Leader of the Opposition

24 June 1997
Mr X Xxxxxxx
Clontarf QLD 4019

Dear Mr XXXXX, (Removed to protect the recipient who allowed us to publish this response)
I refer to your recent letter on the subject of the current debate on racial tolerance, immigration, Aboriginal affairs and the Member for Oxley.

While the Opposition supports the right of the Member for Oxley to speak her mind, we utterly reject her ideas for a racially divided nation. We believe these sentiments to be damaging to the decency and stability of our society.

The Member for Oxley claims to have a broad policy base - but she is really only about one race. She claims to stand by Australian workers. But where was she when the Howard Government drastically cut workers’ conditions in its industrial relations legislation or when it has repeatedly cut assistance to Australian industry?

She claims to be about equality for all Australians. But in the case of Aboriginal Australians, she is really about further depriving already disadvantaged people.

It is now clear that the actions of the Member for Oxley, in stirring up hatred and division in Australian society, are damaging our vital trade links with the rest of the world. Two of our most important export industries, tourism and educational services, are highly dependent on the good will of our neighbours and our image as a tolerant and welcoming society. Without strong growth in these and other export industries there can only be a bleak future for our children. This fact is now recognised by all major political parties.

The member for Oxley is not about making things better for Australians - she is simply about race and division. This short-sighted and discriminatory view can only damage our future and is utterly rejected by Australian Labor Party. We will not support the Member for Oxley, the One Nation Party or their objectives in any way.

Not withstanding this, I thank you for bringing your views on this important matter to my attention.

Yours sincerely

Kim Beazley