Joanne Ryan MP
Federal Member for Lalor
Joanne Ryan MP

Racial Discrimination Act 18C

It is deja vu in the House of Representatives today as we rise again to defend section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act on this side of this chamber. We rise because Senator Day has a bill co-sponsored by Senator Bernardi and Senator Smith—the Tea Party have gone mad on the other side and they want to have this argument one more time.

When it came up last time, we stood in this chamber day after day and we said 'no'. We said 'do not do that'. The Australian people stood behind us and said 'no'. They came from every corner of Australia, from every corner of the world where they had originated from to say: we love our multicultural country; we do not believe people have a right to be bigots; we will defend the tolerance in this nation.

We need our Prime Minister now to come through those doors at question time to beg your indulgence and to say he stands with us and he stands with every Australian—that he stands with every child in every classroom, no matter their race or their religion. He needs to stand up to racism, be it in his own party or in the streets. We have a great country—a country that cannot afford to have this debate go on and on and on.

 

 


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