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Multiculturalism not just our future, but our past and present.



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Media Statement Friday 17th August 2007

SENATOR ANDREW BARTLETT Queensland Democrat Senator QUEENSLAND’S ONLY INDEPENDENT VOICE IN THE SENATE

Multiculturalism not just our future, but our past and present

Queensland Democrat Senator Andrew Bartlett welcomes the release of HREOC’s Multiculturalism Position Paper as an attack on the government’s ambivalence and extremist elements who seek to undermine Australia’s proud history as a multicultural nation.

“Acting Race Commissioner, Tom Calma’s paper echoes the many views that the Democrats have been attempting to draw attention to over the years,” Senator Bartlett said.

“This report recognises the importance of multiculturalism in the development and growth of our nation, a view we have been expressing for decades.

“We have also consistently argued that our politicians must use their position to promote the benefits and increase understanding and awareness of multiculturalism in the wider Australian community.

“Extremist views, such as those expressed recently by Pauline Hanson have no place in a multicultural society. Such views pray on people’s fears and do nothing but cause suspicion and division in our society.

“In order to combat extremism government must not pander to the fears raised by the likes of Ms Hanson. Australia has been built with the help of people from many nations and there is no reason why this can’t continue as a recipe for success,” Senator Bartlett concluded.

HREOC’s Multiculturalism Position Paper can be found here - http://www.hreoc.gov.au/racial_discrimination/multiculturalism/index.html

Media contact - Tracee McPate - 0417 607 655

Electoral office: Suite 14 B1, 7/421 Brunswick St, Fortitude Valley, QLD 4006 t: 07 3252 7101 local call cost (Qld): 1300 301 879 f: 07 3252 8957 e: senator.bartlett@aph.gov.au web: www.andrewbartlett.com