After Sunday night’s 60 Minutes story “Party Games”, where in the program exposed branch stacking manoeuvres and in some ways Machiavellian strategies of the head honchos of the Victorian Liberal Party, the Federal Member for Greenway, Michelle Rowland, condemned those offensive insults against India Australians.
Labor called on the Prime Minister to take responsibility for the offensive insults used to describe Indian-Australians by members of the Liberal Party.
“It exposes this Government’s shallow approach to a people and a country that gives so much to Australia and with whom we must build an economic relationship that is bigger and deeper”, Ms Rowland said.
This is not the first time this year that Liberal members have expressed racist attitudes towards subcontinent communities. In February 2020, the Treasurer used ancient Hindu practices as the punchline for a joke intending to criticise the Opposition. Following a public backlash, the Treasurer apologised only for the offence caused, but not for mocking the practices in the first place.
All Australians deserve our respect – including Subcontinent Australians.Last night's 60 Minutes Australia investigation into branch stacking within the Victorian Liberal Party highlighted a deep disrespect for a generous and compassionate community in this country.The comments made by Liberal members are racist and deserve to be called out – so I did just that in Parliament today
Posted by Michelle Rowland MP on Sunday, 23 August 2020
At the time, Ms Rowland labelled the comments “offensive” and made clear that “we need to do better as a country overall… [with] a bit of respect and a bit of sensitivity”.
Subcontinent Australians are entitled to a Federal Parliament that respects both them and their contributions to Australia. Ms Rowland had earlier in the day expressed her support for a number of compassionate subcontinent organisations providing emergency assistance to Australians – including the Australian Sikh Association, The Hindu Council of Australia, Turbans4Australia and BAPS Temple at Rosehill.
Ms Rowland alleged “… the Liberals prefer insults to appreciating of the contributions of Indian-Australians and the compassion shown throughout COVID by different Indian communities in our suburbs”.
Gunning directly the second most important speaker caught on the secret recordings – the Hon. Michael Sukkar, Labor called on the Prime Minister to intervene and stand Mr Sukkar down as the Assistant Treasurer.
“If the Liberals were as focused on building the India relationship as they are on insulting Indian-Australians, we’d all be better off”, Ms Rowland said.