Broadbent lashes the right

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McMillan MP Russell Broadbent has slammed a fellow Coalition member’s remarks as a “diatribe about the rise of Islam”.

Mr Broadbent expressed regret at not having spoken his mind sooner in response to LNP Member for Dawson George Christensen’s speech in September, which supported restrictions to immigration from “countries that do not share Australian values”.

In a speech in parliament on Monday 7 November, Mr Broadbent accused fellow Liberal colleagues, including Mr Christensen, of “cuddling up to Hansonite rhetoric”.

“Those propositions and policies will only hurt the Coalition parties in the long run, in the same way that the once great Labor Party is now the captive of the Greens, relying on their preferences to win 31 of their seats in this House,” he said.

“I understand the fear of Islamic-based terrorism, and the government is responding with every resource available. I understand, as well, the concerns of the Australian people over these issues.

“At the same time, we cannot condemn the whole of the Muslim community for the actions of a crazy, dangerous few. That is not fair.

“It is time for us to rise above the politics of fear and division, because our love of diversity, difference and freedom will endure.”

Mr Broadbent said he was appalled that his colleague Mr Christensen would “peddle policies of fear and division”.

He said the problem in Australia was not with the people, but a leadership “more intent on making political points than expressing empathy”.

“It is our challenge now to show those who feel alienated and disenfranchised that they also share in a bright future, investing in a dream without reservation,” Mr Broadbent said.

Mr Dawson reacted to the Victorian’s speech on Facebook the following morning, by claiming Mr Broadbent was “suffering the same problem many other politically correct hand wringers suffer”.

He described the McMillan MP as part of the “elitist set” in Canberra found on all sides of politics.

“This is confirmed by the fact he told parliament last night that MPs shouldn’t reflect the concerns of their electors but instead should be ‘leading’ them,” Mr Christensen said.

“The last time I checked I sat in the House of Representatives, not the House of Lords.

“Islam is a religion and we have freedom of religion in this country. Radical Islam or Islamism is an ideology and a dangerous one at that.

“Nowhere in the speech Mr Broadbent has criticised me for, will anyone find any criticism of Islam.”

Mr Broadbent’s speech came as the Federal Government introduced the refugee bill to Parliament that would prevent asylum seekers who tried to arrive after mid-2013 from ever coming to Australia, for any reason.

Originally published at Pakenham Gazette.

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About Alana Mitchelson

Alana Mitchelson is a journalist based in Melbourne, Australia. Follow her on Twitter at @AlanaMitchelson.

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