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Private Member's Statement: Say no to Pauline

February 16, 2017

Record of Proceedings, 16 February 2017

MrRUSSO (SunnybankALP) (2.45pm): On 14 October 2016, I hosted a lunch for approximately 100 people at Michaels Oriental Restaurant. The title of the lunch was Say No to Pauline. I invited Mr Kenrick Cheah to speak. Kenrick is the President of the Australian Chinese Forum and had launched the Say No to Paulinecampaign in Sydney. The campaign is obviously designed to rail against the prejudice, ignorance and damage that can come to our community from One Nation. The election of One Nation in the most recent federal election shows that there is a real fear in the community as to what the future holds for people: how will they put food on the table; how will they educate their children; what happens if they become ill or one of their children becomes ill? The fact that One Nation received votes in the last federal election is a sign that many people in the electorate believe that One Nation can solve their problems.

Let me state loud and clear: One Nation is not the answer to unemployment. It is not the answer to anything. I reassure the people in my electorate that I will work hard to address their needs and that I will work tirelessly to highlight the disadvantage that people in my electorate face. The re-emergence of One Nation was a sad day for Australia because of the damaging prejudice of its rhetoric and the real hurt it brings to our community. When One Nation first emerged, it vilified Asians; now it has turned its attention to Muslims. Who knows which group will be the next target of its ignorance and prejudice?

Queensland exports to the rest of the world. Effectively dealing with the complexities of foreign trade requires more than slogans that attack the most vulnerable in our communities and cause people to fear one another. I am a proud member of the Australian Labor Party and the state member for Sunnybank. The state electorate of Sunnybank has one of the most diverse multicultural communities in Queensland. The Say No to Paulineluncheon highlighted that One Nation has no policies, no ideas and does not even understand history and the role migrants have played in shaping the country we are. People have settled in the suburbs of my electorate for a number of reasons.

Speech By Peter Russo


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