gaiaguys.net applauds and wholeheartedly agrees with Doctor Nelson's statements. Pity our leaders don't act accordingly.
Sydney Morning Herald
MP sets out Australian 'founding values'
August 25th, 2005
Federal Education Minister Brendan Nelson has refused to back away from his warnings that new citizens must accept Australia's founding values, or clear off.
Dr Nelson told ABC Radio that understanding, tolerance, inclusion and responsibility were founding values that all Australians regardless of their cultural heritage must accept if they want to live here.
"They are the values upon which our society has been built and it doesn't matter where people come from, if they accept the privilege and responsibilities of citizenship in our country, then they're the values essentially - which I might add under-ride the major religions of the world - which we embrace," Dr Nelson said.
"If people don't want to accept and embrace those values, then they ought to clear off, I don't care where they're from."
Other values he listed as essentially Australian were care, compassion, reaching out to others, doing your best, pursuing and protecting the common good, treating all people fairly, enterprise, respectfulness, fidelity, comradeship and endurance.
"We welcome people from all over the world, irrespective of their political affiliations, their religious views," he said.
"We want and demand in a way, that people embrace not only our constitutional arrangements, our laws, live by our laws, but also our values, the way we are, the way we relate to one another and see our place in the world. That's what defines our destiny.
"Times change but we must have enduring values."
Dr Nelson denied he was simply "talking tough" to impress Liberal Party insiders, to further his own political ranking for when John Howard retired.
Dr Nelson said on Wednesday he would meet with the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils to discuss programs that ensure students understand Australia's history, culture and values.
He said all Australian schools were required to teach the national values framework, including tolerance, responsibility and understanding, and students and people who were not prepared to follow these values should "clear off".
© 2005 AAP
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