The Nationals have rejected a controversial motion to ban the burqa in public and government spaces.
The motion was put forward by Queensland MP George Christensen who attempted to put the issue to a formal debate during the party's federal conference in Canberra on Sunday, however it was narrowly voted down 55-51, SBS reports.
Christensen needed the support of 75 percent of the floor in order to move the Nationals a step towards advocating in parliament for a ban on the Islamic facial covering.
Christensen reportedly said the traditional Islamic garment was a threat to security and was "encouraging isolationism".
Banning the burqa defeated 55-51 just now at Nationals conference @SkyNewsAust— Peter van Onselen (@vanOnselenP) September 9, 2017
— George Christensen (@GChristensenMP) September 9, 2017
"Given those migrant communities and ethnic communities are the ones that mainly wear the burqa and the niqab, it really encourages segregation," he told reporters on Saturday.
The motion follows Pauline Hanson's high-profile stunt in parliament in August when the One Nation leader sensationally wore a burqa into the Senate. Hanson also advocates a ban on the Islamic garmet due to security concerns.
Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce said his party was not scared of political debate on the issue, but that respect was important when discussion religion.
He said it was essential not to "wander off into the realm of discussing another person's religion".
"What people believe and how they talk to their god is their business," he told ABC television on Sunday.Suggest a correction