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Thursday, 12 August 2004
Page: 26499


Senator RIDGEWAY (1:40 PM) —I was not going to enter this debate but after that pathetic performance from Senator Boswell—


The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT (Senator McLucas)—Senator Ridgeway, you only have one minute, just by way of information.


Senator RIDGEWAY —I want to make it clear that, in the context of this notion of democracy being about a majority vote, I thought a democracy was about the values in society, about equality, fairness, understanding and compassion. When the Leader of the National Party in the Senate, Senator Boswell, was here for the native title debate, the Prime Minister held up a map showing how much land was going to be taken by Aboriginal people. What we are doing wrong in this particular case, aided and abetted by the opposition, is institutionalising bias and prejudice against particular people. The opposition should stand up and be counted and should not assist the government. People are entitled to their views in society, but I will not countenance putting them into law so that we can actively discriminate against people, which is what is happening in this place. This has happened with Indigenous people, disabled people and other people in this country because governments have allowed it to happen and oppositions have supported it. (Time expired)

Question put:

That the motion (Senator Ian Campbell's) be agreed to.