Mr ALBANESE (Grayndler—Leader of the Opposition) (14:03): Today in New Zealand we have seen justice, a civilised response to an act that was anything but. It was an act of terrorist violence, coldly and cynically calculated to push people apart, to sow division and tear a society apart, on innocent people, defenceless, in their most sacred place, in peaceful prayer, in solemn respect of their faith. Prayer is a time which should be sacrosanct. Instead, we got the ultimate atrocity. In the end, it only succeeded in bringing the people of New Zealand closer together. We will not say the killer’s name. We will not speak of him, other than to acknowledge that he was one of ours—an Australian, who cast such a terrible shadow over our dear neighbour.
We can only hope that, from today, New Zealand can begin the long process of healing. We can only hope that, after an act of such premeditated merciless cruelty, today’s sentence can at least bring some small measure of comfort to those left behind. We remember every life that was lost in Christchurch on that most awful of days. For those still grieving and wishing their loved one could one day come home again, maybe even today’s decision might just make it a little bit easier. It won’t change things, but may their sadness be softened by the knowledge that their loss brought a nation together. To New Zealand: we stand with you. To the Muslim community: we grieve with you. Hate will not divide us.