Robertson backs multiculturalism will work with migrant communities to develop fresh vision for NSW
OPPOSITION Leader John Robertson has declared Labor’s support for multiculturalism will never waver – and pledged to consult closely with migrant communities in developing a fresh agenda for NSW.
“My message to migrant communities is simple – as leader of NSW Labor, I will work hard to earn your trust,” Mr Robertson said at a Parliament House function today coming shortly after the one-year anniversary of the O’Farrell Government.
“Opposition is a time for fresh thinking and fresh ideas. I want to build on what the previous Labor Government did well and learn from its mistakes. In 2015, with the help of migrant communities, Labor will present an exciting agenda for the future of NSW.
“Ultimately, I believe that what unites us in NSW is greater than what divides us. We all want high-quality hospitals and schools. We all want our children to study hard and do better than their parents’ generation did. We all want our children to be able to afford their own home and live in a neighbourhood close by – not be forced interstate by high property prices.
“As Opposition Leader, I pledge to listen tirelessly to the views of migrant communities.”
Mr Robertson said Barry O’Farrell was a timid leader who already seemed to lack energy and vision.
“Premier Barry O’Farrell came in with high expectations but everywhere I go across NSW, I find people unsure about what he’s doing – and disappointed,” Mr Robertson said.
“Mr O’Farrell is a do-nothing Premier. He is failing to invest in our hospitals and schools. He’s failing to take action as congestion on Sydney’s roads gets worse and gun crime spirals out of control.
“There have been 94 shootings in Sydney since Barry O’Farrell became Premier – and just the other day there was an appalling attack on two Chinese students on our trains.
“There is no place for this sort of violent assault in Sydney and I condemn it absolutely. I also call on the Premier to get active. Barry O’Farrell needs to be out there sending the message that violence and racism will not be tolerated. A real leader would be reassuring not just the community but our international partners that Sydney is a safe place to live, study and come for a holiday.”
Shadow Minister for Citizenship and Communities Robert Furolo said: “Labor is the party that believes in multiculturalism – we don’t just pay lip-service to multiculturalism before an election, we celebrate it, and we fund the programs that support it.
“In Government, Labor created the best-funded system of Community Language Schools in the nation – because we recognise that many parents want their children to retain a link to their mother tongue.
“Labor has always stood strong against racism and the views of people like Pauline Hanson.
“NSW is the world’s greatest advertisement for diversity – and long may it remain that way.”