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Monday, 23 November 2015
Page: 8604

Senator SCULLION (Northern TerritoryMinister for Indigenous Affairs and Leader of The Nationals in the Senate) (14:11): by leave—I rise to associate the Nationals with the remarks already made in this place and offer my condolences to those impacted by these devastating events. The appalling terrorist attacks the world witnessed in Paris on 13 November have devastated not only France but also the world over. I personally and on behalf of the Nationals extend my deepest condolences to the families and loved ones of those 130 people tragically killed and the more than 350 injured. These are deliberately shocking and horrific attacks by individuals shamefully associated with a perverted interpretation of justice and religion. We have also seen devastating attacks in other parts of the world. The recent attacks in Iraq, Lebanon, Nigeria and Mali are crimes that have been perpetrated by a similarly perverted and insidious ideology.

In these times of great hardship and sadness, a natural human response can be one of hatred and distrust. But these are the times, more than ever, that we as Australians must come together and hold true to our principles. We must continue to live by those values which our enemies so jealously despise, to live and promote our freedoms, to uphold our values and to celebrate what makes our country unique—that is, its welcoming and celebration of all cultures. We must all be particularly conscious that these terrorist attacks are not the action of a religious or cultural group as a whole but of a radical minority group that represent only their perverted world view.

Countering terrorism and violent extremism is a priority for all Australian governments. Collaboration between everyday citizens, police, state and federal law enforcement, intelligence and security forces is vital to countering and preventing violent extremism. This is a plea not to spy on one's neighbours but rather to get to know them, to come together and to keep our eyes, hearts and communities open. We must be diligent but not divisive, cautious but not changed. And we cannot forget those we have lost or who have been impacted by these terrible and appalling attacks. The Nationals offer our condolences to all those affected by these terrible atrocities, their families and their communities.