Monday, July 11, 2016

potential 'kingmaker' in the Australian parliament wants immigration restricted to just three groups

The man on whom the Turnbull government may have to depend to form a minority government in Canberra wants to restrict migration to just three groups, with Muslims left off the list.

Bob Katter, fresh from a marathon 2½-hour meeting with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in Brisbane on Thursday, said he wanted to see immigration reduced to "virtually nil", except for people in some persecuted minority groups.

Having been asked about Senator-elect Pauline Hanson's inflammatory remarks about Muslim migration, Mr Katter said migration should, ideally, be confined to Sikhs, Jews and Middle Eastern Christians.

"I had a Sikh in his turban and a Jewish assistant rabbi, with his beard, on either side of me," he said, during a meandering 50-minute media conference on Thursday.

"These are persecuted minorities, there's no doubt – 84,000 Sikhs were killed in one year in India."

But Mr Katter then painted a picture of the Jewish experience in Australia that suggested the persecution could follow them to these shores.

"The Jewish people, their children go to school under armed guard in Australia, it's a national disgrace. That is the reality," he said.

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