Prime minister Scott Morrison’s office has threatened commentator Waleed Aly and Channel Ten with legal action over Aly’s response to the Christchurch terror attack. In a speech on The Project, since watched more than 8 million times on Facebook, Aly referred to a 2010 cabinet meeting in which Morrison reportedly suggested using anti-Muslim community sentiment for political gain. Morrison’s office has contacted the Ten Network reportedly warning that the segment “was defamation effectively of the prime minister”. Aly also referenced then-immigration minister Peter Dutton’s comments in 2016 that “we made a mistake as a country by letting in Lebanese Muslims in the ’70s”.
Home affairs minister Peter Dutton has been widely criticised for equating the Greens with independent senator Fraser Anning. Speaking to Radio National on Monday, Dutton said he was “hardly going to take morals lectures from the extreme left, who frankly are just as bad in this circumstance as people like Fraser Anning, they should equally be condemned”. Dutton was responding to Greens senator Mehreen Faruqi, who said politicians such as Dutton “have actually contributed to creating an atmosphere where hate is allowed to incubate in our society”. Labor senate leader Penny Wong urged Dutton to “stop normalising hate speech”, saying that “political criticism is not the same as blaming Muslims for this terrorist act”. On Sunday, Greens leader Richard Di Natale called for a parliamentary code of conduct to stamp out hate speech.
Police have raided two houses in northern New South Wales in connection with the Christchurch terror attack, including the home of the alleged terrorist’s sister. In a statement on Monday, police said they conducted raids “to formally obtain material that may assist New Zealand Police in their ongoing investigation”. Meanwhile, an Adelaide man who posted messages in support of the attack on social media has been granted bail on weapons charges. Chad Vinzelberg, 37, wept as he faced court, having been charged after police searched his home and found a fake pistol, two flick knives, and extendable baton, a medieval mace and a crossbow.
And footage has emerged ($) of New South Wales opposition leader Michael Daley telling an audience in a Blue Mountains pub that “our kids are moving out and foreigners are moving in and taking their jobs”. In the video, taken at a forum for local Labor candidate Trish Doyle and posted in September, Daley says that “our young children will flee” major cities due to the rising cost of living, and are “being replaced by young people from typically Asia with PhDs”. “I don’t mean to sound xenophobic, it’s not xenophobic, it’s an economic question,” Daley said. Greens state MP for Newtown, Jenny Leong, said she was “scared” and “sickened” by Daley’s comments.