On the night before the swearing in of a new Parliamentary Secretary with a focus on community engagement and social inclusion, Queensland Nationals MP, George Christensen, has delivered a divisive rant that will damage community harmony.

Parliamentary Secretary Fierravanti-Wells’ first item of business should be to repudiate the Member for Dawson’s ignorant diatribe on behalf of the Abbott Government.

She can also stand up to the divisive elements in the Liberal Party who continue to push for religious garments to be banned, for inquiries into religious food certification, and for the watering down of protections against racist hate speech in the Racial Discrimination Act.

Governments must engage with the community as a whole and work to offer positive initiatives that create opportunities and build community harmony.

Divisive and inflammatory rhetoric from members of the Government undermine efforts to build community harmony. Social inclusion involves concentrating on what brings us together, not whipping up division.

Australia is a successful multicultural nation that continues to be enriched by the contribution of people from a diverse range of backgrounds. The Labor Party is proud of Australia’s rich multiculturalism and will always stand to defend it.


It would be nice if all members of the Abbott Government said more about social inclusion more often, and meant it.