Teachers smash Pauline Hanson's racism claims
ONE Nation leader Pauline Hanson yesterday declared on national television that the "over 100" refugee children at Glenmore State High School were abusing teachers, despite the fact that none are enrolled there.
Her comments were made during Seven's morning television program Sunrise, where Ms Hanson and social commentator Derryn Hinch were debating Australia's participation in the Syrian refugee crisis.
"Refugees that are now in the town (Rocky) are actually taking the jobs in the meatworks and Australians up there feel like there is reverse racism," Ms Hanson said on air.
"The schools, North Rockhampton School plus also (Glenmore) School, high schools, have over 100 refugee children each.
"They are abusing and making death threats to the teachers, you have a full-time police officer there."
Education Queensland yesterday confirmed there were no refugee enrolments at Glenmore High School, only 13 at North Rockhampton High School, and said police had not been placed there in response to refugee enrolments.
When interviewed yesterday afternoon, Ms Hanson said she had spoken to teachers and an employee related to the meatworks industry during her visits to Rockhampton.
She was recently in the region for the Reclaim Australia Rally and the Yeppoon Races.
The politician said teachers in the schools were scared of the "standover" tactics employed by refugee children, and talked to a meatworker who felt that the industry was "turning to halal" and would only employ "Muslims".
But the Queensland Teachers Union Rockhampton organiser Barry Thomson said he "seriously doubted the validity" of the comments.
"We have never received a complaint for any school in relation to the issues she has identified," he said.
"There are active and proactive union representatives in these schools and the issue has never been raised."
Similarly, in the Settlement Works report by the Multicultural Development Association, the Rockhampton meatworks provided information into their migrant workforce.
In it, Teys Australia said humanitarian refugees working in the Rockhampton site had addressed a critical shortage of workers.
But Ms Hanson also said a major concern with refugee intake was the cost, and their religious background.
"Each refugee costs Australia half a million dollars," she said.
"These refugees, within five years, 90% are still unemployed on benefits. Are we going to keep borrowing money to pay these bills?
"I am very strong on no Muslim refugees in Australia... if we were to take refugees they should be Christians."
A Department of Immigration spokesperson said the cost to government of settling a refugee varied depending on a number of factors.
"Costs can be influenced by the origin and needs of the refugee, the level of service provided by government agencies and the employment outcome for the individual," the spokesperson said.
According to the UNHCR Global Trends Report, Australia is ranked 69th in the world for per capita intake. Australia takes the most refugees on a per capita basis through its re-settlement program only, where the person is transferred to a third country
Data from the ABS estimates that 43% of migrants on humanitarian visas receive their main source of income from either wages or salary