Wednesday, 15 August 2018
Statements by Members
I represent one of the most multicultural parts of Australia, and I'm very proud of it. Fifty-six per cent of the people I represent were born overseas, including my mother-in-law and father-in-law. They were Vietnamese refugees who escaped by the skin of their teeth. It's people like them who have helped to make this the best country in the world.
This morning, a lot of people in my electorate would have woken up and heard what Senator Anning said in the Senate last night. They would have been shocked and angry, and rightly so. An Australian senator talking about the 'final solution', about banning Muslims, about a return to the White Australia policy—it was an abhorrent speech. The only thing missing was a swastika or a pointy white hood.
I want my community to know that today this parliament stood up and condemned him and the awful things he said—and so we should. When people spew out that sort of rancid, racist bile, all of us here have an obligation to stand up, to speak out and to condemn it. What he said was dangerous because it's got the potential to divide us; what he said was painful because he used words that dragged up memories of the most evil act in human history; and what he said was just plain wrong. But I also want the people of my electorate to know that this is a bloke who won only 19 votes at the last election. He doesn't represent us. He barely represents anybody.