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Monday, 4 December 2017
Page: 9526


Senator McGRATH (QueenslandAssistant Minister to the Prime Minister) (16:27): I seek leave to make a short statement.

The PRESIDENT: Leave is granted for one minute.

Senator McGRATH: The government does not support this motion. Freedom of speech includes the freedom to say things which others may find offensive. It is by protecting the speech of those with whom we disagree, even those with whom our disagreement is fundamental, that we secure and protect Australia's democratic values. The government recognises that free speech is not absolute but carries with it the responsibility to promote civil discourse as well as to reject hate speech or speech that incites violence and bullying of others.