Pauline Hanson Claims 'Lot Of Questions' Over Port Arthur Massacre
One Nation leader Pauline Hanson has appeared to hint at conspiracy theories around the Port Arthur massacre, captured on hidden camera saying she had a "lot of questions" about the 1996 shooting.
Hanson, who has been absent from the public spotlight since the scandal over her party's meetings with the National Rifle Association broke on Tuesday morning, finally responded to the Al Jazeera investigation more than 30 hours later with a tweet saying she was "disgusted" by the journalist.
Hanson staffer James Ashby and the party's Queensland leader Steve Dickson were captured on hidden camera, with footage appearing to show the pair in the USA meeting with the country's powerful gun lobby. Dickson and Ashby are caught discussing how a $20 million donation could help the party "own" federal politics.
One Nation claims the documentary presents edited and out-of-context quotes, and the Al Jazeera journalist at the centre of the investigation went undercover for three years as he posed as a gun rights advocate.
Ashby and Dickson gave a remarkable press conference on Tuesday where they blamed the conversation on being "on the sauce" after drinking scotch, and accused the Al Jazeera journalist of being a "spy" who employed "James Bond" techniques.
But further quotes from Hanson, due to be aired in part two of the 'How To Sell A Massacre' special on ABC TV, will throw the One Nation leader herself under the spotlight.
"Those shots, they were precision shots. Check the number out," Hanson said, in an exchange caught on hidden camera, as a group of people discuss the Port Arthur shooting.
"I've read a lot and I've read the book on it, Port Arthur. I read a book on it, on Port Arthur. A lot of questions there."
Martin Bryant pleaded guilty to the murder of 35 people in just minutes during the massacre on April 28, 1996.
However, countless conspiracy theories have abounded about the shooting, with some claiming it was a "false flag" or staged event, designed to give the government an excuse to tighten gun laws.
Then-Prime Minister John Howard announced strict new firearms legislation in the wake of the incident, Australia's worst modern mass killing -- laws which have continued to this day.
In 2001, Hanson distanced herself from conspiracy theories around Port Arthur,
"We do not support any conspiracy theories regarding Port Arthur or Martin Bryant, we do believe that he has been convicted of this and he's been charged over it, and that he is guilty of the offence and the crime committed at Port Arthur," she said, according to a transcript of an interview with the ABC.
Hanson said in 2001 that any link between One Nation and Port Arthur conspiracy theories are "absolutely ridiculous, and that's not the case at all."
In the same interview, she also said the Howard gun laws were "a knee jerk reaction by the government".
In 2017, One Nation disendorsed its candidate for the Queensland state parliament seat of Mulgrave, after it was revealed he had shared Port Arthur conspiracy theories in an online blog.
"The greatest social changes that happen in Australia are founded on total lies and a fabricated incident. Look at Port Arthur," he wrote.