Newspaper article The Chronicle (Toowoomba, Australia)

Bernardi Visit Stirs Debate; Refugee Advocate Hits out at Conservative Senator's Push for Toowoomba Seats

Newspaper article The Chronicle (Toowoomba, Australia)

Bernardi Visit Stirs Debate; Refugee Advocate Hits out at Conservative Senator's Push for Toowoomba Seats

Article excerpt

Byline: Tom Gillespie tom.gillespie@thechronicle.com.au

CORY Bernardi's visit to Toowoomba has caused outrage among the city's refugee advocates, who have slammed the controversial senator's views on immigration and racial discrimination.

Mr Bernardi spoke at a sold-out crowd of supporters at the Toowoomba Library on Tuesday, where he discussed the party's policy platform and plan to target the Garden City's conservative voters.

But refugee advocate and coordinator of PEACE group Genevieve Allpass said the senator's previous comments on people seeking asylum in Australia, which included halving Australia's intake and suggesting terrorists were amongst Syrian refugees, was reprehensible.

"A lot of our work with people from overseas is assuring them that refugees are welcome here," she said.

"To have 100 people go to support this racist bigotry (is wrong) and there needs to be a voice there saying that we're not all (like) that.

"It makes me furious that we as a country are allowing this hatred as common. …

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