House debates

Thursday, 18 March 2021

Statements by Members


1:38 pm

Photo of Pat ConaghanPat Conaghan (Cowper, National Party) Share this | | Hansard source

I wish to raise in the chamber the current situation in Myanmar and its impact on the almost 5,000 members of the Burmese community who now call Cowper home. Just last Wednesday, I met with three representatives from the local Myanmar community. They expressed their deep concern for the situation that is currently taking place and have also shared their concerns with their family and friends still in Myanmar. Part of our discussion centred on an e-petition that closed just this week. That e-petition was signed by almost 14,000 people and calls for immediate and necessary actions in response to the Myanmar military coup.

I support their cause. Myanmar and Australia are longstanding friends. This government has taken, and is taking, action on a number of fronts. We will continue to strongly urge the Myanmar security forces to exercise restraint and refrain from violence against their citizens. We have also called for the immediate release of Professor Sean Turnell, along with State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi and President Win Myint and many others who have been arbitrarily detained since 1 February.

The Burmese community holds a special and much-loved place in the Cowper electorate. I will continue to raise their concerns in this chamber, but I will leave you with a final word from Sunny, who I spoke to last Wednesday: 'Australia is such a wonderful country, among other privileged countries. I always say nowhere is perfect. At least Australia treats us the best.'