** MEDIA RELEASE **
Friday February 18, 2011 - Socialist Alliance candidate for the seat of Keira, Paola Harvey, has challenged her fellow candidate John Dorahy of the Liberal Party to immediately renounce the racist remarks and actions made by his party in the so-called “immigration debate”.
The challenge has come after the racist One Nation party claimed that the Liberals are using One Nation policies. A report in the Sydney Morning Herald also said the federal Liberal Party's spokesperson for immigration Scott Morrison wants to capitalise on electorate fears of "Muslim immigration", "Muslims in Australia" and Muslim migrants' supposed "inability to integrate".
Harvey said: 'The remarks made by the Liberal party are downright disgusting and dangerous. First, it raised the idea of cutting foreign aid - a policy stolen from a One Nation party campaign. Next it complained about taxpayers money being used to fly relatives of dead refugees from Christmas Island to the mainland to attend the funerals of their loved ones. Now we have learned that the Liberal party has discussed running a racist scaremongering campaign which is targeting a specific religious and ethnic group.
'Just when you think the Liberal party can't get any lower, they find a way. It's time for all those who believe in a just and fair society to stand up and fight back against this assault on immigrants. That is why I'm making this challenge to the Liberal candidate for Keira today.'
So far, no candidate for the NSW Liberals has spoken out against the racist scaremongering remarks.
Harvey said: 'John Dorahy may well say that this issue has nothing to do with state politics or his electorate, but no-one should take such a proposition seriously. How are Muslims or immigrants living in Wollongong meant to feel when they see Dorahy's party saying such things? Can he give a guarantee that he or his party in New South Wales won't go on a similar witch-hunt? These are answers that we all deserve to know.
'Many will remember the leader of NSW Liberals in 2007, Peter Debnam, calling for the arrest and gaoling of 200 people of Middle Eastern appearance for no reason at all. A racist streak runs deep within the Liberal party. The people living in the electorate of Keira deserve to know whether John Dorahy rejects this and supports the rights of all immigrants to live in this country free from harassment and vilification,' Harvey concluded.
[Dorahy is pictured, right, with fellow Liberal candidates in the Illawarra region]