Ms JODI McKAY ( Strathfield ) ( 19:51 ): Tonight I condemn the One Nation Party and its leader, Pauline Hanson. In doing so, I remind Parliament of the Labor Party's strong stand against this divisive political party and its refusal to enter into any preferencing arrangement with One Nation, both nationally and in New South Wales. I am privileged to represent a multicultural electorate. Almost half of the people I represent in this Parliament do not have English as their first language. Chinese is the single largest ancestry in my community, with approximately half the electorate having family ties to Asia. Many have made Burwood and Ashfield their home. Homebush West is home to many Vietnamese and Tamil Australians. In Homebush, Tamil and Indian Australians are shaping our community and in Strathfield there are many Indian and Korean Australians. Most nights and every weekend I attend multicultural events. Over the past few weeks I have attended approximately a dozen Lunar New Year events. Last weekend, as part of the China Fun Festival, I led a lion dance up Burwood Road to wish our Chinese community well for the year ahead.
I have spoken many times in this House about my community. It is this commitment and passion for my community that brings me to my feet tonight. In recent weeks there have been disturbing developments involving the Liberal Party and One Nation in Western Australia and at a national level. This was reinforced last week in Parliament when the Premier refused to rule out a Liberal Party preference deal with One Nation. Today a One Nation Senator confirmed that the party will be registered in New South Wales by middle of this year, and in doing so may strike a preference deal with the Liberals and The Nationals at the next New South Wales election. Disturbingly, he indicated that preference arrangements between the two parties have been made easier by Gladys Berejiklian's ascension to Premier. To understand the distress that this has caused for people in my community, particularly the Chinese Australian community, it is worth reflecting on the comments made by Pauline Hanson in her maiden speech some 20 years ago, in which she called for Australia's immigration policy to be "radically" reviewed, and multiculturalism abolished. She then went on to state:
I believe we are in danger of being swamped by Asians...
They have their own culture and religion, form ghettos and do not assimilate.
Last year when Ms Hanson again entered the Senate she was asked about the comments. She stated that she stood by them and went further by saying, "people in Sydney, at Hurstville or some of those other suburbs, feel that they have been swamped by Asians". Liberal Senator Arthur Sinodinos has defended the preferencing arrangement in Western Australia, saying that One Nation is a very different beast to what it was 20 years ago. It is not a different party; it is the same party that existed when John Howard ordered One Nation be placed last on Liberal "How to vote" cards.
To his credit, Prime Minister Howard stood up for communities such as Burwood, Hurstville, Chatswood and Ashfield where Chinese Australians have made their home. In doing so, he sent an explicit message to Chinese Australians that they were welcome, respected and valued members of our society. There is no such leadership in the Liberal Party today. I believe it is incumbent upon this Premier and every member of this Parliament to stand up against the hate and divisiveness of One Nation. I draw attention to Premier Berejiklian’s statement during her first speech as Premier that she will "be governing for everyone". She now has a particular responsibility to do that, given she represents Chatswood. How can she represent a significant Chinese community when she refuses to rule out supporting or receiving support from One Nation?
I joined the Labor Party because I believe in equality for all. I will stand up for the principles of inclusiveness, diversity and a modern, multicultural Australia by saying once and for all that One Nation has no place in the political mainstream. Like my colleagues, I will refuse to take preferences from One Nation, even if it means I lose the next election. I am privileged to represent the Strathfield electorate in the oldest Parliament in Australia and I will always fight for everyone equally.