Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 08 Hansard (Wednesday, 15 August 2018) . . Page.. 3027 ..
to all further immigration of Muslims. The senator’s remarks are offensive, manipulative and, using his own words, retrograde.
Though he has a right to express his own opinion, I strongly believe his words are an attempt to fuel hatred and contention amongst our citizens and I and the Canberra Liberals condemn his remark. This is not how a member of the Australian Senate should behave. This is not how we “make this commonwealth of ours renowned of all the lands”. To quote again from our national anthem:
For those who come across the seas
We’ve boundless plains to share.
With courage let us all combine
To advance Australia fair.
We must rise above divisive ideology with courage and embrace others with different cultures and religions. This is how we advance Australia fair. The senator needs to put forth some effort to actually come to know the good-hearted, peace-loving Muslims whom I know and whom I hold dear, as cherished friends.
MS CHEYNE (Ginninderra) (6.42): Just a little over an hour ago an article appeared in the Guardian online saying that the euthanasia bill, the restoring territory rights bill, is in doubt as two senators reverse their position. It states that a tie of 38-all in the Senate, which is what is now looking likely, would, as we in this place know, result in the bill not progressing.
I want to put on the record that I implore all senators to seriously consider their vote over the coming few hours as the debate continues tonight, and indeed tomorrow if the debate happens to continue tomorrow before the vote. This is about our rights as territory citizens. I ask them to consider how they would feel if their rights as citizens, largely citizens of the states, were taken away.
It is just reprehensible that we do not have the same rights as people who live 15 minutes away from us in Queanbeyan, or a bit further north in Yass, where those people are represented on this issue by New South Wales parliamentarians in their state parliament; that this cannot happen here and cannot happen in the Northern Territory; and that it is state senators who are deciding this for us.
I also want to put on the record my disappointment with the Canberra Liberals on this really important issue, not just those opposite, a few of whom I know are genuinely on the more progressive side, but also the federal Canberra Liberals. The fact that not one person on that side of the chamber has reached out to Senator Seselja and implored him to restore our rights, particularly when he was formerly a member of this place, is absolutely baffling at the least and appalling at the worst. I really expected a bit better. It is about rights. We can debate voluntary assisted dying and their aversion to it in this place, but this is about rights, and that needs to be decided on the hill. I really expected better leadership from people in this place who should have done better and should have done better by Canberrans.