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Thursday, 21 June 2018
Page: 3575


Senator McKIM (Tasmania) (11:59): by leave—One of the bills in this report is the Counter-Terrorism Legislation Amendment Bill (No. 1) 2018, which the Australian Greens asked to have referred and which has regrettably not been referred to the Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee for an inquiry. This bill is part of the slow march down the very dangerous path to authoritarianism and fascism around the world that we are seeing at the moment. That slow march contains an erosion of some of the fundamental freedoms and liberties that we used to hold so dear in Western democracies and in Australia. We used to actually sacrifice lives to defend those fundamental freedoms and liberties.

You only have to look at what is happening around the world now. Look at what is happening in Italy, where they have just announced that they're going to do a census to discover which of the Italian people are Roma people as a precursor to rounding the Roma people up and deporting them from Italy. You only have to look at what is now happening in Trump's America, where children are being ripped from their parents' arms near the border with Mexico, kept in cages and injected with dangerous drugs to treat the very serious psychiatric conditions that that separation from their parents is causing. If you want to look at where this most recent manifestation of fascism, totalitarianism and authoritarianism started, look no further than this parliament and look no further than this country. The words, 'You are worse than I am,' should be ringing in the ears of every Australian right now. That phrase, 'You are worse than I am,' is what US President Donald Trump said—

The PRESIDENT: Senator Collins, on a point of order?

Senator Jacinta Collins: I apologise, Senator McKim. I'm not seeking to interrupt your remarks. For a point of clarity, we want to understand which bill you're referring to. Where is it in the report?

Senator McKim: Down the bottom.

Senator Jacinta Collins: Down there—that it not be referred?

Senator McKim interjecting

Senator Jacinta Collins: Okay. Thank you.

Senator McKIM: The words, 'You are worse than I am,' should be ringing in the ears of every Australian right now. Those words, of course, were the words that US President Donald Trump said to Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in their now infamous phone call where Mr Turnbull was trying to explain to US President Trump why Australia was forcibly separating families and why Australia was forcibly ripping children away from the arms of their parents in the name of immigration detention, border security and counterterrorism. Make no mistake, this is a fascist and totalitarian infection that we're seeing around the world. We're seeing it in the United States and we're seeing it in Italy, where they want to do a census that is a precursor to rounding up the Roma people and deporting them from that country. We're seeing it in populist, right-wing, extremist, neo-Nazi and fascist politics around the world, where they are copying their speaking points from the Australian government's propaganda on its Operation Sovereign Borders system.

All those things, these most recent manifestations of fascism, sprang from the day when this parliament decided it was okay to lock up children in detention in the name of border security. They sprang from the day when this parliament decided it was okay to forcibly separate innocent children from their parents in the name of border security. Make no mistake, as this spreads around the world, this is a very, very dangerous development for democracy, for human rights, for civil liberties and for the things we used to care about so dearly and the things we used to sacrifice Australian lives to defend. With the spread of these things, it is a dangerous time for the world. We need to understand, to look back to the day this parliament decided it was okay to exile innocent people to Manus Island and Nauru, when this parliament decided it was okay to subject them to the torture of indefinite detention, when this parliament decided it was okay to rip apart families in the name of base politics and immigration and border security.

These developments around the world are dangerous. They are troubling. They will lead to mass human misery, mass deprivation of liberty, mass deprivation of freedom. They will lead to death. They will lead to the ongoing separation of families. They will lead to what we're seeing in America, where children are ripped from the arms of their families and locked up in cages. What a dark, dark example Australia has set to the world.