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Wednesday, 3 April 2019
Page: 843


Senator STORER (South Australia) (11:22): I rise to speak in support of this censure motion. I was shocked and appalled by Senator Anning's disgraceful comments in the wake of the Christchurch tragedy. He is an embarrassment to our country and to this parliament. We must take this opportunity to rise as one and show that he does not speak for Australia, that he does not speak for this Senate. More broadly, it's time to draw a line in the sand. The Islamophobic race baiting and dog whistling engaged in by some politicians, commentators and media outlets must stop. If there's one thing the Christchurch tragedy should teach us, it is that there are real-world consequences to this behaviour.

It's time for those of us with megaphones, those of us in positions of power and influence, to reflect deeply on the impact of our words. We must rise above the politics of religious and racial division and disunity; it has no place in a modern, tolerant, multicultural society. I stand here as a passionate supporter of multicultural Australia. Our diversity and differences are what makes us strong and vibrant, and should be celebrated and embraced. Let us send a message to all those who wish to divide us, to tear us apart, that we are united and proud of our diversity and we will fight like hell to defend it.