Pauline Hanson has vowed to transform the current Labor-Liberal duopoly political system during a brief visit to WA to support the state’s One Nation candidate Rod Caddies for the Darling Range by-election.
Speaking to WAMN News in a rare one-on-one interview, Ms Hanson said Australians were tired of the major parties, while she provided her views on youth, education, jobs, media and internal party issues.
“We are changing that people want someone else to vote for other than the major political parties, because they are fed up with them,” the outspoken, controversial One Nation party founder and leader said.
”I think it’s important to have One Nation and other minor parties, and I congratulate all candidates who want to stand for Parliament.”
“Whether they are independent or the minor parties because there has to be change.”
“A lot of people are angry at the direction this country is going, they want change. And you can only get that change if you got other people prepared to stand.”
Youth Jobs & Wellbeing
While discussing youth employment, Ms Hanson believed the current education system did not encourage young people to pursue other trades and professions.
She said TAFE colleges across the country have been shut and there is a lack of incentives for businesses to take on apprentices.
Ms Hanson claimed her party is pushing for a pilot scheme of 1,000 apprentices and hoped more young people would be hired.
“Under my scheme that I have proposed to the government, is I’m pushing for a thousand pilot apprentice schemes at the moment,” she said.
”That means the government will pay the employer 75 per cent of the first year’s wage, 50 per cent on the second year, 25 per cent on the third year, and it’s a pilot scheme for a thousand apprentices.”
“And I hope and I know that more businesses will employ the young apprentices.”
Ms Hanson continued to say the current welfare system made it too easy for young people to receive youth allowances and the dole.
She believed Australia had lost its work ethic and the way of thinking needed to change.
Ms Hanson said it was a great idea that the Liberal-National coalition was pushing for random drug testing for welfare recipients.
“Those kids out there who are on drugs, receiving youth start or a welfare allowance, they may be picked up and have to do a drug test,” she said.
”The parents then know the kids are on drugs and they have to clean up their act. Yet Labor and the Greens are knocking it back.”
”I’m all for it.”
Why Australian Youth Feel Disconnected with Politics
The interview moved to the topic of Australian youth disconnection to politics, with the discussion shifting back to the topic of Australia’s education system.
Ms Hanson felt that many young people still don’t understand the difference between local, state and federal governments, despite many high schools teaching students about Australian political systems and school tours to Parliament House.
She also accused WA Greens senator Jordon Steele-John of pushing a private member’s bill to lower the voting age to 16 years of age.
“I’m saying no they shouldn’t because they don’t understand politics enough to go vote,” Ms Hanson said.
However, while she admitted that she had considered rising the voting age to 21, she acknowledged the public believed the age of 18 was appropriate for other responsibilities.
University Education Should Not Be Free
Ms Hanson also rejected the idea that university should be free and believed tertiary education was affordable for Australian students.
She stated the current HECS scheme allowed people to aspire to study and to borrow money from the government to pursue education.
”I think we are a country that wants our children, our kids to get further education, but don’t take it for granted,” the senator said.
“There are hard-working Australians that are paying their taxes, they are giving these opportunities. Do you know our HECS debt is $42 billion owing to the tax payers of this country?”
”That’s people who’ve gone on to get further education, get their degrees, taking it for granted and haven’t paid back their debt to the Australian people.”
Australian Media Not Balanced
When asked about the Australian media, Ms Hanson said it did not provide a balanced view to the public, claiming journalists often had their own views.
However, she said she did not dislike the media.
“No, I don’t hate the mainstream media,” Ms Hanson said.
“But mainstream media, instead of reporting the facts and let the people judge me, a lot of these journalists have their own opinions and then not putting across a balanced view.”
She called on the ABC as the nation’s public broadcaster to provide balanced journalism.
Ms Hanson also believed the ABC should be privatised and said the Australian government was spending $1 billion on the public broadcaster every year.
She said taxpayers needed better value for money.
“You’ve got the ABC with four stations plus all the radio outlets,” Ms Hanson said.
”Yes, it’s great and I think some of the interviews they put across is very good is very good, and people like the ABC radio they get.”
“But get back to fair and balance because they are not fair and balanced.”