Speech to Parliament: Bangladeshi Community Fundraiser

I wish to congratulate the Bangladeshi community of Kingsford Smith for holding a very successful biggest morning tea event last Sunday in Mascot to raise money for cancer research.

I was fortunate to join hundreds of members of our community to raise over $5½ thousand for the New South Wales Cancer Council. This is the 13th occasion that our Bangladeshi community have run this event and they have raised over $100,000 for cancer research throughout Australia.

Speeches were delivered by Dr Ayaz Chowdhury, an oncologist from Bangladesh; and Dr Abdul Haq, who is the brains behind Good Morning Bangladesh. It was a wonderful community event that not only raised funds and awareness for cancer research but also promotes harmony and cultural education in our community.

This is being threatened by this government's proposed changes to section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act. These proposals to remove protections that protect Australians from offensive, insulting and humiliating behaviour will not create harmony, will not promote unity within Australian society. That is why the Labor Party is opposed to these changes.

I finish with this question for the Attorney-General and for those opposite: what is it that cannot be said or done now under Australian laws that you propose should be able to be said or done if these proposals are put through the parliament?

What is it you cannot say now that you want to be able to say if you watered down the Racial Discrimination Act?


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