It is time for Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to show some leadership and rein in Liberal MPs who are intent on using divisive and counter-productive language on national security matters.
“The Liberal Party should be ashamed of themselves for dragging Director-General of ASIO Duncan Lewis, a distinguished public servant, into their own internal spat,” Shadow Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus said.
“Australia’s security agencies and police forces have repeatedly warned that divisive rhetoric about Islam is counter-productive. This isn’t news to anyone in the Government, but evidently a number of Coalition MPs are more interested in playing political games than in Australia’s national security.
“Duncan Lewis hasn’t done anything wrong here.
“This isn’t about what Duncan Lewis has done, it’s what Malcolm Turnbull has failed to do. He has failed to show the leadership Australia needs and tell his MPs to pull their heads in.
“The fact that he failed to do so is a fundamental failure of judgement on his part.”
Ms Rowland said it was critical that the Government promote harmony and social cohesion in the fight against terrorism.
“As former Director-General David Irvine has said, the strongest defence against violent extremism lies within the Australian Muslim community itself,” said Ms Rowland.
“Inflammatory remarks undermine efforts to build social cohesion and mutual respect. Malcolm Turnbull needs to pull his party into line, and it’s time for him to do it himself.”
THURSDAY 17 DECEMBER 2015