Police Minister Mark Ryan, Multicultural Affairs Minister Stirling Hinchliffe and Queensland Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll today called out racism in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
Minister Ryan said it was imperative that everyone in the community, from the Gold Coast to the State’s far north, understood that the unprecedented challenge being faced needed a team effort.
“Quite simply we are all in this together,” Mr Ryan said.
“It’s only by coming together and working as a united community that we can effectively combat the threat posed by COVID-19.
“These are difficult times, but they are difficult for everyone.
“I am extremely disappointed to hear of reports of offensive behaviour being directed at some specific communities.
“That is not the Australian way.”
Mr Hinchliffe said it was up to every Queenslander to call out racism in all its forms.
“Whether it’s on the street or on the internet, there is no place for racism in Queensland,” he said.
“More than 23,500 Queenslanders have joined the Care Army and those volunteers come from across the religious and racial spectrum, from Sunnybank and Mt Isa, to Mackay and Cairns.
“Many thousands more are teaching our children, caring for our aged and cleaning our hospitals and every Queenslander deserves to be assured that offensive behaviour will not be tolerated.”
Commissioner Carroll said police would take action.
“Significant penalties apply and the community can rest assured police will fully investigate matters brought to their attention,” the Commissioner said.
Member for Toohey Peter Russo encouraged the community to do the right thing.
“We face a difficult challenge and the only way we will get through this is by being united - together we can beat the virus,” Mr Russo said.
Member for Stretton Duncan Pegg urged people to contact police if they had concerns.
“If you experience offensive behaviour please report it to police via Policelink on 131 444, Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or Triple Zero if the matter is life threatening,” he said.
“This is a time for unity and a time for working together as a community to slow the spread of COVID-19.”
Minister for Police and Minister for Corrective Services
The Honourable Mark Ryan