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Monday, 22 October 2018
Page: 10691


Mr ANDREWS (Menzies) (19:05): I commend the member for Canberra for having moved this motion and bringing on this debate in this place and command all my colleagues on both sides of the chamber for their words of support for the Baha'i community here in Australia and particularly their concern for members of their family and the broader community in Iran. I have a sizable Baha'i community in my electorate in Melbourne. I have very good relations with them. I see them from time to time and am happy to support them. But, more importantly, we in this place should stand for the upholding of human rights wherever that is diminished anywhere in the world, regardless of the ethnicity, the religion, the racial origins or any other characteristic of the people concerned. We should be prepared to stand up in this place.

We enjoy the luxury of living in one of the freest societies in the world. We enjoy the luxuries of free speech. We mix that with our responsibilities to give others the right to speak freely in this country. Sadly, that is not the situation which pertains in other parts of the world, including in Iran today, so I wanted to very briefly add my remarks to those of all my colleagues and once again commend the honourable member for Canberra for bringing this motion. I say that we in this parliament stand in solidarity with the Baha'i community and will continue to voice our concerns about the ill treatment and the injustice that happens in that country.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER ( Mr Gee ): There being no further speakers, the debate is adjourned and the resumption of the debate will be made an order of the day for the next sitting.