Speeches

Condolence Motion: Christchurch Attack

April 08, 2019

Al-Salaam Alaikum. I join my colleagues from both sides of this parliament in mourning the tragic and senseless murder of 50 people—mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, sons and daughters—who were tragically attacked in their place of worship, cut down while they came together for Friday prayers at that most sacred of times. This was an act of terrorism borne out of white nationalism. It was an act of hatred and it was an act of cowardice, all the worse for being committed by a person who was welcomed into a place of worship as a brother, who then responded with bullets of hatred.

I mourn with the people of New Zealand and, particularly, New Zealand's Islamic community. I stand in solidarity with the Muslim community in New Zealand and with Muslim people everywhere, especially in my electorate of Moreton. I'm not Muslim, but I am your brother. The senseless, horrific act that took the lives of innocents as
they were at their most pure and most vulnerable has shocked the world and shocked my own community. It has terrified children. Like every decent Australian, I abhor these acts of extremist violence—this gutless terrorism. I reject the extreme right-wing ideology, the hatred and the intolerance, the dog-whistling and the dog trumpets that led to these acts of extremist violence. I stand with the Moreton community in sharing those long-held Australian values of inclusion, acceptance, respect, a belief in equality, the rejection of racism, the rejection of prejudice, the rejection of division. These are the values that I cherish, that we cherish, that make our community stronger.

Standing united against hatred not only makes us stronger; it makes the losers, the loners and the loonies weaker. Fanning prejudice and discrimination has never, ever made Australians safer. No group within our community is ever immune to the effects of hatred—not even, you could argue, the poor, miserable haters themselves. So it is the responsibility of all of us to stand together against hatred in all its forms and embrace tolerance, embrace acceptance and honour our shared humanity. To those who seek to divide us, especially in the lead-up to this federal election, I say this: you will not win. We as a community are stronger than anyone seeking to divide us. Modern Australia will prevail. That monocultural Australia you talk of never, ever existed. Love is greater than hate. Respect and hope are greater than fear. May they rest in peace.

WE'LL PUT PEOPLE FIRST