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Transcript of doorstop interview: Sydney: September 16, 2012: Sydney Running Festival; Sydney protests; Hizb ut-Tahrir; GST; Liberal Party



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Doorstop Interview, Sydney September 16, 2012

Subjects: Sydney Running Festival; Sydney protests; Hizb ut-Tahrir; GST; Liberal Party.

EO&E..............................................................................................................................................................

TONY ABBOTT:

Look, I’ve just been involved in a great community event which showcased Sydney at its best and there couldn’t be a clearer contrast between the Sydney Running Festival this morning and the appalling events on the streets of Sydney yesterday

afternoon.

I think all Australians need to give a very strong message to the people on the streets of Sydney yesterday afternoon; violent protest is never acceptable in a country such as ours and we expect every Australian to live in accordance with Australian values.

Newcomers to this country are not expected to surrender their heritage, but they are expected to surrender their hatreds and I

think that’s the message that’s got to go from every Australian to those people on the streets of Sydney yesterday.

Are there any questions?

QUESTION:

There were some disturbing pictures in this morning’s newspapers showing kids with inflammatory signs, what do you make of that?

TONY ABBOTT:

I think every Australian looking at those photos this morning would be really appalled that that was happening on the streets of

Sydney and I suspect that many of the protestors looking at the news last night and looking at themselves in the paper this morning, would be starting to feel pangs of conscience because I do not believe that the people on the streets of Sydney

yesterday were truly representative of Islam. I don’t believe that the ugliness we saw on the streets of Sydney yesterday fairly reflects the Islamic people of our country.

QUESTION:

You’re calling for a British Muslim leader to have his visa revoked, can you tell us a little bit more about that?

TONY ABBOTT:

This particular organisation, Hizb ut-Tahrir, has been preaching hatred for some years now. They have been regularly on the

record calling for the destruction of Israel. Some of their leaders have been on the record calling for violence against Australian troops in Afghanistan. I don’t think we need the preachers of hate in this country.

QUESTION:

Now, the Immigration Minister Chris Bowen says that it’s unlikely that this man’s visa will be revoked, what is your message to

Chris Bowen?

TONY ABBOTT:

I think this is not sending a very good signal. I think that the Australian Government should be saying clearly and unambiguously; we do not need preachers of hate in this country and we certainly shouldn’t be giving visas to people who are the preachers of

hate.

Tony Abbott Federal Member for Warringah | Leader of the Opposition

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QUESTION:

Have you actually read any of his writings or teachings or preachings Mr Abbott?

TONY ABBOTT:

I have received briefings about Hizb ut-Tahrir and I am conscious of the fact that we really don’t need people in this country,

coming to this country to preach a message of hatred, to call for the destruction of Israel, to call for violence against Australian soldiers in Afghanistan - that’s the last thing we need.

QUESTION:

How concerned are you that these protests that we saw yesterday in Sydney could continue, potentially today and into this week?

TONY ABBOTT:

I hope that everyone involved in yesterday’s protest would have thought better of it today, but certainly the people who were

responsible for yesterday’s protest should be held accountable and people who broke the law yesterday on the streets of Sydney must be prosecuted and I was very encouraged to see Police Commissioner Scipione saying earlier today that the full weight of

the law will be brought to bear against people who are breaking the law on the streets of Sydney.

QUESTION:

New South Wales Premier Barry O’Farrell said that this incident was going to put a stain on the Muslims in Australia, what’s your response to that?

TONY ABBOTT:

I don’t believe we saw an acceptable face of Islam yesterday, but the point I do make is that the vast majority of Australian

Muslims are law abiding Australians. They want to be first class members of our society and I hope that the people who were on the streets of Sydney yesterday, responsible for that mayhem, are having second thoughts and better thoughts today.

QUESTION:

Mr Abbott, what is your response to Premier O’Farrell’s calls for an increase in the GST rate?

TONY ABBOTT:

The Coalition has no plans to change the GST, none whatsoever.

QUESTION:

Mr Abbott, is it appropriate in your view for various factions inside the NSW Liberal Party to be taking legal action against one

another to stop the council meeting on Saturday?

TONY ABBOTT:

I’m looking forward to the council meeting next week and I’m confident that we will have a good discussion. I’m also confident that all members of the Liberal Party are, first of all, celebrating the excellent result that the Liberal Party got in local government

elections right around New South Wales last weekend and we are all focussed on the need to put a really good campaign together to defeat a bad Government getting worse in Canberra.

Thank you.

[ends]

© Tony Abbott MHR 2010 | Authorised by Tony Abbott MHR, Level 2, 17 Sydney Rd, Manly NSW 2095

www.tonyabbott.com.au

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