One Nation calls for indigenous seats

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Document”>The political party founded by firebrand Pauline Hanson has called for two dedicated seats in federal parliament for indigenous people.

Queensland One Nation Senate candidate Rod Evans said the two major parties had a paternalistic attitude towards Aborigines.

“For too long we are hearing and seeing statements from the major political parties in this country about lifting various conditions for Aborigines, but very little changes in areas that are in most need,” Mr Evans told AAP.

“As these members would have full voting rights in parliament without being beholden to an existing political party … it could mean that issues that affect Aboriginal Australians would finally get unbiased support.”

He admitted the policy “cuts across earlier perceptions” of One Nation, which was labelled racist by many political figures and commentators in its mid-1990s heyday.

In her maiden speech to federal parliament in 1996, Ms Hanson dismissed the fact of Aboriginal disadvantage, saying whole “industries” had cropped up to service indigenous people.

But Mr Evans said One Nation was not racist and never had been.

“I’ve never run into anyone in the party who is racist,” he said.

“Racism is the easiest way for others to discount any credibility.”

Mr Evans said the proposal could be modelled on the Maori seats in the New Zealand parliament.

One Nation is running Senate candidates in every state in the federal election on August 21.