Kingston Citizenship Ceremony

Mr RICHARDSON (Mordialloc) — Recently I had the great pleasure, like so many members of this house, to attend a local citizenship ceremony at the City of Kingston. One thing that gives us great pleasure as elected members of Parliament is to welcome the new Australian citizens. On that occasion the City of Kingston welcomed 203 new citizens. What is disappointing though is that the federal Minister for Immigration, Peter Dutton, made some terrible and divisive comments about refugees, showing a division and segregation in our community that is just absolutely deplorable.

Since the citizenship act came into effect in 1949 we have had close to 5 million people become Australian citizens. There is a reason Melbourne is the most livable city. There is a reason that we are a harmonious, inclusive, democratic and free society, and those are the values that are underpinned by so many in our community.

Mr Dutton’s comments have no place in Australia, let alone Victoria, and I join with other people in condemning those comments, because in the City of Kingston we have over 150 nationalities and over 120 languages. It could not be a better place, and refugees are part of that story.