Nationals to debate burqa ban
NATIONAL MPs will vote on a proposal to ban the burqa from any public place with Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt saying he is against women being forced to wear any garments.
Nationals MP George Christensen will move the last-minute motion at the party's federal conference on Sunday arguing it's not an attack on religion but about safety and security concerns.
He said there would be exceptions for places of worship such as mosques.
Mr Christensen said his motion would apply to all full-facial coverings like balaclavas and described the burqa and niqab as a "cultural practice based on the oppression of women”.
Mr Pitt said he supported the rights of women to choose what they want to wear but not if they were being forced to wear the attire.
"Australians are required to show their faces when law enforcement demands identification, and that happens now.”
Mr Pitt noted that outcomes from motions debated at party conferences were not binding on the parliamentary wing.
"The Nationals are a democratic party and its party members discuss and debate many topics,” he said.
The motion comes after One Nation senator Pauline Hanson last month donned a burqa in the Senate in a political stunt, which went viral.
Senator Hanson says she was making a point about national security.
Labor senators called "shame” and "you're a disgrace” as Senator Hanson removed the burqa and rose to ask if the government would work towards implementing a burqa ban.
An emotional Attorney-General George Brandis received a standing ovation from Labor senators when he labelled her actions as "appalling” and "disgraceful” and that her stunt was ridiculing and mocking the Muslim community.