SENATOR THE HON KRISTINA KENEALLY
DEPUTY LABOR LEADER IN THE SENATE
SHADOW MINISTER FOR HOME AFFAIRS
SHADOW MINISTER FOR IMMIGRATION AND CITIZENSHIP
SENATOR FOR NEW SOUTH WALES
ANDREW GILES MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR MULTICULTURAL AFFAIRS
SHADOW MINISTER FOR CITIES AND URBAN INFRASTRUCTURE
SHADOW MINISTER ASSISTING FOR IMMIGRATION AND CITIZENSHIP
MEMBER FOR SCULLIN
The latest Mapping Social Cohesion report by the Scanlon Foundation shows continued strong support for multiculturalism in Australia.
85 percent of Australians agree that "multiculturalism is good for Australia" and 53 percent say that that number of migrants accepted into Australia is "about right" or "too low".
But there are warnings in the report that greater political leadership is needed to avoid future divisions in Australian society.
Politicians need to show leadership not just by speaking of the broad economic benefits of immigration but by valuing our diversity
and directly addressing the concerns about immigration held by sections of the community.
Of significant concern is a negative sentiment towards Muslims compared to other faith groups. 40 percent of respondents said they have negative or very negative view of Muslims.
This is something that needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency.
We have seen a recent spike in attacks on Australian Muslims, including the alleged assault of a heavily pregnant Muslim woman in Parramatta by a stranger.
The report suggests ways of enhancing social cohesion. This is an issue worthy of further examination and discussion, especially given it has been more than a decade since the last substantive review of multicultural policy.
Labor understands that modern Australia and multicultural Australia are the same thing.
We need leadership from the Government that brings Australians together, not divides us.