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Wednesday, 8 February 2017
Page: 339


Senator GALLAGHER : The opposition will not be supporting this motion, because, as a matter of principle, we cannot support motions that amount to a personal attack on individual senators. We do proudly support our national day, Australia Day, which should be a day of national celebration and national pride, where we can celebrate all of the good things that it means to be Australian and the great fortune we have to live in this country, the best country on earth. But, of course, this does not mean forgetting our national scars. The opposition understands that for many first Australians this date still carries much sadness, following too many long years of indignities, great and small. The opposition believes that as a nation we must honour the keepers of the world's oldest living culture, the caretakers of this ancient continent, and pledge ourselves to working together for a more equal future for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. I also want to be clear in saying that violence has no place in the celebrations of our national day or any part to play in our communities at all. Violence will not right past wrongs and it will not create a better future. (Time expired)

Question agreed to.