Far-right Australian senator censured over 'ugly' Christchurch comments

Tourism New Zealand suspended all marketing out of respect for the Muslim community targeted in the Christchurch mosque shootings

ROSS GIBLIN STUFF Tourism New Zealand suspended all marketing out of respect for the Muslim community targeted in the Christchurch mosque shootings

Australian senator Fraser Anning arrives in the chamber at the start of the senate session Tuesday, April 2, 2019, at Parliament House in Canberra.

The motion was supported by the majority of lawmakers with one voice against it and three others abstaining, including Anning himself and his former fellow members of the right-leaning party One Nation.

Australain government minister Mathias Cormann shakes hands with Fraser Anning after his controversial first speech.

The country's foreign ministry has issued a travel warning to its citizens in New Zealand and Australia and cited Senator Anning's call for a ban on Muslim immigration as having "created an atmosphere of insecurity".

The remarks drew worldwide condemnation and a swift commitment from Australia's coalition government and opposition party Labor to censure Senator Anning when Parliament returned.

Australian Greens Senator Mehreen Faruqi speaks to the leader of the Opposition in the Senate Penny Wong on Tuesday.

"There is a difference between freedom of speech and hate speech. How pathetic. Shameful and pathetic attempt by a bloke who has never been elected to get attention by exploiting diversity as a fault line for political advantage", said Wong.

"It is a great sadness in me to see the way in which some on that side have failed to repudiate the ideology and the hate speech that we have seen in recent times". "We can't normalise it through a contest of better ideas".

Right-wing politician Fraser Anning landed in hot water after blaming the Christchurch shootings that took the lives of 50 people, on immigration policies that "allowed Muslim fanatics to migrate to New Zealand in the first place".

Together, they described Anning's comments as "inflammatory and divisive", as recounted by the Sydney Morning Herald. "They were risky and unacceptable from anyone, let alone a member of this place", Government Senate Leader Mathias Cormann told the Senate.

Senator Anning was not in the chamber at the time.

Labor senator Pat Dodson broke down after speaking about attacks on Indigenous communities by British settlers, reading a Maori phase which he said translated as "we are sorry for your loss, stay strong".

Anning had invoked the term "final solution" while talking about the "problem" of immigration.

In a speech, he called the censure motion "left-wing virtue signalling", and said he had "simply told the truth".

Senator Pat Dodson said "we can not let the stench of racism and hate linger in this chamber".

But while that petition doesn't have any legal weight, on Wednesday, the federal Senate moved to hit Anning with the most powerful measure available to it: a formal censure - or condemnation - motion.

Senate President Scott Ryan warned that laws had been tightened in the 1980s so that suspending Anning could be challenged in the courts.

"If One Nation endorses your action to censure Sen".

He immediately left Pauline Hanson's party and briefly joined Katter's Australian Party.

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