Thursday, 21 June 2012
Human Rights: Vietnam
It is my pleasure to stand in this chamber and speak on this notice of motion and also acknowledge the members of the Vietnamese Community in Australia in the public gallery this afternoon in support of this motion. It is not often that we share the opportunity of partisanship with the opposition on a matter like this, but we are standing shoulder to shoulder together on this with Senator Boswell and other members of the opposition and the government to make sure we address these issues concerning human rights abuses in Vietnam. Can I also acknowledge a good friend of mine, Dr Bui, the President of the Vietnamese Community in Australia's Queensland chapter, for his commitment and knowledge, and certainly for the lessons he has passed on to me about these sorts of abuses in Vietnam. I am privileged to be associated with him.
In closing, it is a matter that I quite often discuss as a member of the Human Rights Subcommittee of the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade. It is a matter that the government is committed to addressing, along with the opposition, to make sure we alleviate some of those issues. We in this country take human rights for granted from time to time. Once again, thank you for the opportunity to address the chamber. (Time expired)