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Few cowards do not reflect the wider views of Australians: Tudge

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Acting Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs Alan Tudge MP voiced out his concern over the recent acts of racism levelled at some in the community including against Chinese-Australians. 

Lately, there have been a number of incidents of attacks reported related to the COVID-19 pandemic in particular in the minister’s own electorate of Aston in Melbourne. 

In a report by ABC News, an Australian permanent resident was targeted by vandals for two consecutive nights.

“No person, no family, no community should have to put up with this behaviour,” Minister Tudge said in a statement he released recently.

“All people in Australia, regardless of their ethnicity or cultural and religious background, have a right to feel safe and respected in our society,” Tudge said.

The minister wants to make it clear that the actions of these “few cowards do not, in any way, reflect the wider views of Australians”. 

As one of the most successful multicultural society in the world, almost half of Australia’s population was either born overseas or has at least one parent born overseas. Cultural and religious diversity is part of everyday experience. 

“Australians are proud to welcome people from all backgrounds and we give everyone a fair go, regardless of where they are from,” Tudge said.

The Chinese-Australian had a racist slur spray-painted on his garage earlier last week.

The victim said that having a rock thrown at his window made him “fearful”.

He told the ABC he was, like many Chinese-Australians, “an innocent victim of geopolitical conflicts between world powers”.

“Let me also be clear that this Government has no tolerance for discrimination of any kind. We will not stand for violence, threats, or intimidation against anyone, regardless of their background,” Tudge said.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews and Chinese-Australian Liberal MP Gladys Liu have also condemned the attack.

The Chinese Embassy in Australia have labelled the attacks “discriminatory and violent”, and have asked the Australian authorities not to waver in its fight against discrimination and racism.

For Minister Tudge, violence and assault is violence and assault.

“I hope the cowards involved in all these incidents are brought to justice,” Tudge said. 

Minister Tudge said that there is no need to stay silent.

“If you are the victim of this behaviour, report it. If you witness this kind of behaviour, call it out and support the victim. And if you are one of the cowardly perpetrators involved, the message is simple: Stop it,” said Tudge.

The victim received outpouring support from neighbours, celebrities and netizens who called out such racist attacks.

“I thank and commend all those who have been brave enough to speak out. It has also been heartening to see the universal condemnation of these incidents,” Tudge said. 

According to Tudge, Australia’s multicultural communities have been critical in preventing the spread of coronavirus, by adhering to social restrictions and making significant changes to their lives, to save the lives and livelihoods of others. 

“I would also like to thank the many multicultural community organisations that have rallied together to help those who are isolated or who are vulnerable. Many great organisations have been preparing and delivering meals, providing support and checking in on the elderly,” Tudge said. 

Tudge gave an assurance that the government “will continue to work with Australia’s multicultural communities to ensure all Australians are secure, and recognising the significant contribution migrants have made to our nation”.

Useful contacts

In case of emergency or if at risk of immediate danger, call 000 

If you have experienced racial discrimination, you can make a complaint through the Australian Human Rights Commission

Lifeline (crisis support and suicide prevention): 13 11 14 

Beyond Blue (mental wellbeing support service): 1800 512 348 

Feature image: (Supplied via ABC News)

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