Bill's Transcripts

ENDEAVOUR HILLS STATEMENT

ENDEAVOUR HILLS STATEMENT


 


SPEECH TO THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

PARLIAMENT HOUSE, CANBERRA
WEDNESDAY, 23 SEPTEMBER 2014


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At times like this, the words we say in this place are not as important as the thoughts and prayers that we send.

Today, our thoughts are with the Australian Federal Police officer and the Victoria Police officer who are both still in hospital.

Our thoughts are with their families and their colleagues, who have spent a sleepless night anxiously wondering and watching over the ones they love and respect.

Our thoughts are with the people of Endeavour Hills who have woken to see their local streets and shops on the national news.

And their peaceful community dragged to the centre of a national story.

And our thoughts are with the family of a young man who may be asking themselves more questions than there are answers.

The events of last night remind us of the bravery and quality of all who serve in our police and security agencies.

And they underscore the unpredictable dangers of the work they do keeping our community safe.

Next Monday, 29 September, is National Police Remembrance Day – we will commemorate all those officers who’ve lost their lives in the line of duty and salute the courage of all those who wear a police uniform.

Earlier this morning Chief Commissioner Ken Lay has told me that these officers who were injured are doing as well as can be expected.

Today I join with the Acting Prime Minister to wish two of these brave people, a speedy recovery.

Madam Speaker

The young man who died last night, Numan Haider, has a family too.

In their grief, they will be asking themselves, how did it come to this?

What drove the boy they loved to this desperate end?

And, difficult as it may be, I suspect many Australians must be asking ourselves this same question too.

We must ask ourselves - why would a very small number of people raised in Australia be attracted to the cause of ISIL and their like?

Perhaps part of the answer is this.

In a complicated and uncertain and complicated, fundamentalist extremism gives the illusion of certainty and simplicity.

This is the poison of sectarianism and extremism.

It offers a sense of power to people who may feel powerless, an outlet for the bottled-up rage and hatred of the isolated and unwell.

But this is only ever a harmful mirage.

There is no glory in murder, no honour in crime, no power in death.

We have a responsibility to send a clear message to those drawn to this conflict.

Whatever problems you may perceive that you have - violence is not the solution.

Whatever you think is wrong with the world – extremism and fanaticism will never make it right.

Madam Speaker

We are a country of 23 million individual souls – but today we are one people.

We are a nation of over 200 languages - but today we speak with one voice.

We are a nation of many faiths – but today we rededicate ourselves to one belief.

The belief that everyone is equal and everyone is welcome.

Since mass post-war migration, Australia has gained and grown from including people of every culture and nation.

And we cannot, we must not, we will not, allow a tiny minority to divide our generous, inclusive society.

On behalf of our wounded police officers – we cannot allow this country to become polarised.

Let us all vow to meet this moment with understanding and tolerance – not division and violence.

Compassion and comprehension – not prejudice and exclusion.

We live in a challenging time.

We have lived through challenging times before – and we shall face challenging times in the future.

We understand in this Parliament that what Australia needs now is wisdom and understanding - to guide us sensibly safely through the days ahead.

ENDS

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