Senate debates

Wednesday, 3 April 2019


Anning, Senator Fraser; Censure

11:00 am

Photo of Duncan SpenderDuncan Spender (NSW, Liberal Democratic Party) Share this | Hansard source

This is not my first speech. I'd like to thank Senator Dodson for those words. I welcome this censure motion and I'll be supporting it. I want to note that I disagree with some of the additional words put by Senator Wong where she said that free speech does not include hate speech and that Senator Anning's comments were not part of the contest of ideas. Unfortunately, that's not true. We need to look at the polls. We are all failing to convince our fellow Australians about the importance and the rightness of non-discriminatory immigration.

All of us here, other than Senator Anning, perhaps, can talk about how vile those comments were—and they were vile—and we can all talk about how non-discriminatory immigration is so important. But that is not a view held by so many, probably millions of Australians. We need to convince them, not by deplatforming people like Senator Anning but by convincing people that he's wrong and that they're wrong and that they should think a different way. I find it amazing that we think we can solve our problem just by saying that Senator Anning shouldn't have been allowed to have said what he said. The problem will remain.

Senator Anning has free speech. I think he should have been free to say what he said. As it happens, we all have free speech and we can all strongly disagree in the strongest possible terms with what he said. That is why I will be joining you all in voting for this censure motion.


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