Aussie government blames admin error for okay to be white vote

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Attorney General Christian Porter, whose office instructed Government Senators to vote for Senator Hanson's motion, issued a statement saying his office had not picked up the white supremacist connotations of its wording.

Embarrassed government senators have been forced into a humiliating backdown after originally voting for a motion declaring "it's OK to be white".

Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion and his cabinet colleagues Michaelia Cash, Simon Birmingham, Mitch Fifield, Matt Canavan and Bridget McKenzie all voted in favour.

Crossbench senator Derryn Hinch savaged Senator Hanson, saying she was locked in a race to the bottom of the sewer with Katter's Australian Party member Fraser Anning.

Pauline Hanson called the backflip from the government "it's okay to be white guilt" and that it proved that "One Nation is the only party promoting racial tolerance and support for the great achievements of Western civilisation".

Five Coalition senators who were not present were paired with senators who opposed the motion, so essentially, voted for it as well.

"That is a decision that should have been maintained yesterday and as a result of an administrative process failure it wasn't. We never discuss that in the shearing sheds, on the farm or at the local pub" and said about all the motions being put forward in the Senate "frankly I'm over them all" calling them "political sessions".

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Senate tried to turn things around by playing up the fact that a slim majority voted against the motion, claiming that it proves that the government isn't racist.

It looks something like this, according to Cormann: an internal process that lets senators know just how they should vote on various bills that come up during the day went haywire.

Mathias Cormann has now asked the Senate to recommit to voting on the motion so Coalition Senators can have opportunity to vote against it.

"As I indicated when this motion first came up, we made a very clear decision to oppose that motion". We deplore racism of any kind.

Among them was the government's Senate leader Mathias Cormann, who fronted the media to explain the screw-up this morning after Prime Minister Scott Morrison condemned the Coalition's backing for the One Nation stunt as "regrettable" and issued a "please explain" directive.

Senator Hanson, who declared herself not to be a white supremacist, and fellow conservative crossbenchers didn't attend the recommitted vote.

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