House debates

Monday, 12 October 2015

Statements by Members

Bendigo Electorate: Protests

4:19 pm

Photo of Lisa ChestersLisa Chesters (Bendigo, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

The first and that I had the chance to address the parliament about the ugly protests that all would have seen their news on Saturday. Forgive me if I do get a bit emotional, because it has been a hard day for the people of Bendigo in central Victoria. For about 18 months now we, the people who live in our town, have been bombarded by nasty propaganda by outsiders trying to con and convince the people of Bendigo that we are not an inclusive society. A lot of misinformation has been pumped into houses. There has been a lot of fearmongering that has gone on.

Two of the incidents that we must condemn here in this place include a mock beheading that occurred out the front of the City of Greater Bendigo that was then filmed and uploaded onto Facebook. It was used by this mob to encourage people to attend the rallies that you saw on the weekend, where Australians saw some people from Bendigo saying ridiculous things on national TV—and they are ridiculous things. If these people really are patriots, then they need to start reading our Constitution and our Citizenship Act and start talking about the truth—instead of these lies and misinformation.

Seven hundred people, most of them from outside of town, brought our name into question on the weekend. I ask the people of Bendigo not to believe this nonsense and to condemn it. I ask them to believe in their town and believe in Bendigo.