A just and tolerant society

“Our communities are under threat when our diverse and multicultural society is subjected to narrow bigotry which divides our citizens,” said David Plumridge, ALGA President.

“Targeting citizens because of the colour of their skin, their religion or the way they look or sound has no place in this society. These cynically pursued agendas produce the kind of community tension which is the worst nightmare for any community leader.”

Stating that our lives are enriched by cultural diversity, which is something to celebrate and enjoy, he said the primary reason for rejecting racism and prejudice is that it impoverishes our lives and demeans humanity.

During the General Assembly, the following national statement on community tolerance was passed unanimously. With the Prime Minister not attending this year’s General Assembly, this statement was handed to Kim Beazley, Leader of the Opposition and the seconder of the bipartisan motion passed recently by the Federal Parliament. He agreed to present it to the Speaker of the House of Representatives on behalf of those present, who represent and reflect the aspirations of communities across Australia.

National statement on community tolerance

This National General Assembly of Local Government:

  • reaffirms its commitment to the right of all Australians to enjoy equal rights and be treated with equal respect, regardless of race, colour, creed or origin
  • reaffirms its commitment to maintaining an immigration policy wholly non discriminatory on grounds of race, colour, creed or origin
  • reaffirms its commitment to the process of reconciliation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the context of redressing their profound social and economic disadvantage
  • reaffirms its commitment to maintaining Australia as a culturally diverse, tolerant and open society, united by an overriding commitment to our nation, and its democratic institutions and values
  • denounces racial intolerance in any form as incompatible with the kind of society we are and want to be.

Further, this National General Assembly calls upon Councils throughout Australia to give practical effect to the above commitments by:

  • actively promoting the benefits of a cohesive, multicultural society
  • supporting the Council of Aboriginal Reconciliation’s vision for a united Australia, and local declarations of reconciliation with our Indigenous peoples
  • promoting access and equity in service provision for all members of their communities
  • addressing wherever possible the special needs of disadvantaged groups.