Mr M O’BRIEN (Malvern—Leader of the Opposition): Speaker, leave is granted. I would seek leave of the house, given the Premier’s motion, that general business, notice of motion 57 on the notice paper in my name be debated concurrently with the Premier’s motion.
The SPEAKER: Is leave granted for the Premier’s motion and that motion to be debated concurrently? The house has granted leave for both the Premier’s motion and the Leader of the Opposition’s motion to be moved and debated concurrently. I will call the Premier to move his motion and the Leader of the Opposition to move his motion. I will then call the Premier to speak on both motions currently, followed by the Leader of the Opposition and other members.
Mr M O’BRIEN (Malvern—Leader of the Opposition): I move: That this house:
(1) condemns Senator Fraser Anning for his contemptible, hate-filled response to the Christchurch terrorist attack and his attempt to divide our community on the basis of religion;
(2) calls on Senator Anning to resign; and
(3) reaffirms Victoria as an inclusive and multicultural society.
Mr M O’BRIEN (Malvern—Leader of the Opposition): I commend the Premier for his motion and I thank the Premier for his cooperation in agreeing that my motion should be debated concurrently.
I think that sends a very powerful message that this house and this state are as one when it comes to supporting tolerance, diversity and multiculturalism. We will not be divided by those who seek to divide us, whether they use weapons or words—and words can be weapons.
Senator Anning has called for migration to this country to be determined on the basis of someone’s religion. That is appalling. That is shameful—absolutely shameful. In the wake of the horrendous terrorist attack in Christchurch he blamed the victims—appalling conduct unbefitting of a senator in the federal Parliament and unbefitting of human decency.
This is a senator who has equated the religion of Islam with fascism. These are appalling sentiments, and I think that Senator Anning probably has a lot more in common with fascism than any mainstream religion does.
His comments are disgraceful, and I agree with the Premier that there is almost a risk in this house passing a motion to condemn him because it does serve to give him some publicity—some notoriety. But there comes a time when people of goodwill must stand up, must be heard and must be counted. This is such a time.
I thank the Premier for his motion, and I hope that the house will be supporting both motions in sending a very clear message that this house is united in its condemnation of Senator Anning and his comments and in its support for tolerance, diversity and the harmonious multicultural state that is Victoria.