Malcolm Turnbull unleashes on One Nation, gets rare agreement from Bill Shorten

While racial intolerance has made stark, unsavoury headlines of late, Australia’s leaders came together in a rare show of unity

While racial intolerance has made stark, unsavoury headlines of late, Australia’s leaders came together in a rare show of unity on Monday to fight back and reaffirm Australia as “the most successful multicultural society in the world”.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and opposition leader Bill Shorten both took the floor in the House of Representatives on Monday to speak in favour of a formal motion of racial tolerance in the parliament.

Mr Turnbull was slated to begin his speech at 12pm, the exact time the U.S. presidential debate was meant to begin. Whether the timing was coincidental, intentional or just an accident of scheduling, the leaders of Australia’s two main political parties spoke of welcoming Muslims and refugees while Donald Trump, the aspiring leader of the free world, backed in his previous comments about “extreme vetting” of Muslims and suspicions about the intentions of refugees from war torn parts of the world.

The motion, moved by Mr Turnbull, stated that the House of Representatives reaffirmed the commitment to equal rights and respect for all “regardless of race, colour, creed or origin”; to an immigration policy “wholly non-discriminatory” on race or origin; to reconciliation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and redressing “profound social and economic disadvantage”; the commitment to Australia as a “culturally diverse, tolerant and open society”; and, perhaps most poignantly in the context of politics both domestic and international, “denounces racial intolerance in any form as incompatible with the kind of society we are and want to be”.

The motion stands in contrast to Pauline Hanson’s maiden speech last month, where she said Australia was “in danger of being swamped by Muslims who bear a culture and ideology that is incompatible with our own”.

Read more: Pauline Hanson causes walkout during her first parliamentary speech

In his speech, Mr Turnbull said the aim of terrorists was to create division and fear.

“An inclusive nation is a safer nation. It enables our security agencies to better protect us. It enables them to secure the support and assistance of the Muslim communities without which they cannot keep us safe,” Mr Turnbull said.

“Australia’s migrant story tells us that if we keep learning from each other, opening our doors, our hearts and our minds, harmony will win out.”

An Essential Media Poll found recently that 49 per cent of Australians supported the views of Senator Pauline Hanson, who called on the Government to ban Muslim immigration.

A study released yesterday by the Australian National University found 45 per cent of Australians feared they or their family members could be affected by a terrorist attack on home soil.

Mr Turnbull said the concerns of Australians were clearly “real” but the most effective weapon would be inclusion.

“The object of these terrorists is to divide Islam by driving a wedge of violence between Muslims, between Sunni and Shia and to turn Muslims against the West and the West against Muslims,” the Prime Minister said.

“The resolution of this conflict within Islam will ultimately depend on Muslims, but in the meantime the Islamist terrorists have succeeded in raising levels of anxiety about Muslim immigration, about the role of Islam itself within Australia.”

“The glue that holds us together is mutual respect – a deep recognition that each of us is entitled to the same respect, the same dignity, the same opportunities,” Mr Turnbull said.

“Muslim Australians are an integral part of our Australian family… While there are Muslim Australians, including converts, who support the terrorists and seek to do us harm, they are a tiny minority whose madness offends and appalls Australian Muslims, as much as it does the wider Australian community.”

While dedicating a section of his speech to Muslims, the PM also reserved a section for Australia’s Indigenous people, and outlined his hope for Aboriginal people to be recognised in the constitution.

“We want to ensure our First Australians are not just surviving, but have the opportunity to thrive, to excel, to live the life of their choosing with meaning and purpose in a way that matters to them,” he said.

“We recognise that healing takes time. But the commitment our generation has made to improving this relationship is a vitally important one. I look forward to the day that our nation’s founding document – our Constitution — recognises and respects our First Australia and thus reflects Australia as it is now, not how it was imagined over a century ago.”

Mr Shorten rose to support the motion, adding his own thoughts to the idea of racial tolerance in Australia.

“In this place we should stand always up for our values – and our national identity – in its most generous and fullest sense,” he said.

“As leaders, we have a responsibility to unite – not divide. To reject the falsehood of a strong man or strong woman imposing simple ‘us versus them’ solutions, which only lead to bleaker outcomes. To reject the false choice between faith or nation, between a person’s heritage and their hopes for the future. Instead – with this motion today we say to all Australians – no one part of you defines all of you. And it should not define your destiny.”

Mr Shorten went further in his words about Indigenous people, saying formal recognition would “strike racism from the pages of our constitution”, and spoke strongly of not just tolerating diversity but embracing it.

“The word ‘tolerance’ doesn’t do justice to the society we treasure. We tolerate traffic jams, we tolerate flight delays, we tolerate headaches. We tolerate brussel sprouts – we embrace diversity,” the Labor leader said.

“The Bible does not tell us to ‘tolerate’ thy neighbour. Diversity is not a minor inconvenience to be endured, it’s not a artifice of political correctness, it is the collective power of our nation, of all of us. We know today’s immigrants and refugees are tomorrow’s community leaders, business leaders, doctors, nurses and teachers. We know inclusion, openness, cohesion are universal values to build upon.”

“We know multiculturalism is not a passing fashion – it is at the very heart of our national identity.”

What did you think of the two leaders’ speeches?

  1. This gives Australia hope instead off shorten and Turnbull throwing rocks at each other.They are strengthening and bringing people together..It also gives the Muslims some hope and now the majority off them can see there future stronger against the radical extremist.

