Senator Fraser Anning is on the verge of being dumped from Katter’s Australian Party (KAP), after the party took issue with some of his contentious views on race.
The Queensland senator’s time in Federal Parliament has been tumultuous, with him leaving One Nation just hours before being sworn in to the Upper House after a spat with leader Pauline Hanson.
Speaking in Canberra on Thursday, KAP leader Bob Katter said the matter was being dealt with by the party’s executive.
But he argued it was clear Senator Anning’s views on race and non-European migration did not sit well with him.
“This is a matter for the president of our party to talk about,” he said.
“This bloke’s 99 per cent solid gold, but there’s a problem and it’s no secret because the president of our party has already made it quite clear that that 1 per cent is not acceptable to the KAP.”
Senator Anning last week sought to introduce a bill for a plebiscite on non-European migration to Australia, “to give the people a say on who comes to this country”.
“We’ve had a plebiscite on same-sex marriage. This is a far more important issue, and it’s one the Australian people, I’m sure, would like to have a say in,” Senator Anning told reporters last week.
He said his plebiscite would also ask whether “Muslim immigration” should be stopped.
He denied this was bigoted, saying it was not “bigoted at all to give Australians a say in who comes here”.
“As we’ve seen in London and Paris right now, it’s a war zone at times and the groups I’ve just mentioned, the Muslims, are predominantly … they’re the ones causing the problems,” Senator Anning said.
Mr Katter today said he would have voted against the bill if it ever came to Parliament.
Mr Katter repeatedly avoided putting a timeframe on Senator Anning’s departure when questioned, instead trying to portray KAP as the “most anti-racist” in Parliament.
“We have championed the cause of the Sikhs, I’ve moved legislation in here on behalf of the Sikhs, we’ve championed the cause of legislation for the Jewish people,” he said.
“We’ve championed the cause, and I will often speak as a First Australian, I identify very strongly as a First Australian.
“The president of the party has pointed out that 1 per cent, which is not solid gold, is not acceptable to this party, and he’s pointed it out fairly unequivocally.”