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Another Weak Response from Premier Hodgman

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Monday, 24 October 2016

Tags: Racism, Multicultural Affairs

Cassy O'Connor MP | Greens Leader

Comments made at a rally in support of mutual respect and tolerance by Her Excellency, the Governor, Kate Warner, should have been strongly backed by the Premier.

Instead, we've witnessed another weak response by Premier Hodgman to an issue of public importance. 

It's as if the Premier found himself wedged between the Senatorial duo of Pauline Hanson and Eric Abetz, and his responsibility to stand by the State's Governor, so he decided to take the soft option, again.

The Premier should have stood by the Governor in her role, and in her responsibility to promote mutual respect and tolerance in our community.  It was an opportunity for Mr Hodgman to also speak up for a tolerant, respectful society.

Community leaders have a responsibility to call out racism and bigotry, and promote an inclusive, multicultural Australia.  That is how attitudes are changed for the better.

Her Excellency, the Governor, understands this but unfortunately, Premier Hodgman and Senator Abetz, appeared to miss this point over the weekend.

It's a bitter irony that self-described advocates of free speech like Senator Abetz are questioning the Tasmanian Governor's right to speak up on important community matters.  Free speech, but on Senator Abetz's terms apparently.

Senator Pauline Hanson clearly doesn't like to have her racist views challenged by fair-minded people in positions of respect and authority.  Calling on Tasmania's Governor to reconsider her position is simply outrageous and disrespectful.

Her Excellency did speak with 'civility and wisdom' at Saturday's Walk Together rally in Hobart. 

It is both civilised and wise to speak up in support of new arrivals to Australia, and to reaffirm that Australia is a country with a proud history of welcoming refugees.