‘Outright falsehood’: Hanson slammed
"You don't want to get this wrong."
That was the sentiment towards the government on the Q&A panel last night as they discussed its decision to have Pauline Hanson help lead a family law inquiry.
The One Nation leader last week caused outrage after making a series of comments implying women who report domestic violence are often lying.
Senator Hanson said she had seen cases weekly where supposed victims of domestic violence had taken out false apprehended or domestic violence orders to look more sympathetic in the eyes of a family law judge.
Senator Hanson, who has been chosen by Prime Minister Scott Morrison to co-chair a new parliamentary inquiry into family law, refused to cite specific evidence to back up her claims.
Hayley Foster, from Women's Safety NSW, said since Ms Hanson made the comments their phones had been ringing off the hook with survivors who had been re-traumatised about their experiences.
She asked what made the government think women would come forward to an inquiry whose deputy chair had made up her mind that women were lying and vindictive in their complaints, and how the inquiry would yield an outcome without their voices.
"Aw, yeah, what are you guys doing?," panellist Jan Fran immediately asked the government's representative on the panel, Minister for Communications Paul Fletcher.
"That's a really big question for me. I think Pauline Hanson has already made up her mind about the family court and she's made up her mind that men get treated badly, or not treated well."
Does the Morrison Government’s decision to hold an inquiry into the Family Court jeopardise its commitments to the National Plan to Reduce Violence Against Women and Their Children? #QandA pic.twitter.com/k4A3APpEWU— ABC Q&A (@QandA) September 23, 2019
Fran said there was no evidence of this.
"That's just outright not true and I think to start an inquiry like this, which is so important, you don't want to get this wrong, because you're talking about the future of children," she said.
"So to start an inquiry with something that is an outright falsehood … it's really concerning."
Shadow Minister for Health Chris Bowen said the decision to appoint Ms Hanson was "dodgy and "disgusting".
"This is outrageous," he said.
"This is part of some other side deal we don't know about."
He said it was not standard practice for a One Nation Senator to be deputy chair, and the standard was for the government and opposition to be chair and deputy chair.
"This is a stich up," he said.
"There's some other side deal that's gone on here.
"Why would someone come and give evidence to Pauline Hanson who's clearly made her mind up about the issue? And subject themselves to that sort of, frankly, abuse in return."
Having Pauline Hanson as deputy chair of a family law enquire is INSANITY. It is offensive on every level #qanda— MelanieM (@MsMelM) September 23, 2019
'PRIME TV VIEWING'
For the most of the program, however, all eyes were on legendary ABC journalist Kerry O'Brien.
At some points host Tony Jones had to stop O'Brien from inadvertently taking over as moderator or stepping into his journalist shoes, hitting Mr Fletcher with the tough questions.
"We need more Kerry O'Briens in the world … especially now," wrote one person on Twitter.
Another said: "The best outcome from tonight would be that Kerry decides to come back as an interviewer".
O'Brien famously anchored ABC's Lateline, 7.30 Report and Four Corners.
"I miss Kerry O'Brien on ABC - give him a new show," said another on Twitter.
Kerry O’Brien is such a wonderful man. This is prime tv viewing! #QandA— Stella Bella (@StellaSpoons) September 23, 2019
We would love for you to return to our screens Kerry O'Brien. Many, many questions remain unasked these days. #qanda— Emily Tripkey (@gaelialight) September 23, 2019
We need more Kerry O’Briens in the world... especially now#QandA— Electronic Graffiti (@Planet_Rach) September 23, 2019
The best outcome from tonight would be that Kerry decides to come back as an interviewer #qanda— Chris Garey (@chrisgarey0) September 23, 2019
#QandA Keep it up Kerry, keep asking the tough questions! We love it! 😊👏👏— June Jenion-Morgan (@junejenion) September 23, 2019
I love seeing Kerrie get back in the saddle again. #qanda— Terry Frost - Boy Movie Buff (@terryfrost) September 23, 2019