SOPHIE COTSIS MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR MULTICULTURALISM
14 September 2017
MINISTER FOR MULTICULTURALISM REFUSES TO CONDEMN PAULINE HANSON’S COMMENTS
The Minister for Multiculturalism Ray Williams repeatedly refused to condemn comments made by Pauline Hanson and other One Nation politicians during an embarrassing Budget Estimates hearing in State Parliament.
During last year’s Federal Election, Senator Hanson claimed the Sydney suburb of Hurstville was being “swamped by Asians”, and has continually called for a ban on Muslim immigration.
In 2016, One Nation Senator Brian Burston said that multiculturalism had not worked, that the Islamic community was “an infringement on our culture” and called the suburb of Lakemba “a Centrelink sinkhole”.
Minister Williams was asked several times if he would publicly condemn the divisive comments made by Senator Hanson and her One Nation colleagues in relation to multicultural communities in New South Wales, but refused to give a direct response.
Shadow Minister for Multiculturalism Sophie Cotsis said that a New South Wales Government Minister would not denounce such hateful invective is shocking enough, but it is particularly damning when that Minister is supposed to be the leading advocate for multicultural communities in the state.
Minister Williams further demonstrated his unsuitability for the portfolio when he admitted he had not read the report into Islamophobia in Australia, nor was he aware that there has never been a successful prosecution under anti-discrimination law in New South Wales.
NSW Labor has emphatically condemned the One Nation Party for their divisive commentary, with Opposition Leader Luke Foley ruling out the possibility of any future preference deal with the extremist party.
Conversely, Premier Berejiklian has refused to rule out any preference deals with Pauline Hanson’s One Nation Party.
Quotes attributable to Shadow Minister for Multiculturalism Sophie Cotsis
“This was an opportunity for Minister Williams to show leadership by condemning such hateful and divisive statements from Pauline Hanson and her One Nation colleagues, instead he demonstrated he is not up to the job.
“The comments made by Senator Hanson and Senator Burston are hurtful and incorrect. It is shocking that the Minister for Multiculturalism refused on several occasions to condemn them. I call on the Premier to seriously reconsider his appointment in this portfolio.”