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Monday, 4 July 2011
Page: 7312

Mr RANDALL (Canning) (13:47): I wish to bring attention to a speech made in this House by the member for Greenway, Michelle Rowland. I have informed her that I intended to do so. In a speech on Monday the 20th, she made an inaccurate and opporĀ­tunistic slur on the democratically elected government of Sri Lanka, possibly to curry favour with elements of the electorate who I suspect are still sympathetic to the defeated terrorist group, the LTTE. She said in her speech she had something like a 3,000-strong Tamil community. She said:

I say '3,000' but—as I have been told by Tamil community leaders, and I have no doubt as to this—this number is, in fact, far higher in reality. The Tamil population in Greenway is one of the largest in the country …

I refer the member to the most recent Bureau of Statistics figures from the last census. I point out to her that in fact the number of Tamils in her electorate is 75. Not only that, but the number of Sinhalese in her electorate is 1,034. The member might want to realise that not only does she have people of that group in her electorate but she has Ghanaians, Iranians and Kurds, who she may wish to talk about in the same vein because they need the same support. I expect her, on 0.9 of a per cent, to be more accurate in the future so the Sri Lankan members of the community can deal with her.