Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Current HansardDownload Current Hansard    View Or Save XMLView/Save XML

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Monday, 23 November 2015
Page: 13346


Mr BROAD (Mallee) (20:50): I rise to speak on the Australian Citizenship Amendment (Allegiance to Australia) Bill 2015. To belong is to be a citizen. Many of us are born into that privilege. When we are born into that privilege, perhaps we may not value it as much as we certainly should. Some strive for that privilege; some strive to be citizens of Australia. Across the electorate that I represent, I see many citizenship ceremonies and people grasping hold of that particular certificate and really holding it very close and dear to their hearts. Often, you will see that certificate displayed in their house if you go and visit them. Citizenship is a gift that some of us are born with. It is a gift that is sometimes bestowed upon people who come to this country. But it is something to be valued; it is something to belong.

However, there are some who do not value it. How do they not value it? They do not value it by not valuing the people who live here and the values that we share in this country. One of the things that is special about the area I represent is how multicultural it is. For example, one of our high schools has 415 students with 54 first languages spoken.

In some respects we are living out the great dream of humanity, which is that we can all get along. We can fight one another on the football field but we can all get along. I really love that the electorate that I represent is immensely multicultural. The food is great. The culture is great. The way people interact is good. This was built around an ideal, and my fear is that many have lost that ideal. It is the ideal that somehow Australia is something special. Australia is something special. Many of us, whether five generations ago, one generation ago or in our lifetime, have come to make Australia home. I think this is unique in the world. I think Australia, Canada and perhaps America are the three most multicultural countries in the Western democracy that have really got a handle on this.

Will this bill in itself stop terrorism? Will stripping dual citizens of their citizenship stop terrorism? The answer is no. How does one fight an ideal with a gun? We should not shy away from the resolve that we must do that which is right. Ultimately, we must have the strength to do that which is right. That strength requires strong law enforcement. That strength requires a bill such as the one before us where we are drawing a line in the sand and making it clear that citizenship is not something you can take for granted, that citizenship is a privilege which some have been born into and some have been granted.

We must also fight this problem that is presenting itself to the world with education. Education is about valuing what we have. My fear is not so much dual citizens who might attack us but Australians who were born here, who feed on radical ideals and become home-grown terrorist. The only way we can tackle that is through strong education to ensure that Australians do not take for granted the values that we hold dear. Let's be clear about this. Ultimately, every generation needs to relearn the importance of what is unique about Australia. I also think humanity is not weak when it displays unity or displays love. Love is probably not a thing that we talk about very much in this chamber, but it is in the shared nature of humanity. It is when we see mankind at its best. It is when we stand united in a positive belief that we can achieve anything. Together, we can disarm our nuclear weapons, like we did in the Cold War. Together, we can tackle Ebola, like we saw in Africa. Together, we will stamp out this strange idea that death is the answer, that killing is a means to an end. That is the real contrast between the shared humanity that I believe in, the shared humanity that much of the world longs for, and Daesh and the cult that it has started.

There is no doubt that some of what Daesh is trying to do is built on some warped ideal about an Islamic state in the Middle East. Islam can be a force for good; it can also be a force for evil—just like Christendom was a force for evil in the Dark Ages. It is only when you realise that we can have a faith but also interact in a tolerant way in a modern world that we can learn to get along. The challenge that we have is that we do not divide this debate down the lines of a battle between people of Muslim faith, people of Christian faith, people of Buddhist faith and people of Hindu faith. The world cannot stand a conflict where 1.2 billion people are fighting against one another just because of different belief structures. What we can stand is a society that values different belief structures, that allows people to interact and of course debate their views about the world and that believes in the rule of law.

There is no place for Sharia law in Australian society. The only place for laws to be made is in this chamber—a representative government of secular law where we can have the debates that represent the views of the Australian people. We should be very clear that at no point should we tolerate a belief structure based on a law that does not come out of this chamber. I think citizenship is a privilege. We can win this battle with a resolve to have the strength to disarm, to disturb and to break up those who seek to harm us, and this we can do through education, through valuing our freedoms and through the love of humanity. A good humanity and a shared humanity believes in respecting one another and listening to one another's views.

Debate adjourned.