Mr BUCHHOLZ (Wright—Government Whip) (11:19): It would appear at the outset that the world is moving off its axis from a social perspective; it would appear that the harmony and the equilibrium that provide the balanced nature of the way that we go about our business are now being challenged, as the previous speaker rightly said, by a very select few. It has raised the eyelids of world leaders. It has raised the level of concern within our local communities, our states and our nation, and particularly in this House that we work in.
I want to pay testament to the outstanding work of our law enforcement agencies in providing regular updates and in providing a level of security that goes virtually unnoticed—from our Australian defence forces, to intelligence agencies, to ASIO and to the AFP. I pay testament to them for all of the work that gets done in a clandestine manner so that we can put our heads on our pillows each night and know that we are in the most safe environment that can be provided. I want to acknowledge the seriousness of this issue and the mature way in which both the government and the opposition have walked through this process virtually with locked arms.
I want to read into the Hansard a couple of the opening comments from the Prime Minister's speech, along with some opening comments from the Leader of the Opposition's speech. The Prime Minister stated:
On questions of national security it is always best if government and opposition can stand together, shoulder to shoulder. It lets our enemies know that they will never shake our resolve. It is a sign that hope is stronger than fear and that decency can prevail over brute force.
… the government will do whatever is possible to keep our people safe … our security measures at home and abroad are directed against terrorism, not religion … Australians should always live normally because the terrorists' goal is to scare us out of being ourselves.
Those comments were followed by those of the opposition leader, who said:
The security of our nation runs deeper than our political differences.
… … …
These are uncertain times and that uncertainty can breed suspicion. That is always the insidious goal of terrorism: to spread division and nurture intolerance; to create a world where people fear the unknown and resent difference.
When Mr Shorten spoke about breeding suspicion, that was just a line in a speech for me, but the reality of the suspicion was heightened when, a number of days after that those leaders had stood in this House united, I witnessed on an ABC Q&A program some levels of suspicion that cast an unfavourable view over those law enforcement authorities that I praised so heavily earlier in my speech. There was commentary and propaganda openly being promoted that the good work being done by our law enforcement agencies was some type of 'theatre'. There was suspicion after our leaders had stood and said, 'Do not be suspicious.' There was suspicion by certain commentators in our community.
The thing that we should be lucky and thankful for is that we do live in a community where we have free speech. We do live in a community where we can have opposing positions. That is the very community that the threat wishes to take away from us as a society and as a democracy. It is that freedom of speech that riles those that would harm us. It is those commentators that I would wish would find that unity, that—for the sake of terminology—'Team Australia'. Get on board, because indifference and intolerance are exactly what those who threaten our way of life would like to see.
The comments I make were highlighted by the commentator, who asked whether the largest terror raid in Australia's history was a manufactured spectacle or whether it was a legitimate series of raids. I could go into the long-term data of raids, the benefits that they have given, the good work of these departments and how they have foiled many terrorist attacks in Australia, but that is not the intention of my speech. With these few words that we deliver in this chamber, I can send a message to those who wish to commentate: please, commentate to your heart's content, but leave the integrity of our law enforcement agencies alone because they work with their hand on their heart for the benefit of our nation. Of this I am sure. To bring into question their integrity, to say that the raids of that day were done with some secondary political motivation to benefit the government of the day, is absolute hypocrisy, and I damn them for their comments. They were unfounded and should never have been breathed. To question the integrity of our secret service agencies in linking them to some type of political theatre is irresponsible. I will not mention the punters' names, but the severity of my tone, hopefully, will resonate through to their ears.
In preparing for this speech, I asked one of my staffers to go and find out for me what the difference between ISIS and ISIL was in the genesis of this debate.
A government member: It's an L.
Mr BUCHHOLZ: Yes, it's an L! The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant is ISIL, so it is a geographical displacement of the Islamic State. The ISIS brand is the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. In trying to share the knowledge with a greater audience, the ISIL and ISIS commentary pertains to geographical locations.
I want to commend our coalition partners who are engaged in Iraq, who are fighting the fight on the ground. In particular I want to acknowledge Jordan, who are standing up; the United Arab Emirates; Turkey to a degree; Saudi Arabia for their contributions; Qatar; and Bahrain—because it is the fight on the ground that will need to be had. It is the courage that will need to be shown by those soldiers. We will be there with them to offer training. We will be there to offer humanitarian resources. We will be there to offer whatever resources we are called upon for from those governments to assist in our role as part of the coalition partners. To this day we have dispatched a number of assets, which are widely reported in the press. We will play our role because this threat does not have borders. It is worth noting some recent commentary from the Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai, who wrote in theFinancial Review more recently that the international coalition will defeat ISIL. But he warned:
I consider this ideology to be the greatest danger that the world will face in the next decade. Its seeds are growing in Europe, the United States, Asia and elsewhere.
We need to work out as a community where 'elsewhere' is.
We have seen isolated pockets of incidents here in Australia. I commend once again—this is where I started from—our law enforcement agencies, which do such an outstanding job. I call on those commentators in our community to choose their words carefully. In times of conflict when our leaders of this nation can stand together, I ask the commentators to show some type of respect, stand together and support 'Team Australia'.