Pauline Hanson has been banned from the Today show after she branded residents of Melbourne’s public housing towers ‘drug addicts and alcoholics’ on Monday morning’s show.
The One Nation senator said refugees living inside the towers should learn English in a shocking rant during while talking to co-hosts Allison Langdon and Karl Stefanovic.
Hanson’s rant led to widespread outrage on social media and within hours Channel Nine announced she would no longer be a regular contributor on the Today show.
‘The Today show has advised Pauline Hanson that she will no longer be appearing on our programme as a regular contributor,’ a Nine spokesperson said.
‘We don’t shy away from diverse opinions and robust debate on the Today show. But this morning’s accusations from Pauline Hanson were ill-informed and divisive.
‘At a time of uncertainty in this national and global health crisis, Australians have to be united and supportive of one another. We need to get through this together.’
Pauline Hanson (left) has been banned from her regular appearance on the Today show after a shocking rant about residents in Melbourne’s public housing towers on Monday that led host Allison Langdon to ask: ‘Do you have a heart Pauline?’
Hanson labelled people living in nine public housing towers across Melbourne ‘drug addicts and alcoholics’ in her extraordinary statement on Monday
Some 3,000 public housing residents who have been subjected to a ‘hard lockdown’ by the Victorian government in a bid to stop the spread of COVID-19 inside the walls of the towers
Hanson said refugees who fled war-torn countries should be able to deal with being locked up. (Pictured: Angry tower residents place signs in their windows showing messages of despair amid total lockdown)
Hanson hit out at the 3,000 residents who have been subjected to a ‘hard lockdown’ by the Victorian government in a bid to stop the spread of COVID-19 inside the walls of the towers.
Many residents have complained at a lack of notice before the lockdown came into force and say they have not been supplied with food or essentials.
The nine public housing towers across Flemington, Kensington and North Melbourne are home to some of Victoria’s most vulnerable people, including refugees who fled to Australia from wartorn countries.
During her extraordinary Monday morning rant, Hanson said that those complaining over being locked in the towers should ‘know what it’s like to be in tough conditions’.
‘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.
‘Have a look at the facts before you criticise. The governments and all of these … interest groups and everyone will make sure they’re well looked after.’
Hanson rejected suggestions that health authorities and the government should be communicating 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 backgrounds, 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.
Following her rant, Hanson was asked by Langdon: ‘Do you have a heart Pauline?’
Hanson went on to say the no-warning lockdown was justified if residents were not practicing social distancing.
Hanson argued other Australians have also been through a similar lockdown, and said it is no different to the housing commission quarantine
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
Medical staff wearing PPE holding material about to walk into the Flemington Public housing flats
‘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.
‘There has to be a reason why they have targeted this set of blocks, apartment blocks. Ask that question.’
CORONAVIRUS CASES IN AUSTRALIA: 8,449
New South Wales: 3,240
Western Australia: 618
South Australia: 443
Australian Capital Territory: 108
Northern Territory: 30
TOTAL CASES: 8,394
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, couldn’t go any where,’ she said.
‘Australian people have been locked up in their homes for ages.
‘We really need to clean up the COVID-19. Make up your mind. You either want to clean up COVID-19 or you don’t. And you have to make the tough decisions if we are going to get this country back on track.’
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 force 3,000 people in towers across Flemington, Kensington and North Melbourne to stay inside – with armed police on every floor of every block ensuring they do not leave for any reason over the next five days.
Residents who refuse to be tested for coronavirus could be locked up for as long as 14 days; the same quarantine period as people arriving from overseas.
‘We do have milk and bread, but if we are going to be in lockdown for 14 days, which is what we have been told, it is not going to last that long,’ Fleming tower resident Thana Sirag said.
Ms Sirag said she just wants to be treated like other households dealing with the virus.
‘We are put under much more severe circumstances than everyone else, we are being treated like prisoners,’ Ms Sirag said.
Premier Andrews locked the doors to nine public 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 Pictured: Police enforce a lockdown at public housing towers on Racecourse Road in Flemington
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 in the city’s inner northwest 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