One Nation is threatening to block government savings measures unless ABC funding is slashed by at least $600 million in the upcoming Federal Budget.
Pauline Hanson and her senators have unleashed sustained attacks on the ABC after a journalist reported details of a planned trip to Afghanistan.
A delegation of six MPs – including Senator Hanson, One Nation’s Brian Burston, and Labor and Coalition MPs – were planning to visit Australian troops for Anzac Day.
But the travel plans were canned following the ABC report, which One Nation claims posed a security risk to Senator Hanson.
One Nation Senator Malcolm Roberts exclusively told Daily Mail Australia the ABC report was ‘just like an ISIS attack’.
‘The cowards make their hit and then scuttle away into the sand. Like snakes.’
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One Nation Senators Brian Burston, Malcolm Roberts and Pauline Hanson are pictured in the Senate chamber in February this year
Pauline Hanson is pictured with the One Nation plane, which featured in the ABC Four Corners expose over questions of how it was purchased
Senator Roberts accused the public broadcaster of having a ‘fatwa’ on Senator Hanson, and of colluding with terrorists.
‘The ABC put our digger’s lives at risk so as to execute a political hit on Senator Hanson. The ABC have declared jihad on Aussie diggers. They have a fatwa on Pauline Hanson,’ Senator Roberts told Daily Mail Australia.
‘The ABC’s actions in revealing the ANZAC Day visit to diggers shows their willingness to collude with ISIS and other terrorists in identifying Australian targets, including troops. The ABC has for a long time been harbingers of terror apologists. This proves their jihad sympathy.
‘I expect this budget to produce deep and significant cuts to their ABC. It is the end of the road for the Greens propaganda arm. My vote in the Senate is for decency and democracy, not terror and violence,’ Senator Roberts said.
He wants ABC to be completely defunded.
His NSW colleague Senator Burston has called on the government to slash at least $600 million from the May Federal Budget.
Senator Malcolm Roberts accused the ABC of colluding with terrorists
One Nation senators are pictured at Parliament House in Canberra in March
The ABC was given $3.1 billion in funding, over three years, in the 2016 Federal Budget – equating to about $1 billion a year. The proposed $600 million slash in funding would reduce the ABC’s budget by about $200 million annually.
Senator Burston threatened to block budget savings measures if the $600 million is not cut.
‘I can confirm that I have requested that the ABC funding be reduced by $600m over the forward estimates and have conveyed this to the Finance Minister and asked him to forward it to the Treasurer for inclusion in the May Budget,’ Senator Burston told Daily Mail Australia.
‘If the government are not forthcoming to that request we will consider what One Nation might do to exert pressure to achieve that outcome. I will not rule out any strategy in order to succeed.
‘The ABC put our digger’s lives at risk so as to executive a political hit on Senator Hanson. The ABC have declared jihad on Aussie diggers. They have a fatwa on Pauline Hanson,’ Senator Roberts said (Ms Hanson pictured in March)
Senator Burston has threatened to block government savings measures unless $600 million is slashed from ABC funding. The ABC was given $3.1 billion in funding, over three years, in the 2016 Federal Budget
WHAT WOULD HAPPEN IF ONE NATION BLOCKS ALL GOVERNMENT MEASURES?
The threat from One Nation puts Malcolm Turnbull and Treasurer Scott Morrison in a vice. The government has already been struggling to pass reforms through the Upper House with renegade senators on the cross bench wielding significant power.
The Coalition needs a majority of votes from a total of 76 senate spots – there are currently only 75 senators because of a vacancy left by One Nation’s Bob Day, after the High Court found he was not eligible to sit.
The Coalition has 29 senators in the Upper House, and can count on the support of Cory Bernardi as Australian Conservatives – with one spot. The Coalition would generally draw support from Liberal Democrats and Derryn Hinch, who both have one vote each.
That only makes 32 votes without the support of four One Nation senators. The government will struggle to pass savings measures, even if the Turnbull government can garner more support from the three Nick Xenophon Team senators and Jacqui Lambie. Labor Party (26 votes) and Greens (nine votes) senators are unlikely to throw support behind the Coalition.
Senator Burston also called on ABC journalist Andrew Probyn to be sacked for reporting details of their Middle East trip on the Insiders program.
Mr Probyn had canvassed the trip and questioned how Senator Hanson would go in Afghanistan considering she said Australia needed to ‘vaccinate’ itself against Islam.
One of the MPs reportedly ‘accidentally’ told Mr Probyn about the planned trip, and he then reported on it on an episode of Insiders.
‘The Middle East trip was cancelled because of release of details by the out of control ABC and the journalist [Andrew] Probyn should be sacked,’ Senator Burston told Daily Mail Australia.
Senator Burston said he was ‘coming after’ the ABC and the ‘disgraceful journalist’ in a Facebook post, but denied to Daily Mail Australia he was making a threat.
Senator Burston said he was ‘coming after’ the ABC and the ‘disgraceful journalist’ in a Facebook post, but denied to Daily Mail Australia he was making a threat (ABC head office in Ultimo, Sydney is pictured in March, 2017)
ABC journalist Andrew Probyn is pictured. He revealed details of the planned trip on the Insiders program
Senator Roberts accused the ABC of putting the lives of Australian troops at risk.
‘Our diggers who were to protect Pauline are the ones who would have shielded the Senators when the bullets and bombs started to fly. It was their lives the ABC recklessly put on the line. The ABC are warped and dangerous. Terrible. Horrible. Sad,’ Senator Roberts said.
‘The ABC now go to ground and refuse to make comment on this gross security breach.’
On Monday, Senator Hanson said she’d had a ‘gutful of the media’ following the canned trip.
She accused the Four Corners expose on the party of being a ‘stitch up’.
Journalist Caro Meldrum-Hanna has said they reached out to One Nation and party secretary James Ashby for five weeks before the episode aired last Monday.
Daily Mail Australia has reached out to Mr Probyn and Treasurer Scott Morrison.
The ABC declined to comment when approached by Daily Mail Australia.
Senator Roberts unleashed an attack on the ABC on Facebook on Tuesday
Senator Burston accused the ABC of being ‘out of control’ and hinted he would ‘seriously consider whether we will support other budget saving measures if they will not support this one’