One Nation leader Pauline Hanson storms out of Senate during Acknowledgement of Country

The Acknowledgement of Country is part of the opening procedure of every Senate sitting day, along with the Lord’s Prayer.

It recognises the Ngunnawal and Ngambri peoples as the traditional custodians of the Canberra meetings, and pays respects to elders past, present and emerging.

One Nation Senator Pauline Hanson. (James Brickwood)

But today, Hanson took exception to the ritual she had sat through many times during her political career.

Partway through the Acknowledgement, given by Senate President Sue Lines, Hanson swept out of the room, saying “No, I won’t, and never will”.

The Age reported Hanson later said her rejection of the procedure was part of a proposal that would be moved later today to raise the Indigenous flag inside the Senate chamber.

Hanson claimed the move was “divisive”.

Greens Senator Lidia Thorpe, a DjabWurrung, Gunnai and Gunditjmara woman, took to Twitter to call Hanson “ignorant” and “racist”.

“Day two of the 47th Parliament and racism has reared its ugly head. Pauline Hanson disrespectfully stormed out of the acknowledgement of Country in the Senate, refusing to acknowledge ‘those people’,” she wrote.

“You want to make parliament safe? Get rid of racism.”

Hanson in turn accused Thorpe of promoting a “racially divisive agenda”.

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