  2. Russell Boucher  

    While I ave no problem with any migration coming to Australia I do have very strong I dears about how they should assimilate and how Australia should accommodate them we as a nation are very giving we accept most races in time we are not the type to embrace at first sight and as much as the P.M and Mr shorten spruke their idea’s of how they would like Australia’s immigration policies to go we cannot and should not have immigrants coming to this country to bring their problems with them and not assimilating I remember very clearly the Cronulla incident where the cars up and down the street were trashed we were the ones at fault, That was the beginning of the softly softly and look what we have now 70% of Australians on some sort of benefits trillions in debt and selling the country to accommodate the cost of what going on with the muslims coming here,I for one am with Pauline Hanson we need to stop and take a breather get our house in order. Before we go down the drain completely, This is just another distraction so the P.M can slip through the deal with the Chinese and Genia Rhinehart selling 10000 square Kilometres of the heart of this Big county Australia and the ABC are right in front paving the way,

    • Wiso  

      Excellent piece Russell.

      I agree with everything you have said. Blind Freddy can see the sense in what Pauline Hanson is saying. What she said 20 years ago was the truth and now it is there for all to see, and she is right again now.

      • Niel  

        Excellent Russel

        I agree with everything you have said . These 2 together Turncoat and Shorten are deadly in the positions they hold . Neither party is good for this country

    • Victoria  

      Yes lets stop the immigration and have a look at the people we want to bring here who will fit and and not divide our country. I am for Pauline. Turnball and Shorten are peas in a pod. Are they getting money from the EU to take all these Muslim people because they don’t want them in Europe.

  3. Ian  

    Still 1 million voters for someone other than these two parties says something powerful so we get expect a lot of gifts and trinkets before the next election

  4. Tim Janes  

    Malcolm Turnbull and Bill Shorten are both GLOBALISTS with socialstic philosophies. No sovereign nation for Australia in their agenda. How can you ever trust a back stabber! I am for Pauline; she has proven with staying power where her heart is. I trust Pauline but not Turnbull or Shorten.

  5. Isabel Liddle  

    Why can the Constitution to recognise Aborigines not just be fixed. A wrong righted
    If there does need to be a plebiscite why is it not being done now?

  6. Ian  

    They are running scared .Pauline has them on the ropes . The greens walked out because they can’t handle the truth .
    The last time Pauline was elected they jailed her on trumped up charges which wee later proved to be false .They wouldn’t dare do that again there would be an armed assault on parliament house if they did .
    Sure migrants assimilated in this country but the MUSLIMS won’t . Their religion and sharia law comes before all other laws . Their Prophet Mohamed has ordered them to eitherConvert all infidels, if they won’t convert Kill them ,enslave them ,or tax them till they are reduced to poverty (much like liberal and labor policies ).
    Read the Quran and learn the truth about these people they are encouraged to lie and befriend the infidels until the time is right to take over .

  7. bob c  

    It goes to show just how out of touch to the real Australians the Libs and their mates Labor are. No wonder Pauline is so popular, she is in touch and she listens.

  8. susan  

    If it were only one leader to vote for in all party’s, I think One Nation would have stole the show.

  9. desleigh clarke  

    I find it absolutely amazing that both parties (and the greens) are SO against discrimination against women (supposedly) and yet they continue to throw huge support towards a religion (NOT A RACE) that blatantly DOES discriminate against women , with their policy of segregation and different laws for men & women. Where are the female clerics, how many women sit on Islamic councils? Easy answer – NONE. When I see a women praying with her head uncovered BESIDE man instead of out the back or up in a different room like a leper, THEN I will accept Islam.

  10. Pamela  

    You can’t have equality when so many women and minorities want special treatment over and above equality, just because they are women or belong to a minority group.

    One nation; one people; one law – FOR ALL!

    • Louis de Kort  

      I agree with Pamela, namely “One Nation, One people and above all ONE LAW” No sharia Law , no welfare bludgers, such as benefits for multiple wives, which should be classified as BIGAMY. Those should be deported.
      On top of all this most political party leaders should stop acting as Ostriches and get their heads out of the sandand thus face up to reality.

  11. David AITKEN  

    WAKE UP, SPEAK UP, RISE UP ”’AUSTRALIANS”’….LISTEN CAREFULLY YOUR BECOMING A MINORITY IN YOUR OWN COUNTRY, this is not what your forefathers have fought and died for. WE ARE overgoverned, overregulated, your allowing the politicians to walk all over you, Malcolm ” TURNCOAT” Turnbull and Bill ””Shortarse silly billy”” Shorten are political socialists, they preach social change but do bugger all except make noise and pander to minority groups to cadge up easy votes. The only constructive thing Shorten has done is NOT support the stupid intended plebiside on same sex marriage …Turnball has gagged his side to his line , SIMPLY just change the existing marriage act legislation to allow any person above the legal consenting age to marry who ever they choose. This is just an other ”distraction thing” to draw your attention away from the IMPORTANT ISSUES that need to be addressed….. ”’Almost a protect you from worry and”’ trust us we know whats best for you CONTROL”’ THIS IS JUST BULLS___T COME ON AUSSIES GET OF YOUR BUMS …..START HAMMERING YOUR LOCAL MEMBERS for action… they are supposed to be your voice, `if they dont get your vote , they have no job…………SIMPLE REALLY

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