Pauline Hanson’s Ipswich fish and chips shop now being run by Vietnamese immigrants

Pauline Hanson

The Ipswich fish and chips shop where Pauline Hanson made her famous remarks about Asian immigrants in 1996, is now owned by Vietnamese immigrants. Source: Perthnow

perthnow.com.au

It was once the most famous fish and chip shop in Queensland.

Behind the counter was one of Australia’s most divisive political figures – a woman regularly accused of racism and xenophobia.

Today, it is a migrant success story, run by a Vietnamese couple who came to this country 20 years ago.

Pauline Hanson says she hopes to pop in one day, say hello and pick up a few dollars’ worth of chips. It’s a scene few would have imagined in 1996.

Almost 17 years ago, the newly elected member for Oxley used her maiden speech to launch a fierce and polarising attack on Asian immigration and multiculturalism.

She told the nation it was “in danger of being swamped by Asians” and that “they have their own culture and religion, form ghettos and do not assimilate”.

Controversial and unapologetic, Ms Hanson found her short stint in federal politics often drew shouts of rage and cheers of support alike.

“I don’t dwell on that, I know who I am as a person,” she said.

“To call me a racist is just ridiculous. To be a patriotic Australian and care about the country, that’s not racism. That’s patriotism.”

Today, Thanh Huong Huynh and her husband Huong Van Nguyen quietly smile as they take orders for crumbed cod and prawn cutlets from many of the same people who helped Ms Hanson storm to power in the ’90s.

The couple say they bought the Ipswich business, which has changed hands several times, two years ago.

They also say they know little about the One Nation founder, other than that she was “very famous”.

Locals are still prickly about their former local member – who is currently running for a NSW Senate seat – and are reluctant to put their name to any description of her, positive or negative.

Many businesses fear alienating the migrant community, as well as those still wary of multiculturalism.

One exception is David Banfield, who has owned the nearby dental clinic for five years.

“Things have changed mate – for the better,” said Mr Banfield, who noted that his wife was Vietnamese.

While he disagreed with Ms Hanson’s “anti-immigration stance” at the time, he said she “seemed to be the person that would get things done”.

Ms Hanson said she wished the new owners of her old shop “all the best”.

“I think it’s wonderful – good luck to them,” she said.

“That’s what Australia’s all about – is to come here and make a life for yourself and become Australian and start up your own business.”

She adds that she hopes to meet them.

“If I’m up there in the area again I’ll call in and get some fish and chips off them,” she said.

But Ms Hanson is still reluctant to back down from one of her more recent controversial comments.

“Yes, I did say that I wouldn’t sell my house to Muslims,” she said.

“And I have grave concerns and I see what’s happened in other countries around the world and I, like a lot of other Australians, do not want to see our culture changed, I do not want to see the introduction of Sharia law.”

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One comment

  1. This is just hilarious.

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