Labor Senator for South Australia
15 October 2020
SENATOR PENNY WONGLEADER OF THE AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY IN THE SENATESHADOW MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRSLABOR SENATOR FOR SOUTH AUSTRALIAANDREW GILES MPSHADOW MINISTER FOR CITIES AND URBAN INFRASTRUCTURESHADOW MINISTER FOR MULTICULTURAL AFFAIRSSHADOW MINISTER ASSISTING FOR IMMIGRATION AND CITIZENSHIPMEMBER FOR SCULLIN
Conduct at yesterday’s hearing of the Senate Foreign Affairs and Trade References Committee undermined Australian values and the Australian democracy.In an inquiry into “Issues facing diaspora communities in Australia,” witnesses had their loyalty to Australia challenged.“Australia is a democracy where every citizen is equal. These are fundamental Australian values that senators have a responsibility to protect and promote,” said Senator Wong, Labor Leader in the Senate and Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs.“We cannot tolerate the loyalty or value of some Australians being questioned because of their ethnic origins.”“In a world where authoritarianism and nationalism are rising, we cannot afford to be complacent about safeguarding our democracy and we cannot allow any ethnic groups to be targeted.”“The behaviour of certain committee members towards Australian citizens yesterday was against these interests.”Protecting our sovereignty from foreign interference is not enhanced by promoting division and suspicion.Shadow Minister Assisting for Immigration and Citizenship, Andrew Giles MP, said “Australia is a vibrant, multicultural democracy. This is our greatest strength.”“Political leaders have a responsibility to promote an inclusive community. When our community is fractured, Australia is weaker and our social cohesion is undermined.”Authorised by Paul Erickson, ALP, Canberra.
Authorised by P Wong, Level 4, 19 Gouger St, Adelaide