Fraser Anning, you do not speak for me

LIKE most Australians, I was disgusted to see a senator somehow manage to flip the blame for New Zealand's biggest act of terrorism squarely at the feet of the victims killed or injured in the despicable act.

Senator Fraser Anning, once part of One Nation, made the extraordinary claim that the Muslim faith was to blame for the killing of 50 people at two mosques in the city of Christchurch last Friday. Last week's atrocity marked a dark chapter in the history of New Zealand, Australia and the world as people were massacred as they peacefully went about celebrating their faith.

It cast a dark shadow over our nation given the perpetrator of the act of terror was an Australian citizen. The fact that one of our parliamentary representatives saw fit to seize on the opportunity to blame the killing of almost 50 Muslims on the Muslim faith caused further embarrassment for us, as a nation.

Anning is hardly a bona fide representative of the Australian people. He landed in the Senate purely by chance with all of 19 votes following the citizenship scandal which claimed the party's Malcolm Roberts. Roberts was disqualified from the Senate, paving the way for Anning to claim One Nation's Senate spot. A subsequent fallout with the party saw him become an independent.

But, irrespective of how he managed to become a senator, the fact remains that he has a place in the nation's corridors of power and the messages he conveys are available for the nation, and in last Friday's circumstances, the world to see. 

Irresponsible comments like his, and the hatred it encourages, unfortunately highlights the xenophobia that still exists in our country.

And another thing ...

Our tenpin bowling champion Kellie Martlew will have some extra goodies to pack in her bags when she embarks on her trip home after competing in the Special Olympics Summer Games in Abu Dhabi. Martlew won a gold medal and two silver medals at the games.

Surely our local hero is deserving of a special homecoming?

A community celebration honouring Kellie's extraordinary work and celebrating her international achievement seems the right thing to do to mark such a special moment. I'm sure the community would love the chance to help Kellie celebrate her success.

Dylan Smith, Editor