Political debate turns nasty in Australia

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Section
Audio,
Publish Date
Tuesday, 19 March 2019, 9:00AM
Photo / Getty Images

The mosque attacks have spiked an increasingly toxic political debate in Australia.

The Greens are demanding stronger action against hate speech after Senator Fraser Anning blamed the attacks on Muslim immigration.

Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton says the Greens anti-free speech position is just as bad.

And One Nation leader Pauline Hanson has rejected the accusation that her comments about Muslims in Australia "empower" white supremacists 

ABC host Michael Rowland told Mike Hosking the debate is getting nastier by the day.

"It is particularly toxic in Australia at the moment in the wake of the horrible events in Christchurch.

"Fraser Anning is in deep trouble and Peter Dutton, who is in charge of intelligence agencies, is being asked if he could have done more to flag the attacker. "

Rowland says every intelligence agency has been told to pay extra attention to far-right extremists following the terror attacks in Christchurch

The mosque attacks have also sparked a change in Australia's gun debate.

New South Wales Labor leader Michael Daley has ruled out relaxing gun laws if he wins this weekend's state election.

Daley had struck a deal with a gun rights party, which could hold the balance of power.

Rowland told Mike Hosking the political landscape has changed after Friday's attacks.

"Any politician promising to stand up for guns at the moment would be a very brave person indeed."

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