House debates

Wednesday, 24 February 2021

Statements by Members


1:54 pm

Photo of Matt KeoghMatt Keogh (Burt, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Minister for Defence Industry) Share this | | Hansard source

I speak today revolted and appalled at an atrocious, racially motivated attack that occurred over the weekend in my community. A woman and her daughter were walking to the shops to pick up something for dinner when they were attacked by a man with a white swastika painted backwards on his forehead. I understand that the man hurled some revolting racial abuse at the pair before using a deodorant can and a lighter to spray flames towards them. Incredibly, the woman received only minor injuries and her daughter was physically unharmed, but that doesn't make it even remotely okay. It's not okay for this cowardly, atrocious and unprovoked attack to occur in my community. It's not okay that it happened in this country. It's not okay that it happened at all.

Unfortunately, this is not the first time, or even the second time, that we've seen an incident like this. We've seen some disgusting and cowardly right-wing extremist attacks on members of our community in recent years. It's up to each and every one of us to accept and protect each and every person's right to practise their faith and their culture. And, frankly, it's everyone's right to walk down the street freely without any form of intimidation or violence. We all have an obligation to call out such appalling behaviour.

Incidents like this are exactly why this Morrison government needs to do more to tackle right-wing extremism here in Australia. ASIO says far-Right terrorism is an enduring threat that is real and growing, but, like many things, this government is just burying its head in the sand. It must take this seriously.