Speeches

MOTION ON AUSTRALIA’S NON-DISCRIMINATORY IMMIGRATION POLICY, WEDNESDAY, 15 AUGUST 2018

August 15, 2018

DR ANNE ALY MP
FEDERAL MEMBER FOR COWAN

 

MOTION ON AUSTRALIA’S NON-DISCRIMINATORY IMMIGRATION POLICY

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, PARLIAMENT HOUSE, CANBERRA

WEDNESDAY, 15 AUGUST 2018

 

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Thank you Deputy Speaker.

I came in here with a speech prepared.

I came in here ready to roll up my sleeves and to fight and to defend as I’ve had to so many times over the last 30 years, Mr Deputy Speaker.

I’ve sat here over the last hour and I’ve heard the Leader of the Opposition and the Deputy Leader of the Opposition, the Prime Minister and, yeah, even the Minister for Home Affairs, and the Member for Chifley speak and the Deputy Prime Minister speak  and I’m tired of fighting.

I’m tired.

I’m tired of having to stand up against hate, against vilification, time and time and time again.

And I wrote in this speech that I had that I was proud to be a Member of the Labor Party, that today honours the tradition of Bob Hawke in 1988 when he stood up and put a motion to this Parliament confirming Australia's non-discriminatory immigration policies.

But I’m also proud to be a Member of this Parliament that is united today -- thank you, I needed that -- that is united today in its condemnation of those terrible words that were spoken in the other place yesterday.

But that pride is tinged with sadness.

It’s tinged with sadness that we’ve had to do this for 30 years -- for 30 years.

You know, I once attended a seminar that was put on by young migrant kids in my electorate. And they all got up and they stood about all the challenges in their young lives. You know, these were kids that were 15, 16 right up to the age of 18. And I sat there listening to them and I started crying.

I’m a big sookie la la at the best of times, let’s just put that out there. Weddings, funerals, speeches in Parliament, everything.

And they came up to me and they said “Anne, we didn’t mean to make you cry.” And I said “no you don’t understand. Your challenges today are the same challenges that I had 30 years ago.”

And I just want to know when it’s going to change. I just want to know when it’s going to change for our future generations. When it’s going to get better for them.

But today, this morning, I see hope.

I see possibilities.

I see opportunity.

I see leaders on both sides who are willing to stand up and I see that I don’t have to fight alone anymore.

Thank you for that, thank you. It means a lot.

It means a lot to me, it means a lot to my kids, it means a lot to my Mum who was told to stand at the back of the line every time she went to get on a bus. While she struggled with two toddlers.

Told to stand at the back of the line and told to repeatedly say “please” and “thank you” before she was allowed on that bus.

This, today, means something. It means something.

It means something to Australia.

It means something that all of us here stand up against this racism, stand up against this hatred, and stand up against the disgraceful, disgraceful use of that terminology.

That neo-Nazi, white supremacist terminology.

It wasn’t an accident. That wasn’t an accident, I won’t accept that that was an accident.

That was a deliberate use of a heinous, heinous word that brings back so many painful memories and sets a precedent for the future of our country that we need to stand up and stop it.

So I just want to rise here today and say thank you.

I’m not going say any of this speech that I wrote.

I just want to say thank you.

Thank you to our leaders for showing that leadership.