Sep 17, 2015

Endeavour Hills Incident Speech – 17 Sept 2015

On 23 September last year terrorism visited by electorate. On the evening of 23 September a young man tried to kill two police officers by stabbing them to death and, had he been successful, would have then gone into the Endeavour Hills Police Station tried to kill as many people as he could. If it were not for the bravery of two very fine men, an Australian Federal Police officer and a VicPol antiterrorism officer, he would have been successful. The young man who attempted to murder those officers was killed by one of those officers.

Coming to the anniversary of this particular event, I want to say how proud I am of my local community. I am proud of our local police force and the work that they have done, and did, to protect our community and those two fine men on that very awful night 12 months ago. I am proud of the people of the Endeavour Hills Police Station, led by Sergeant Phil Byrnes, for what they did that night, in a scene that was like something out of a horror movie. I am proud of the Narre Warren and Cranbourne police stations as well, given their role and the subsequent concerns that they had post the Anzac Day plot. I am also very, very proud of the local Afghan community who, when this event occurred, came to my office and said, ‘What can we do to help? What can we do to prevent this occurring again?’ I am proud of the efforts they made.

I would also like to commend the American Ambassador to Australia, Ambassador Berry, for the work that he has done in this area and for a meeting that he attended with me with the local Muslim community leaders. We met in pretty challenging circumstances after the Anzac Day raids in the City of Casey. Tensions were high, but we worked through those tensions, and there has been a productive and ongoing dialogue. I also had a subsequent meeting with Afghan community leaders at the John Pandazopoulos Hall in June this year.

You read a lot of bad things about my area—it does not take much for you to read trash written by stupid press—but you do not read about the incredible work that is being done by every member of my community. They did not overreact. They were calm, they were strong, they were resilient and they were committed to community wellbeing. Everyone worked together to deal with this terror. The fact is that it would be nice if the idiots from the media occasionally wrote that staff instead of some of the wedge politics. I am not apologetic. The media have a role in terms of some of the portrayals—portrayals of the brave officers, portrayals of the Islamic community. Take a leaf from us. We dealt with this situation. It is a pity that this damn press did not actually report that.


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