George Christensen ramps up conspiracy theory and anti-vaxx commentary as signs suggest possible media brand launch

Government MP George Christensen has amped up his conspiracy theory and anti-vaccination commentary, described by the PM as “dangerous”, while signs suggest he may be quietly planning to launch his own media brand when he retires from parliament.

Christensen’s commentary has become increasingly controversial in recent months since he announced he would not re-contest the north Queensland seat of Dawson at the upcoming federal election.

His public commentary has included pushing anti-vaccination messages, climate change denial and apparent conspiracy theories, and comments that have undermined his own government’s public health messaging.

In the process he has built a significant Facebook following of more than 111,000 people.

Guardian Australia has obtained records showing Christensen has registered a business name with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.

A website domain for the MP’s company was also registered by Christensen in December.

The site features the Eureka flag, which has previously been adopted by the far-right, and language calling on people to “fight for our sovereignty” and says it is “coming soon”.

Speaking at online event Prayer and Pushback on Friday, Christensen appeared to confirm a move into the media landscape.

“I’m not leaving politics – I’m leaving parliament – we’re all involved in politics as citizens. I’m going to be in the fray. I was a journalist before I was in politics … I’ll probably step back into that in the future, in some way, shape or form,” he said.

While Christensen remains a notional member of the government, his recent commentary has opposed government policy on pandemic controls, vaccination and climate change measures.

His Facebook page has repeatedly featured posts about “the great reset” conspiracy theory, claiming “an unelected global elite” was operating outside the law.

At the same time, Christensen has sought to build a media profile in the United States, appearing on far-right conspiracy outlet InfoWars, where he encouraged people to protest outside Australian embassies over Covid policies and laughed as Jones compared Australia’s Covid-19 quarantine facilities with Auschwitz because they both had “big fences”.

The most recent controversy – comments by Christensen suggesting children should not be vaccinated against Covid-19 – is contrary to the government’s formal medical advice.

Those comments were rebuked by the prime minister, Scott Morrison, who said on Wednesday that Christensen’s views were “dangerous” and that people should “simply ignore him”.

Morrison has deflected questions suggesting Christensen – who sits in the Nationals party room – should be disciplined or kicked out of the governing Coalition.

Morrison said on Wednesday that he was discussing Christensen’s position on the parliament’s joint committee for investment and trade with the deputy prime minister and Nationals leader, Barnaby Joyce. Later that day Christensen announced he would resign from the committee when he returns to parliament in February.

Morrison said: “He is not a candidate for the government at the next election, and George has been putting out these views for some time.”

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“Those who said people shouldn’t take the AstraZeneca vaccine, I don’t think people should listen to those views either. People on the [other] side of politics as well.

“As a free country, people are allowed to say what they think, but we don’t have to listen to them. We don’t have to amplify their views. And we are certainly not seeking to do that. I think they’re unwise views. I think they’re dangerous views. I don’t think people should be listening to them.”

Comment has been sought from Christensen and Morrison.


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