Turnbull fans race debate

03 January 2018 8:25 am

Why is Malcolm Turnbull attacking a group that represents 0.08 per cent of the Australian population?

On Monday, Turnbull blamed the Andrews Labor government for the alleged gang violence and lawlessness of members of the Sudanese community

Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp is also leading the charge.

For one reason and one reason only: there’s an election in Victoria in November 2018.

Significantly, it coincides with the Matthew Guy-led opposition focusing on law and order in the lead up to the election Significantly, the Coalition had challenged the Labor Government ahead of the 2010 election on its law and order credentials. It is keen to replicate that success.

This is the same Mathew Guy who had dinner with an alleged mafia boss

But what does it say about Australia when the country’s leader singles out such a tiny proportion of the population? There is an estimated 20,000 Sudanese migrants in Australia and most of these crimes are committed by people born in Australia.

Turnbull is buying into the debate about race that’s been raging in the comments pages in newspapers and on social media.

It needs to be put in context. The violence we are now seeing is now happening in areas like Dandenong, an area that has an unemployment rate of 10.3 per cent – the highest level in Victoria and nearly twice the metropolitan average of 5.9 per cent. This number is up 21 per cent since mid-2011.

Employment is the responsibility of the Turnbull government, not the Andrews administration.

It is also important to note that are most crimes are, unsurprisingly committed by people born in Australia. The second-highest cohort were New Zealanders, which are the fourth-largest migrant group in Victoria. The Victorian Crime Statistics Agency (CSA) told a federal parliamentary inquiry that in charges of riot and affray, people born in Sudan made up 6 per cent of all recorded offenders, compared with 71.5 per cent born in Australia and 5.2 per cent born in New Zealand.

The bottom line is that African immigrants are targeted by police as an important 2015 case alleging racial bias by police makes clear.

This is the same as the tactics used targeting indigenous Australians.

And Turnbull is fanning the race debate.