the crowd at the Reclaim Australia Rally in Rockhampton in July during one of two visits to the region this year. Chris Ison Rokcrally

PAULINE Hanson has refused to say sorry for comments she made earlier this week about Rockhampton refugees, despite Capricornia MP Michelle Landry asking her to apologise for her "tirade".

On Tuesday the One Nation party leader told morning television show Sunrise that refugees in Rockhampton schools were abusing teachers while others were stealing local jobs in the meatworks.

Ms Hanson referenced "over 100" refugee students in North Rockhampton High School and Glenmore High School, despite North Rockhampton High holding only 13 refugee enrolments and Glenmore High holding zero.

Ms Landry said Ms Hanson "must" apologise for demonising Rockhampton's multicultural community.

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"It was just nonsense to say things like this. It damages our city Australia-wide and slurs the reputation of our multicultural population," she said.

"We are the Beef Capital and it's a fact that our meat export industry relies heavily on the contribution of multicultural workers here because few Australians are willing to sign up to work in our abattoirs, despite the jobs being there.

"People from other cultures also add to the rich cultural fabric of our community."

But Ms Hanson said she "makes no apologies for standing up and representing locals" in Ms Landry's constituency.

In response to Ms Landry's comments, Ms Hanson said she had met a teacher from North Rockhampton High while attending the Yeppoon Races in August.

The discussion reportedly included stories of schoolyard bullying by one "female Muslim refugee student", threats of assault from young male refugee students towards other children and female staff, and a softened approach towards poorly behaved refugee students that would otherwise result in suspension for others.

While Ms Hanson acknowledged her source may have "embellished" refugee student numbers attending the school, she believed the issues were causing enough problems for teachers to speak to candidates like herself.

"The Education Department and Members of Parliament don't like to publicly acknowledge there are issues within the system. They may be small now, however if they are not dealt with immediately, these problems are likely to grow as the country takes in more refugees," she said.

Topics:  glenmore high school michelle landry north rockhampton high school pauline hanson refugees

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