NSW LABOR CONDEMNS SENATOR ANNING’S RACIST INAUGURAL SPEECH

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The inaugural speech made by Senator Fraser Anning in the Australian Senate last night has been met with widespread condemnation, including by the Labor Party in NSW.

Acting NSW Shadow Minister for Multiculturalism Jihad Dib spoke at the first available opportunity in the NSW Parliament to reiterate that condemnation on behalf of NSW Labor and NSW Opposition Leader Luke Foley.

Mr Dib described Senator Anning’s speech as racist and divisive and specifically condemned Senator Anning’s use of language strongly associated with Nazis - invoking one of the darkest periods in human history. 

In his role as Acting Shadow Minister for Multiculturalism, Mr Dib called on the NSW Parliament to reaffirm its support for a non-discriminatory immigration policy and to actively call out divisive so-called ‘dog whistle’ politics. Mr Dib also thanked Members of Parliament from different sides of politics who had come forward to defend multiculturalism and condemn Senator Anning’s speech.

Mr Dib, the state’s first lower house Islamic MP, used his own inaugural speech in May 2015 to speak of his own family’s migrant history, his pride in and appreciation of the multicultural success of Australia but he also warned of threats of intolerance and ignorance.

Mr Foley today confirmed that Labor will refuse to preference One Nation, and other candidates who promote racially discriminating migration polices, at the 2019 NSW election.

Mr Foley has challenged Gladys Berejiklian and John Barilaro to make the same commitment on behalf of the Liberal and National parties.

Quotes attributable NSW Opposition Leader Luke Foley

“It’s unacceptable for a person elected to represent the Australian people in the Senate to spread such racist and divisive notions.

“I and my Labor colleagues utterly condemn Senator Anning’s speech which does not reflect the true values of our multicultural nation.”

Quotes attributable to Acting Shadow Minister for Multiculturalism Jihad Dib

“Senator Anning’s speech is not just academic to me – it is deeply personal and offensive, to all people from a diverse ethnic or religious background and to all Australians who love our country because of its diversity.

“To hear a term like ‘final solution’ used so flippantly sickens me.  How could anyone elected to the Australian Senate have such callous disregard for the feelings of communities so deeply and tragically impacted by one of the one of the most murderous fascist regimes in history?

“I hope that the outrage about this overt racist speech is not just one-off.  Casual, everyday racism, tolerated by many, is the breeding ground for intolerance and gives people like Senator Anning the misguided idea that what he has said is OK.  It is not OK. We need to be vigilant. 

“Despite Senator Anning’s speech I am very optimistic about our future as a modern multicultural nation.  I thank all public figures and MPs from around the country, in State and Federal parliaments for standing up for fairness, respect and decency."