Speeches

STATEMENT TO THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES: Condemnation of racist and fascist remarks

August 15, 2018

Mr Speaker, what we have seen today in this place, in this Parliament, is a condemnation of a racist and fascist world view that was promulgated in the other place. Rightly condemned because it was hurtful and hateful, divisive and destructive.
 
Being Australian is not about your race or your ethnicity or your faith.
 
Being Australian is about embracing our democracy. Embracing our equality before the law as a principal, about that quintessential Australian value of a fair go for all.
 
We’ve heard from our political leaders today that we are the most successful multicultural country in the world.
 
Why is that? That is because our multicultural model doesn’t force us to choose between our identities. We can be proud of our cultural heritage, of our faith, and still be proud to be Australian.
 
Indeed, that is what it means to be Australian. That diversity is a strength of our Australian-ness.
 
We will not allow the far right to spread their hatred; hiding behind the cloak of free speech. Free speech has never been unlimited. That’s why we have laws on defamation and against vilification.
 
What we’ve seen today is a reaffirmation in this parliament of faith in human decency. A rejection of judging others based on the colour of their skin or their faith. Empathising with our fellow human beings based on what they say and do.
 
We can be an Australia that truly gives a fair go to all regardless of where we come from
 
ENDS