Parliamentary speeches

Senator Abetz's behaviour

October 19, 2020

Australia is a vibrant multicultural society. Our diversity is our greatest strength. And we live in a democracy in which every citizen is equal. This is fundamental to who we are. However, last week, three Chinese Australians, all born in this country, had their loyalty to Australia questioned by a government senator. This is a disgrace. We cannot accept the loyalty or indeed the value of some Australians being questioned by reason of their ethnicity.

The behaviour of Liberal Senator Abetz towards his fellow Australian citizens is nothing short of appalling. All political leaders have a responsibility to promote an inclusive community, not to divide—especially now.

Chinese Australians are Australians. We shouldn't have to spell this out. Earlier this year, the Prime Minister said that Australia's Chinese community had been 'magnificent' in their response to the pandemic. He was right then. But now, while Labor stands with the Chinese Australian community and every Australian, why won't the Prime Minister condemn Senator Abetz's treatment of these Chinese Australians?