Support for Waverley’s cultural diversity

26 September 2018

Support for Waverley’s cultural diversity

Waverley Council supports and celebrates our culturally diverse community and strives to ensure that our beautiful and vibrant part of the world remains welcoming, strong, inclusive, resilient and fair.

As such, we condemn the inflammatory and discriminatory remarks made last month by Senator Fraser Anning in his first speech to Federal Parliament and have urged Senator Anning to refrain from causing further offence and distress to Australians, especially of Muslim and Jewish faith.

The Waverley local government has a long and proud history of migration and is a community where 38% of residents were born overseas. A significant proportion of our population is Jewish and Council rejects in the strongest terms Senator Anning’s reference to a particular statement known to elicit fear and distress within the Jewish community.

We also reject in the strongest terms Senator Anning’s reference to the discredited White Australia Policy of the past by calling for ending all further Muslim immigration, understanding the reasons given by Senator Anning are untrue, vexatious and distressing.

Following a unanimous resolution of Council in August, the Council has reaffirmed its support of Waverley’s cultural diversity, and Waverley Mayor, John Wakefield, has written to Senator Anning, expressing the Council’s condemnation of his comments.

“Waverley Council wishes to express its strong condemnation of your choice of words and is disappointed and saddened that a speech like yours entered the Australian parliament, elected to represent the views of and to honour the contribution made by the nation’s culturally diverse communities,” Mayor Wakefield wrote.

“Your comments have been widely reported and have done damage to Australia’s reputation as a fair, open and non-discriminatory country that is represented by politicians with integrity who act and behave in the best interests of all its citizens.”

“So much of the horrors of the past as well as current global welfare issues and crises have been caused by prejudice, racial or religious intolerance resulting in political instability, economic decline, poverty displacement and suffering.”

“We urge you to refrain from causing further offence and distress.”

The resolution of Council reaffirms that Waverley local government area is an open, strong, inclusive, resilient and fair multicultural society, and believes all tiers of Australian government should be providing enlightened leadership that support and enhances an inclusive and dynamic multicultural society that does not tolerate prejudice.

The Council has also written to Executive Council of Australian Jewry, NSW Jewish Board of Deputies and the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils [Muslims Australia] condemning Senator Anning’s sentiment and supporting our Jewish and Muslim communities.

Click here to view letter.

Mayor Wakefield is available for further comment.