Bipartisan approach to racial tolerance - 20 years on

The Leader of the Opposition and the Prime Minister showed a rare moment of bipartisanship in Parliament House on Monday.

At the request of Labor, the Prime Minister moved a motion calling for racial tolerance.

The motion was almost identical to a motion by Kim Beazley and John Howard 20 years ago.  It was a timely reminder then, as it is now.

As Bill Shorten said in his speech supporting the motion, “Diversity is not a minor inconvenience to be endured, it’s not an artifice of political correctness, it is the collective power of our nation, of all of us.”

“Our local Southside community is proof of the sentiments expressed by my Leader, Bill Shorten; that today’s immigrants and refugees are tomorrow’s community leaders, business leaders, doctors, nurses and teachers”, said the Member for Moreton, Graham Perrett MP.

“Every day as I travel around the community I see community leaders who have made Australia their home.  Who are teaching by their actions that inclusion, openness and cohesion are what makes our multicultural community successful.  Our community is so much richer for their contributions.

“This motion is a reminder to beware of fearmongering which unfairly demonises minorities.  Instead we can choose to embrace the things that bind us and understand the things that threaten to divide us.”