Pauline Hanson has gone on a shocking rant about Melbourne’s housing commission residents in lockdown, branding them ‘drug addicts and alcoholics’ and claiming they should learn how to speak English.
The hard lockdown was imposed by Victorian Government on Saturday in a bid to contain an outbreak after 27 people in Melbourne’s public housing towers tested positive to coronavirus.
More than 3000 tenants in nine buildings were unprepared for the surprise decision and many had been left without groceries.
Speaking with host Allison Langdon on Monday’s Today Show, the One Nation leader denied residents don’t have access to essential supplies.
‘Ah come on Ally, we’ve seen food being delivered there,’ Hanson replied.
‘The fact is a lot of them are drug addicts as well, they are getting their medication, they are alcoholics so they’re being looked after in that way.’
She then went on to imply refugees from war-torn countries should be able to deal with being locked up.
Pauline Hanson has gone on a shocking rant about Melbourne’s housing commission residents in lockdown
The hard lockdown was imposed by Victorian Government on Saturday in a bid to contain an outbreak after 27 people in Melbourne’s public housing towers tested positive to coronavirus
About 500 police will be deployed across the nine towers during each shift, or about 55 officers per unit (Pictured: A group of officers outside public housing towers on Racecourse Road)
‘You know, these people, I saw them taking a truck load of food to them, all the rest of it, if they are from war torn countries, which some of these people are, they know what it is like to be in tough conditions,’ she said.
‘So I’d say, you know, have a look at the facts before you criticise and that aspect and I think the governments and all of these other, you know, these interest groups an everyone will make sure they’re well looked after.’
Hanson rejected suggestions that health authorities and the government could have communicated with residents in their native languages.
‘Why should we? Why should we put everything out in someone else’s language when you come to Australia,’ she said.
‘We should not be putting out literature in their own language. Learn to speak English when you come here to this country. That’s a big problem that we have in Australia.’
‘A lot of these people are from non-English speaking back grounds, probably English is their second language who haven’t adhered to the rules of social distancing. They all used a lot of the same laundry,’ she said.
Hanson went on to suggest the 3000 public housing residents were placed in lockdown ‘weren’t doing the right thing’.
‘So the fact is you’ve got to look at why they are in that situation. Why is it they are in that situation? Why has the Government gone to this high-rise building and shut it down? Possibly because a lot of these people weren’t doing the right thing,’ she said.
‘Is the Government worried about the other areas that are shut down? You know, the people in their homes, are they able to actually get out and buy the food as well?
‘There has to be a reason why they have targeted this set of blocks, apartment blocks. Ask that question.’
Hanson argued other Australians have also been through a similar lockdown, and said it is no different to the housing commission quarantine.
‘We’ve gone through months of people, the public being locked up. We’ve gone through months where people couldn’t go to the park, gyms, couldn’t go to the park, gyms, couldn’t go any where,’ she said.
‘Australian people have been locked up in their homes for ages. What are you going on about now? Because they’re locked up in their homes, because they live in apartment buildings, they live in apartment buildings, the Government has taken food to them, they get paid extra money, they are getting methadone, they are given the drugs, they are looking after their addictions, what is your problem?’
Premier Andrews locked the doors to nine housing towers from 4pm on Saturday amid fears the virus is spreading rapidly within their walls.
The ‘hard lockdown’ will see 3,000 people in towers across Flemington, Kensington and North Melbourne forced to stay inside – with armed police on every single floor of every block ensuring they do not leave for any reason over the next five days.
More than 3000 tenants in nine buildings were unprepared for the surprise decision and many had been left without groceries
Towers in the suburbs of Flemington (pictured), Kensington and North Melbourne will be closed for five days
Victoria has for weeks been grappling with an outbreak of coronavirus across various Melbourne hotspots.
The state racked up another 74 new cases on Sunday, bringing its confirmed infections total to 2536.
Some 12 Victorian postcodes have been put into stage three lockdown until at least July 29 in order to prevent the spread of the virus.
Two of those areas, covering North Melbourne, Hotham Hill, Kensington and Flemington are home to the nine public housing towers.
Premier Daniel Andrews said the hard lockdown was about the safety of residents as well as the entire state.
‘This is not about punishment, this is about protection for you and your loved ones,’ he said.
‘And then, by extension, it’s about protecting the entire state and we don’t make those decisions lightly.’
Which suburbs are in lockdown?
3012 – Brooklyn, Kingsville, Maidstone, Tottenham, West Footscray
3021 – Albanvale, Kealba, Kings Park, St Albans
3032 – Ascot Vale, Highpoint City, Maribyrnong, Travancore
3038 – Keilor Downs, Keilor Lodge, Taylors Lakes, Watergardens
3042 – Airport West, Keilor Park, Niddrie
3046 – Glenroy, Hadfield, Oak Park
3047 – Broadmeadows, Dallas, Jacana
3055 – Brunswick South, Brunswick West, Moonee Vale, Moreland West
3060 – Fawkner
3064 – Craigieburn, Donnybrook, Mickelham, Roxburgh Park, Kalkallo
FROM 11.59 ON SATURDAY JULY 4:
3031 – Flemington, Kensington
3051 – North Melbourne