The Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Councils of Australia (FECCA) urges all political parties to resist inflammatory statements when discussing immigration and to ensure that debate is balanced, reasonable and informed and does not marginalise any particular group.

FECCA Chairperson, Joe Caputo expressed concerns over the recent comments by the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, the Hon Peter Dutton MP who criticised former Liberal Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser’s policy of welcoming refugees and migrants, referred to refugees “delivering their troubles onto our shores,” and linked specific communities to broader law and order challenges.

Mr Caputo said: “While public discussion on immigration is important, any debate must take place within the bounds of respectful discourse. I caution against inflammatory statements that may divide Australians along racial, cultural, linguistic or religious lines.”

“Australia has a proud history of immigration, which has brought many benefits to the nation. We must defend Australia’s harmonious and vibrant multicultural society that has contributed to Australia’s economic, intellectual and cultural success” Mr Caputo added.

FECCA encourages all Australians to combat stereotypes and prejudice which underpin racism in our community. Mr Caputo urged leaders to facilitate constructive dialogue and cross cultural understanding and to harness the goodwill and participation of all Australians in building a national movement for positive change.

FECCA is the peak national body representing Australians from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. FECCA’s role is to advocate and promote issues on behalf of its constituency to government, business and the broader community.