Today, I urge all Western Australians to act respectfully towards one another regardless of whether they choose to celebrate Australia Day.
My views on Australia Day are well known. Late last year, I unsuccessfully moved a motion in support of changing the date of the national holiday.
I think that Australia Day is a very narrow-minded holiday: one that doesn’t celebrate the contribution of Western Australia to the commonwealth, let alone that of our indigenous people.
However, the national holiday isn’t and shouldn’t be about politics. It should be about spending time with your loved ones’ and reflecting on what it means to be an Australian.
I am alarmed by the growing prevalence of Australians resorting to violence and hate-speech as a means of expressing their political opinions.
Whether it’s the recent desecration of Old Parliament House in Canberra, or an upsurge in the use of neo-Nazi symbolism: none of things have a place in a liberal and democratic society.
You may disagree with someone, but they are nonetheless your fellow Australian and they are entitled to hold their opinions. So please, be respectful.