Dear Courier-Mail Editor,
As a Moorooka resident, I must declare that Liberal Member Gary Hardgrave does not speak for me in saying that my suburb is â€œexhaustedâ€? by the â€œinfluxâ€? of African refugees and that we â€œneed a breakâ€?.
I would like both local businesses and residents to know that I was not interested in purchasing a house at Moorooka until I visited the suburb and realised how beautiful and cosmopolitan the area had become.
Living in a suburb with a rich World War II history, I believe itâ€™s an absolute pleasure and privilege to welcome peace and harmony to those fleeing from war-torn countries.
After reading about the blatant genocide taking place in Dafur in Sudan, crying over the rape of women by militia and experiencing shock regarding the recruitment of child soldiers across a number of African nations, I cannot help but smile when I find myself shopping, travelling and playing alongside my new African neighbours. I smile because I am glad that they are now safe.
When ogling over the beautiful African babies, a friend and I delight in imagining them growing up with an Australian accent.
As a first generation Australian of Italian heritage, a culture that was instrumental in transforming food in Australia, I revel in the new African delicacies I discover each time I visit a new restaurant thatâ€™s popped up nearby.
My new neighbours bring colour and life to my world and I smile wisely in the knowledge that their alternative in their home countries lacked lustre and brought only trauma.
As a member of Southside Peace Group, Iâ€™ve had some members of the local community look at me strangely when I have exclaimed that the Liberal Partyâ€™s policies are inherently racist.
Todayâ€™s front page headlines featuring Gary Hardgrave have confirmed that his leadership is encouraging racial discrimination in my community. We must vote him out.
If you, like me, say no to war and racism and wish to vote the Liberal Hargrave out, please visit www.southsidepeacegroup.org.