Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 13 Hansard (Wednesday, 1 November 2017) . . Page.. 4812 ..
It is not reflective of this community’s feelings. It is an isolated and very unfortunate incident that I condemn. I think we should be above this as a community and I think we should be able to enjoy the wonderful diversity that multiculturalism in this country and in this city affords us. It is regrettable that any organisation would conduct such a campaign, noting of course that it is not the first time in Australian history that either organised labour or business organisations have run campaigns based on a xenophobic premise.
MR HANSON: Chief Minister, will you publicly condemn the CFMEU for running their xenophobic campaign and stop taking their money, as proof that you actually do not approve of their conduct?
MR BARR: I would refer Mr Hanson to my previous statement in relation to this matter. I do not think that those sorts of campaigns are particularly helpful in the public debate. I am very clear in my support for both the Chinese community—
Mr Hanson: A point of order.
MADAM SPEAKER: Resume your seat. Is there a point of order?
Mr Hanson: Although the Chief Minister has addressed part of the question, the second part of the question was as to whether he would now stop taking money from the CFMEU, having now acknowledged that they were running a xenophobic campaign that he condemns.
MADAM SPEAKER: Thank you, Mr Hanson. I can only direct the minister to the question—you admitted that he had answered it in part—in the time left.
MR BARR: As I was saying, I think we as a community can do better than to resort to those sorts of campaigns. We can do better, and we should do better. I reiterate the points that I have made. Whilst there are indeed legitimate debates to be had about the level of immigration into our country and the skilled workforce programs—
Mr Hanson interjecting—
MADAM SPEAKER: Mr Hanson, please.
MR BARR: While there are legitimate debates to be had on those questions, I think bringing race into any immigration or labour force debate is unfortunate, and I do not support it.
MR WALL: Chief Minister, will you rule out accepting further donations from the CFMEU, given that you have attempted to take a principled stand on banning property developer donations without any basis?
MR BARR: No, I am not contemplating changing our policy in that regard.