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Monday, 20 March 2017
Page: 1312

Senator FARRELL (South AustraliaDeputy Leader of the Opposition in the Senate) (10:39): I wish to advise Senator Roberts that the opposition will not be supporting these amendments. We believe they would allow racial profiling, pure and simple, an approach that law enforcement and national security organisations, both here and overseas, including the United States, are opposed to. When the police and national security agencies start targeting people based on their race it effectively puts a whole community under suspicion. What is more, it virtually guarantees that the innocent will regularly find themselves stopped for little reason beyond the colour of their skin. Racial profiling can also poison relations between authorities and the community. When minority groups feel they are under constant suspicion they are less likely to pass on information that could be vital to solving crimes and, more importantly, preventing terrorist attacks.

Lastly, as the bill's explanatory memorandum quite rightly states:

All people have the right to be treated equally. In keeping with Australia’s egalitarian screening regime applied to aviation passengers, selection of airport and airline workers, visitors and contractors for screening inside the security restricted areas … of airports will be conducted on a purely random basis. Individuals will not be selected according to their race, religion, gender, or any other personal characteristic.

That is the kind of Australia that the Labor Party wishes to continue to stand up for.