Thursday, 19 October 2017
Thank you. Today I rise to speak on a petition tabled by the Vietnamese community in Australia. The Vietnamese community in Australia was established as a result of the wave of people who fled Vietnamese communism after the civil war ended. The petition I have presented has over 10,000 signatures on an issue of great importance to the Australian Vietnamese community. It concerns the response to an environmental issue in Vietnam whereby millions of tonnes of fish were found dead on Vietnam's central coastline as a result of toxic waste discharged into the ocean illegally.
The petitioners ask the Senate to condemn the tactics used by the Vietnamese government against priests who helped to organise peaceful protests and to undertake a comprehensive review of aid and other commitments to Vietnam, and requests that the Australian embassy undertakes an active role in monitoring the treatment of religious leaders and practitioners in Vietnam.