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Wednesday, 10 June 2020
Page: 2675


Senator McGRATH (QueenslandDeputy Government Whip in the Senate) (20:08): On the weekend protests, I've never seen so many selfish people in one place at the same time putting our state's recovery at risk, and the Queensland Labor Party should be held to account for their inconsistent but always political application of the rules. Let me be clear: I support freedom. But the message from the Labor premier is clear: stage a protest and you'll be all good, but want your family at a funeral, Premier says, 'Nah'; want to commemorate Anzac Day, Premier says, 'Nah'; Mother's Day, 'Nah'; open your business, 'Nah'; have drinks with your friends, 'Nah'; go out for dinner, 'Nah'; play sport, 'Nah'; but stage a protest, 'Go and knock yourselves out.' Happy to destroy our tourism industry for base politics by keeping our borders closed? The Premier says yes.

This hypocrisy and lack of regard for everyday Australians is not isolated to Queensland. Sadly, with their willingness to airbrush history, there is a sinister, radical side to the Left, involving members of this chamber who are eager to tear down statues and distort history. We learn the lessons history teaches us. We can address these issues and debate them with the compassion and seriousness with which they deserve to be treated, but this is the challenge facing Australia: at the time of the greatest health and economic crisis in a century, we find the Left wanting to rename, tear down and destroy our heritage. It is not a leftist war on racism but an attack on our history.

As I said in my maiden speech, we are in the second Hundred Years War—a war against tyranny. In this instance, it is the tyranny of leftist wokeness. Our freedoms, our heritage and our future are all under attack from these dukes of wokedom. There is a demand from the Left to expunge, excise and extricate truth from history through a rewrite of all upon which they disagree. They not only want to sow the seeds of division and play identity politics today; they want to apply identity politics to rewrite the past. History cannot be whitewashed or black washed or colour-rinsed green. It cannot be rewritten in 140 characters on Twitter. History is what it is—sometimes glorious, often sad, quietly mundane at times. It is the brutal twirling with the lace. Think of Skara Brae, the sack of Rome, the Enlightenment, the abolition of slavery, 1788, the Federation debates, Gallipoli, Dunkirk, the 1967 referendum and the growth of freedom. History is the sum of all of us—an always shimmering historical dance between light, shade and dark.

To understand the glory of our history, we need to acknowledge and appreciate that, when we look through the prism of 21st century Australia, mistakes were made. But the Left hate all history in Australia after 1788. They hate that the British settled here in 1788. They hate Captain James Cook for his prowess as a navigator and his discovery and mapping of the east coast of Australia. Instead of Mao's Little Red Book, we have the little green book of the Greens. I call out the Greens and the Left for their hatred of modern Australia and for their hatred of Australia's history. The Left want to tear down statues. What's next? The banning of books? The burning of TV programs? Even Little Britain is being censored. It is satire, you woke wokers. The banning of freedoms? The banning of freedom of thought? The banning of freedom of speech?

If we do not understand our past, how can we hope to build a better, brighter future for all Australians? Australians of all colours and creeds fought and died for our freedoms in this country. Our history, based on these freedoms, is too important to be left to the Greens and the Left to rewrite. Let our statues stand.