North coast Nationals state MP Andrew Fraser has been roundly condemned after calling for Australia to close its borders following revelations that the passport of a Syrian refugee had been found near the body of one of the Paris bombers on the weekend.
Mr Fraser took to Facebook to make the comments, which have not been picked up by the prime minister.
‘Message to Malcolm Turnbull: Australia does not need Middle Eastern refugees or Islamic boat people!’ wrote Mr Fraser, who is the member for Coffs Harbour and assistant speaker of the NSW Parliament.
‘Close our borders we have enough anarchists already resident in Australia (our democracy) we do not need any more coming in disguised as refugees!!!!!!’ he added.
Mr Fraser has reiterated his position on ABC radio this morning, saying ‘the reality is the government in Australia has one main aim – or should have – and that is to make sure our citizens are kept safe.’
The calls have been described by Greens MP and multiculturalism spokesperson Dr Mehreen Faruqi as ‘xenophobic’ and she has called on the premier to distance himself from them.
‘It is disgusting to see such xenophobia coming from a NSW Coalition MP.
‘Mike Baird must distance himself from these comments and reiterate his support for refugees coming from the Middle East – refugees who need our help, regardless of where they came from or what their religion is.
‘Mr Fraser does not seem to realise that refugees coming from the Middle East are fleeing the exact sort of horrible violence that rocked Paris on Friday night.
‘My thoughts are with the victims of violence around the world, from Paris to Beirut, their families, friends, and loved ones.’ Dr Faruqi concluded.
In a message to the nation broadcast from Germany yesterday Mr Turnbull said Australia currently had the appropriate alert seting and, having received advice, he was not about to change it.
‘In terms of the federal security situation in Australia… the advice I have from the Federal Police and from ASIO is that the alert level remains as it has been since September last year. Our security agencies do not believe that there is any evidence at the moment to justify any increase in that alert level. So we should be reassured by that,’ the prime minister said.
No other Nationals MP has echoed Mr Fraser’s calls and federal Page MP Kevin Hogan has distanced himself from the comments, issuing a statement of support for the French people.
‘My thoughts and prayers are with the French people after the terrorist attacks in Paris,’ he said.
‘We stand with them, in condemning these horrific and devastating attacks.
‘If anyone has family or friends in the region who they cannot contact, the consular emergency number is 1300 555 135.
‘If people are concerned about relatives in Paris they should first try contacting them directly,’ Mr Hogan said.