Former Australian Ambassador to the U.S., Kim Beazley, has accused Pauline Hanson's One Nation of being a threat to the nation's security and prosperity, as the fallout continues over a controversial preference deal in West Australia.
The former Labor Leader and defence minister told the ABC's Lateline the populist party's anti-global trade agenda threatened Australia's future prosperity.
"We absolutely need to be global open traders," Beazley said.
"How do we sell our minerals if people are erecting tariff barriers against them? How do we get in to supply chains?"
"We sit here alongside the biggest Muslim nation in the world, utterly dependent on close relations with them to control immigration, and to control our defences."Kim Beazley
He also described a preference deal with One Nation by the WA Liberal Government as "desperate," and an extraordinary "diss" that would threaten the seats of some Nationals, traditional coalition partners of the Liberal party.
Beazley's comments come as West Australian Premier Colin Barnett defended his controversial preference deal with the embattled West Australian arm of the party.
Several One Nation candidates have been criticised for extremist views while The Nationals fear a deal with Pauline Hanson's party will eat into their votes.
"In the Upper House, it's a bit of a mixed bag with multi-member electorates where each of the six regions elects six members of Parliament," Barnett said in a statement on Wednesday.
"So our first six preferences go to Liberal candidates, and what we have said is in all but one of the regions we will put One Nation ahead of the National Party.
It's a mathematical exercise. Our objective is to maximise votes for the Liberal Party.Colin Barnett
Labor also failed to mention they approached PHON about preferences but did it through the Minerals Council so they could deny it- PATHETIC! pic.twitter.com/7RYPbGx37q— Pauline Hanson (@PaulineHansonOz) February 13, 2017
"We are certainly not as a Liberal Party endorsing any other party's candidates or their policies," Barnett said.
Earlier this week it emerged a WA One Nation candidate Michelle Meyers had made claims the push for marriage equality is a "disingenuous mind control program" using tactics from the Nazis and Soviets.
Another candidate, David Archibald, has been criticised for his attack on "lazy" single mothers in an article where he also suggested defunding the disability support pension and childcare. Archibald is running in the seat of Pilbara, currently held by WA Nationals leader Brendon Grylls.
On Thursday The Sydney Morning Herald reported another WA candidate, Richard Eldridge, once advocated for killing Indonesian journalists, and also attacked "poofters" and Muslims via a now-deactivated Twitter account.
One Nation Senator Malcolm Roberts, elected in large part thanks to preferences flows after gaining just 77 primary votes, used his first speech in parliament to call for Australia's withdrawal from the "insidious" United Nations and the International Monetary fund.
"The EU is a template for total socialist domination of Europe through unelected bodies, such as the IMF, forcing their frightening agenda on the people. It is also the UN's template, and Australia must leave the UN. We need an Aus-exit," he said at the time.
The preference deal bothers all sides
After Pauline Hanson first burst on to the national stage in 1996, then Liberal Prime Minister John Howard called for the anti-immigrant party to be preferenced last.
It took 20 years to reverse that call, when the WA Libs made their preference deal with One Nation.
In a possible sign of fragile alliances within One Nation, Hanson was forced to tell WA colleagues uncomfortable with the preference deal with the Liberals to "leave the party" if they weren't happy.
"If you're not happy with this, if you're not prepared to follow direction, then please, I suggest, that you walk away from the party," she told the ABC's 7.30 program.
"You stand as an independent, because you will not be welcome, I will not have this dissension now."