Fraser condemns ‘poisonous’ refugee debate

In a speech in honour of the prime minister he ousted, Malcolm Fraser has condemned the breakdown of bipartisanship on migration matters.

Delivering the annual Whitlam Oration on Wednesday, Mr Fraser highlighted the consensus on migration between the two political parties he and Gough Whitlam led in the 1970s – even if they didn’t agree on much else.

“If instead of this consensus, the disgraceful race to the bottom of the populist political point scoring of recent years had prevailed, the cost to Australia would have been enormous,” he told the audience in Sydney.

Not only would Australia have lost tens of thousands of hard-working citizens, it would have re-established the reputation as a racially exclusive society that was abolished when Mr Whitlam finally ended the White Australia policy.

Mr Fraser noted that at the time he was in power, from 1975 to 1983, parliament had maintained a bipartisan attitude to immigration since World War II.

“Recent years have shown that progress in dealing with racism is not guaranteed,” he said.

“Our treatment of refugees and the poisonous debate engaged in by our major political parties has done Australia much harm throughout our region.”

You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

Leave a Reply

Powered by WordPress | Designed by: Premium WordPress Themes | Thanks to Themes Gallery, Bromoney and Wordpress Themes