Peter Dutton, Leader of the Opposition of Australia, has faced serious allegations from Mark Dreyfus, the Attorney-General of Australia.
Following a challenge from Dreyfus to condemn Nazi glorification, Dutton has proposed a federal ban on Nazi symbols.
The Coalition attempted to suspend standing orders to move a private member’s bill, but the attempt was unsuccessful.
Here is a glimpse of everything that is currently happening in Australia:
Coalition Protests Mark Dreyfus’s Allegation
The Coalition protested Mark Dreyfus’s allegation that Peter Dutton had “failed to condemn the display of the Nazi salute on the steps of the Victorian parliament.” When the speaker disagreed, half of the opposition members walked out.
The opposition asked Dreyfus to withdraw the comment at the end of question time.
The Coalition has proposed a bill to make it illegal to display Nazi symbols, with penalties of 12 months in prison or $27,500 AUD. Dutton urged parliament to condemn the rise of this “repugnant practice” urgently, seeking to unify rather than divide or vilify people for baseless reasons. He emphasized that they do not want to cast aspersions on people’s characters.
In the House, Shadow Attorney General Julian Leeser spoke about the real consequences of the myth of racial superiority. The Attorney talked about the murder of six million Jews, people of faith, homosexuals, political prisoners, and people with disabilities.
The Shadow Attorney General described it as industrial-scale murder that the world has never seen before. He noted that “little men” in Melbourne imitated the same evil the greatest generation fought.
“These cowards, many of them with their faces covered by clothes of shame, celebrated Nazism. There must be no place in Australia for Nazi-style flags, uniforms, salutes, and boycotts. Such actions should be and must be a crime.”
A Heated Debate
Leeser called Dreyfus’s action on Tuesday in question time “abominable,” saying that he attributed antisemitism to someone who is not antisemitic and to a party that is not antisemitic. According to the Shadow Attorney General, Dreyfus’s action trivialized the seriousness of antisemitism.
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According to a spokesperson for Dreyfus, “The attorney general’s department has been considering matters related to the prohibition of Nazi symbols for some months.”
So What has Taken so Long?
Tony Burke, the Leader of the House, explained why the government would not support the suspension of standing orders. However, he emphasized that Labour’s opposition to the procedural motion should not be interpreted as a change in the unanimous need to oppose Nazi symbols.
The Leader further expressed his horror at the appearance of Nazi symbols in Melbourne and referred to the salute as “an act of violence in itself.” He emphasized the importance of opposing these symbols unanimously as they represent the worst of humanity.
While he made “no criticism” of Dutton’s proposal to ban Nazi symbols, Burke pointed out that the government had not had time to scrutinize the bill and, therefore, could not support the suspension of standing orders.
Anti-trans Rally in Australia
Anthony Albanese, the Leader of the Opposition, made his first public statement against the anti-trans rally, stating that it is “really disrespectful of who people are.” He also condemned the display of Nazi symbols, which he described as having “no place in Australia.”
With Labour accusing the government of failing to condemn Nazism and the Coalition accusing Labour of unfairly targeting one of their senators – it has become a heated debate. The manager of the opposition business, Paul Fletcher, asked the speaker to request that Mark Dreyfus withdraw his comments against Peter Dutton, but the request was denied.
MP Moira Deeming Faces Expulsion from Party
Victoria MP Moira Deeming attended an anti-trans rally where neo-Nazis were present. As a result, the MP is facing expulsion from the party. However, she has vowed to fight against the move, arguing that she has done nothing wrong.
The federal Coalition is bracing for larger fallout from the visit of UK gender activist Kellie-Jay Keen ahead of a Canberra rally that could expose Coalition faultlines on trans rights.
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Liberal Senator Alex Antic defended Moira Deeming in the Senate. Moreover, Liberal Senator Sarah Henderson lobbied John Pesutto against Deeming’s expulsion from the party. Jacinta Price and Claire Chandler have internally supported Moira Deeming’s cause.
Pesutto, a Member of the Victorian Legislative Assembly, spoke to Dutton to explain the reasoning behind the move to expel Deeming.