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Turnbull backs migration and multiculturalism

14 March 20153 comments
Malcolm Turnbull  Picture: AAP Source: AAP

Malcolm Turnbull
Picture: AAP Source: AAP

Communications Minister and putative Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has revealed his views on the value of migration by ranking Australia as the most successful immigrant nation on the planet.

The government has been struggling with the issue of multiculturalism after reports emerged of a split in the party over immigration.

And some commentators have accused the Government of capitalising on fears over Islamic immigration.

But Mr Turnbull has told ABC’s Lateline program this month that the Liberal Party remains committed to a multicultural Australia and a non-discriminatory immigration policy.

“We believe that one of Australia’s greatest strengths is its cultural diversity. We are the most successful immigrant country in the world,” he said.

“We have achieved an extraordinary degree of harmonious integration of people from every possible culture in the world.

“It’s a great achievement. We’re proud of it. We are committed to a multicultural Australia – that is a reality. That’s part of our life.”

A survey by the Challenging Racism Project recently found 49 per cent of Australians described themselves as “anti-Muslim”.

But Mr Turnbull says discrimination on any grounds is “not the Australian way”.

“People denigrating Christianity or Judaism or Islam or whether they’re denigrating Greeks or Italians or Chinese, take your pick, denigrating people, religion, denigrating people’s culture, denigrating their race is not the Australian way,” he said.

“It is not. Because if it were, we could not be the extraordinarily successful and diverse culture that we are.

“We are defined as Australians because of our commitment to the shared political values of this country, and that’s why our society is so inclusive.

“We share in the Chinese New Year, the lunar New Year festival. We share in the Greek and Italian festivals. It is part of our way of life.

“It is the richness, the diversity of this nation that makes us so strong and we must cherish it, because it is precious and it is almost – not quite – but almost unique in the world.”

The Challenging Racism Project by the University of Western Sydney surveyed 12,500 people from all states and Territories across Australia over the past 10 years.

Sheree Peterson
AMES Staff Writer