Mr ADAM BANDT : Everybody has the right to feel safe in our community, but right now cynical politicians are putting the safety of Melbourne’s African-Australian community at risk. This summer, Melbourne’s media has been dominated by racialised crime reporting and politicians like Matthew Guy or immigration minister Peter Dutton seeking to exploit it. Politicians targeting communities for political gain set the tone, but the impacts on people are real and lasting.

Racism is on the rise in Australia. Openly white-nationalist groups are organising, and this summer’s media panic has made things worse and put people at risk. My constituents tell me stories of racial abuse that they’ve faced on the streets and online, and I’ve heard from African-Australian constituents who are worried to leave their homes because they fear being abused or attacked because of who they are.

Today in parliament I stand with the African-Australian communities. I condemn the politicians and media who are racially targeting young people and making our community less safe. Last year, overall criminal incidents in Victoria were down 4.8 per cent, and youth crime rates have been dropping slowly for a decade. Of course we must do everything we can to reduce crime, but a racialised fear campaign led by media and politicians based on misinformation is not the way to do it. Last month, police officers were injured when 100 young people rioted in Torquay, and I heard the immigration minister say nothing about it—because those people were white. He only targets people whose skin colour is black. Let’s have a serious conversation about how we make everyone safe.

Chamber House of Representatives on 6/02/2018 Item STATEMENTS BY MEMBERS – Discrimination Speaker: Bandt, Adam, MP/ Source: Attributed to Parliament of Australia Website Including Images is provided under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0