One Nation candidate Damian Huxham with senator Pauline Hanson.
One Nation candidate Damian Huxham with senator Pauline Hanson. Alistair Brightman

Huxham defends Hanson as autism quarrel rages on

PAULINE Hanson's candidate for Hervey Bay has defended his leader's comments about children with autism in classrooms, following an attack on the embattled senator by Keith Pitt.

The Hinkler MP questioned the stance of Ms Hanson's state candidates on the issue after the One Nation senator said autistic children should be removed from mainstream classes to get "special attention".

Mr Pitt said Ms Hanson should correct the record about her "poor choice of words" on Thursday.

"The reality is, it's not just her; it is every single candidate that's standing for One Nation, particularly in the state of Queensland," Mr Pitt said.

"If you are a One Nation candidate, is this something you agree with?"

Mr Pitt said the government did not agree with her statement and urged her to correct the record on her comments.

"I think it was... a very poor choice of words if that was her intention," he said.

But Hervey Bay's One Nation candidate Damian Huxham defended her comments, saying it was a topic that needed to be discussed and Ms Hanson simply wanted equal opportunity for schoolchildren.

He said the state candidates had "nothing to explain" on the issue.

"A country that doesn't look after its children has no future," Mr Huxham said.

"Everyone deserves an equal opportunity to grow and learn, and there are too many kids slipping through the education gaps."

Mr Huxham said the latest commentary by Mr Pitt was an attempt to "deflect attention away from the cashless welfare card" that has remained a contentious issue in the electorate.

Ms Hanson's controversial comments provoked fierce backlash from the Labor party, the Greens and the education sector throughout last week.

She later defended her statement, saying the issue of resourcing for special schools needed to be raised and accused rival parties of political point-scoring.


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