UNDER FIRE: One Nation Queensland Senator Pauline Hanson.
UNDER FIRE: One Nation Queensland Senator Pauline Hanson. Contributed

NOT FOR SALE: MP takes aim at One Nation's gun lobby appeal

"WE ARE not for sale. Period."

Fairfax MP Ted O'Brien has lashed One Nation after recordings of two high-profile officials seeking $20 million in funding from the NRA were released.

One Nation Queensland Leader Steve Dickson, a former Buderim MP and LNP State Minister, and the party's chief of staff, James Ashby, were filmed by an undercover Al Jazeera reporter seeking donations from the NRA.

Mr Ashby is recorded in the September, 2018 meeting in Washington saying a donation of $20 million would deliver ownership of the Upper House and Lower House.

"I've just seen that video and let me be clear, the Australian Parliament is not up for sale and One Nation representatives are not the salespeople of the Australian Parliament, nor our democratic system," Mr O'Brien said at a function in Maroochydore this morning.

"We do not sell our democracy to anybody."

 

Member for Fairfax Ted O'Brien has slammed One Nation's NRA lobbying.
Member for Fairfax Ted O'Brien has slammed One Nation's NRA lobbying. John McCutcheon

Mr O'Brien called on One Nation to answer three questions immediately.

"One, do they believe the Australian Parliament is for sale? Two, do they believe in foreign donations? Three, do they believe in diluting Australia's gun laws?" he said.

"Answer those three questions immediately please One Nation, the Australian people deserve nothing less."

One Nation leader and Queensland Senator Pauline Hanson had rallied against foreign donations previously and the legislation banning overseas funding was passed by the Federal Parliament in November last year, just weeks after the Washington meeting was recorded.

"We should never have senior representatives of any political party travel overseas and try to sell our democracy," Mr O'Brien said.

 

James Ashby speaks to a fake gun lobbyist.
James Ashby speaks to a fake gun lobbyist. ABC News

One Nation has claimed it was set up by Al Jazeera and has referred the matter to ASIO and the Australian Federal Police, due to concerns of foreign interference into Australia politics, in the lead-up to the imminent Federal Election.

"It is understood One Nation were targeted because of its strong approach to reducing immigration numbers and a travel ban on countries with terrorism links," Mr Ashby said in a statement.

"One Nation strongly supports the rights of lawful gun ownership within Australia and have clearly outlined our policy on our website.

"One Nation members have always complied with the law."

 

Steve Dickson and Pauline Hanson.
Steve Dickson and Pauline Hanson. Patrick Woods

When asked whether he considered One Nation's actions to be hypocritical, Mr O'Brien said that was a question for the right-wing party to answer.

"It is up to One Nation to answer whether or not they are a party of the people or a party of hypocrisy," Mr O'Brien said.

"I am appalled at the thought One Nation is going overseas suggesting they are prepared to dilute our gun laws and they are prepared to do it for money. For money. Extraordinary."

He said the LNP stood on its record when it came to gun laws which were tightened after the Port Arthur massacre.

 

CAUGHT ON CAMERA: One Nation state leader Steve Dickson was recorded in meetings seeking NRA funding.
CAUGHT ON CAMERA: One Nation state leader Steve Dickson was recorded in meetings seeking NRA funding. Contributed

One Nation's newly-elected NSW Upper House member Mark Latham publicly backed New Zealand's tightening of its gun control laws in the wake of last week's Christchurch massacre.

Mr O'Brien said as for the issue of the LNP preferencing One Nation at the upcoming Federal Election, that was a matter for the organisational wing of the party.

But he urged voters to make their own minds up on who to preference and not to take instructions from anybody.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has so far refused to say whether the LNP would preference One Nation last.

"The Prime Minister will speak as the Prime Minister, I speak as the Member for Fairfax, and what I say to the residents in the seat of Fairfax is 'you decide who you vote for, you decide who you preference'," he said.

He declined to comment on the NRA and said his main concern after viewing the video was the suggestion the Australian Parliament was for sale.

"It's not for sale. It's not for sale domestically, it's certainly not for sale to foreign peoples," he said.

"We only recently made law in this country banning foreign donations. I find it quite extraordinary that we now have senior representatives of One Nation overseas trying to sell our parliament, stating that you pay $20 million and you will effectively own the Upper and Lower House of the Australian Parliament.

"We're not for sale. We are not for sale, period."

He questioned whether the foreign donation banning laws had hit the notice papers in Parliament, or whether Senator Hanson had been briefed, prior to her party's representatives attending the meeting in Washington.

"This issue was well covered in the media, well ahead of legislation being drafted," Mr O'Brien said.

"I don't think anything I can say could paint an uglier picture than what the video does in its own right," he added, when asked if it he considered it worse if Senator Hanson knew about the foreign donation law changes before her party sought NRA funding.



Piles of weed washes up on Northern Rivers beaches

premium_icon Piles of weed washes up on Northern Rivers beaches

Unsightly brown algae makes going tough for swimmers

How a 'usual night at the RSL' turned into $1.2M win

premium_icon How a 'usual night at the RSL' turned into $1.2M win

A Ballina man faced a 'difficult' dilemma

Evacuees told they can finally go home

premium_icon Evacuees told they can finally go home

For some people, it is safe to go home