While the world mourns the victims of the Christchuch terror attack, disturbing footage has emerged of Pauline Hanson seeming to suggest the 1996 Port Arthur massacre was a government conspiracy, ABC News reports.
The Port Arthur attack is known as one of Australia’s darkest days – when 35 innocent men, women and children were murdered in a lone gunman’s open fire as they enjoyed a day out at the tourist site.
It was this event – this horrific act of terror in which a 28-year-old man was able to purchase a semi-automatic assault weapon from a gun dealer without holding a licence – that saw Australia declare, “This can never happen again.”
But according to Senator Hanson, there are “a lot of questions” surrounding the massacre which prompted the John Howard Government to introduce The National Firearms Agreement, making history in the country.
The video in which her unnerving claims are made is part of Al Jazeera‘s three-year long investigation exposing One Nation for attempting to weaken Australian gun laws, approaching powerful US lobby groups for $28 million in funding for their cause.
Senator Hanson was secretly filmed by Rodger Muller, an Al Jazeera journalist who posed as the leader of a fictitious firearm advocate group called Gun Rights Australia when she made the comments.
In the video released by the publication, the senator claims an MP had told parliament it would take “a massacre in Tasmania” for gun law reform, before the attack had happened.
“An MP said it would actually take a massacre in Tasmania to change the gun laws in Australia,” she said.
“Haven’t you heard that? Have a look at it. It was said on the floor of parliament.”
In a separate, equally as concerning video, Senator Hanson is sitting with her chief of staff James Ashby, discussing other conspiracy theories, including 9/11.
“That whole September 11 thing, too,” Mr Ashby adds during the group discussion on Port Arthur.
“Those shots. They were precision shots,” Senator Hanson responds.
“Check the number out. I’ve read a lot and I have read the book on it, Port Arthur. A lot of questions there.”
Australia has some of the strictest gun laws in the world due to the Howard Government’s response to Port Arthur – laws which have often been used as examples in overseas debates over weapons reform.
In the wake of the report published overnight by Al Jazeera, Scott Morrison has expressed deep concern, and vowed not to take a backwards step on gun laws.
“Australia’s gun laws are world’s best thanks to (former Prime Minister) John Howard and we will not be changing them,” he posted on Twitter.