Senate debates

Thursday, 28 February 2013


Suspension of Standing Orders

3:01 pm

Photo of Sarah Hanson-YoungSarah Hanson-Young (SA, Australian Greens) Share this | Hansard source

Pursuant to contingent notice and on behalf of Senator Milne, I move:

That so much of the standing orders be suspended as would prevent Senator Milne moving a motion to provide for the consideration of a matter, namely a motion to give precedence to a motion relating to the vilification of refugees and asylum seekers.

The last 24 hours have been an absolute low point for the opposition—scaremongering, dog whistling and the vilification of refugees and asylum seekers. Linking allegations of a serious sexual assault on a young woman to the Liberals' nasty, dog whistling politics of the day is simply revolting. Trying to suggest that all refugees and asylum seekers are criminals and that they should be put on a community alert list is nothing short of vilification. Fearmongering and whipping up hatred—that is what we have had from the opposition over the last 24 hours.

It is vitally important that, as members of this place, we stand up when we see this type of horrid, revolting dog whistling behaviour. It is absolutely paramount that, when there are people who are fanning hatred, fanning the flames of vilification, fearmongering and spreading nasty rumours rather than fact—which is what the opposition have continued to do over the last 24 hours—we call them on it. We have a responsibility as the lawmakers of this country to uphold the law. What the opposition's immigration spokesperson suggested yesterday was that, just because somebody is a refugee or asylum seeker, they have to abide by different laws than everybody else.

Thankfully there are some well-meaning and sensible people within the opposition who understand the rule of law. I congratulate Russell Broadbent and Mal Washer for standing up against this type of fearmongering and hatred being spread by the opposition—not just today but on a daily basis. How disgusting—to exploit an alleged serious assault on a young woman for their own political advantage. That is precisely what we saw the opposition doing yesterday and today. It is scraping the bottom of the barrel.


No comments