Hanson claims Arndt Hannah Clarke killer comments ‘twisted’
PAULINE Hanson has hit back at calls for her to be removed as deputy chair of a family law inquiry saying her support for an under-siege social commentator had been twisted.
The One National leader yesterday drew outrage over comments defending Bettina Arndt, who is facing pressure to be stripped of her Order of Australia honour after suggesting in a tweet that Rowan Baxter could have been "driven" to incinerate his estranged wife Hannah Clarke and their three children Aaliyah, 6, Laianah, 4 and Trey, 3.
Senator Hanson faced near immediate calls to be stood down as deputy chair of the upcoming inquiry with critics seizing on key phrases from her comments including that "these things happen".
Green Senator Larissa Waters lashed the comments as abhorrent and offensive, saying they undermined "efforts to prioritise children's safety in the family law system".
And she called for Senator Hanson to be removed as deputy chair of the inquiry because her "attitude puts women and children at risk".
But Senator Hanson said she had never suggested Mr Baxter was "driven" to kill four people and was making a more general point about the need to find out why men and women did horrendous things to their partners and children.
"A lot of people are driven to do these acts for one reason or another," she said.
"Hopefully the family law inquiry will get to the bottom of it. But don't bastardise all men out there, all women for that matter, because these things happen. Let's get to the bottom of it, why it is happening, and hopefully find the answers so it never happens again."
She angrily called for an apology from Senator Waters and refused to stand aside from the inquiry.
"We will never stop the murder of innocent children or women or men taking their lives, unless we find the reasons behind it," she said in the Senate yesterday
"You can't sugar-coat it. You can't just ignore what is actually happening, and you can't blame one group or another
But she failed to wrangle an apology from Senator Waters who doubled down on her attack, saying Ms Hanson "thinks that women lie about domestic violence" and was "excusing the actions of a murderer".
"It is disgusting, and it will not be forgotten," she said.
*For 24-hour domestic violence support call the national hotline 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or MensLine on 1800 600 636. The Suicide Call Back service is on 1300 659 467.