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Rudd needs to explain 'integration' portfolio.

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Kerry Nettle, Senator for New South Wales

Rudd needs to explain 'integration' portfolio

Senator Nettle, 11th December 2006 Greens Senator Kerry Nettle today asked new Labor leader Kevin Rudd to explain what he means by 'integration' in the new portfolio of Immigration, Integration and Citizenship.

"I am concerned that the introduction on 'integration' into this portfolio signals a willingness to pick up on John Howard's anti-migrant, anti-Muslim agenda," Senator Nettle said.

"The term integration has been used by John Howard to scapegoat certain communities that he does not like. Kevin Rudd needs to explain why integration is now a Labor priority.

"The Greens support and celebrate diversity in the Australian community and are suspicious of political use of the term integration which implies a fictitious single Australian culture into which people are call on to integrate.

"Does Kevin Rudd think there is a problem with integration? If he does he should say so and prove it. The evidence does not support Howard's claim that particular communities are not integrating. The reality is that Australia is a one of the most successful multicultural societies in the world.

"Multiculturalism is an ongoing project which should be about practical ways to share and understand one another's culture - it is not about one culture integrating into another."

Contact - Jon Edwards 0428 213 146