Burqa ban, broadband on Nats’ meeting agenda

From the regions to the capital, Nationals will descend on Canberra with everything from burqas to broadband on their minds at the party’s federal conference.

More than 40 motions will be debated from Saturday, including Queensland MP George Christensen’s push to ban full-face coverings in public places, effectively making the burqa and niqab illegal.

That emergency motion will need the 75 per cent support of delegates before it can be heard.

Ensuring a standard quality of satellite broadband and improving Australian Post are among the more traditional Nationals issues to be moved.

In contrast, the conference will also debate a motion which aims to boost the number of sign language interpreters on ABC and SBS news.

While the government wants to introduce drug tests for unemployment benefit recipients, Victorian delegates want to make financial planning workshops an eligibility requirement.

NSW Nationals want to see four-year terms for MPs in the House of Representatives.

The West Australian delegation will move a motion to support the principle of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander recognition in the Australian constitution.

The party’s youth wing is keen to look into reviving Victoria’s Hazelwood power station, while Queensland delegates want to see coal-generated energy promoted and environmentalists resisted.

Even US President Donald Trump gets a mention, with Victorian Nationals calling for a review of numerous policies and trade agreements in light of his election and Brexit.

And looking to the stars, Liberal National Party delegates would like the federal government to consider setting up a national space agency.