Page 3026 - Week 08 - Wednesday, 15 August 2018

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I do not believe that this is the intention of the Prime Minister. I do not believe he is a hateful man. What I believe is that some in the Liberal Party have decided that they cannot afford to put principle above politics, that they cannot afford to put the cohesion of our community above the votes won through fear. This is simply unacceptable and should be called out in the same way as Senator Anning’s comments have been condemned. It is not good enough to stand up to racism and vilification only when it is politically expedient. We must always stand up to fearmongering and prejudice.

Diversity and inclusion make us stronger. I see this every day in my portfolios of multicultural affairs, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander affairs, disability, and social inclusion. I know that those opposite see it too, and I want to make clear that I am not seeking to tar them with the federal Liberals’ brush. I see the Leader of the Opposition and Mrs Kikkert, Ms Lee and other members opposite often at multicultural events around our community and they speak at those events with genuine warmth and commitment to a strong and diverse Canberra. I know they must disagree with the federal Liberals’ approach, and the community is waiting for them to speak out.

We do not live in a European land that was terra nullius before the British came along. We live on land that is, was and always will be Aboriginal land. We live in cities built with the blood and sweat of migrant labour, in a nation nourished by the flavours of the world. There is no place in this nation for vilification and racism.

Senator Fraser Anning—first speech

MRS KIKKERT (Ginninderra) (6.39): I rise today to respond to a disturbing speech that was given in the federal parliament yesterday by Senator Anning. The senator spoke fondly of a time in Australia’s past when our immigration program “actively discriminated in favour of Europeans”. To point out the obvious, neither I nor my Liberal colleague Ms Lee would be here now under such a program. Many of the very best Australians that I know, likewise, would not be here under such a program. Senator Anning may think that Australia would be better without us but he is wrong, and I have no shyness about saying that.

I am grateful that the policies that Senator Anning would like to see come back are long gone. I am honoured to stand in this place today as a migrant, as a woman, as one whose first language is not English and as a proud member of the party that, under the leadership of Liberal prime ministers Sir Robert Menzies and Harold Holt, dismantled the white Australia policy that was inflicted upon this nation by the Australian Labour Party and its union backers upon federation. The migration that has occurred in the wake of these changes has been a boon to the modern nation of Australia, enriching our society in so many ways.

During his speech Senator Anning made specific and ugly references to Muslim Australians. I wish to take this opportunity to speak in support of my Muslim friends and neighbours. The senator from Queensland called these people’s faith the most retrograde force that exists in the world, before making an appeal for the complete end

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