Bill's Transcripts

Doorstop: Lakemba - Multiculturalism; Section 18c of the Racial Discrimination Act

E&OE TRANSCRIPT

DOORSTOP

LAKEMBA

SATURDAY, 31 OCTOBER 2015

 

SUBJECT/S: Multiculturalism; Section 18c of the Racial Discrimination Act.

 

BILL SHORTEN, LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: Good afternoon everyone.

 

Now I have already done a press conference today so I will make my comments brief but I did want to make a statement. I, and many of my Labor colleagues, are here today because we believe one of Australia’s greatest strengths is our multicultural society.

 

Other than the first Australians, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, all of us saw our ancestors come from somewhere else. Australia is one of the greatest countries in the world and one of the reasons we are one of the greatest countries in the world is because we are an immigrant society. We do a better job, I believe than just about better than anywhere else, at being the land of the second chance, of giving people the chance to pursue their dreams and hopes here.

 

The best way we retain the strength of our marvellous multicultural society is by being inclusive. What we want to see is that people can be proud of the faith of their parents – faith should be a source of strength, it should never be a cave in to which people retreat to but a platform which they can explain their values and let other people see the strength of their faith.

 

That’s why I’ve come to the Lakemba Mosque today because I believe in that some of the challenging circumstances in the world today; security, immigration, jobs in the future - this country works best when we work together. When we all work together, it makes us safer, happier and we just get more done. It is a better place to live and raise our kids.

 

I was really pleased today to see Scott Morrison, here today as well – the Treasurer. It’s good that supporting people of all faiths is not a party-political or partisan matter. All of us in politics, the leadership and the alternative leadership of this nation believe that people’s background and diversity is a source of strength.

 

That’s why I am disappointed to see an outbreak of disunity within the Liberal party. I am talking about the repeated attempts by right-wing elements of the Liberal party to water down our anti-hate speech laws. Australia works best when we work together. I want to make it really clear - the Labor party does not support watering down laws that protect people from hate-speech. I know there are Liberals who also have that same view but I am disappointed that there is significant parts of the Liberal party, including people that have held leadership positions in the Liberal party, look like they are going to defy Malcolm Turnbull and support watering down anti-race hate speech laws.

 

Thanks very much everyone

 

ENDS

 

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