Mr BARTON (Eastern Metropolitan) (16:32): I rise to speak on Ms Patten’s motion today. I will be supporting this motion today. I believe this motion is about inclusiveness, respect and diversity.
For 30 years as a taxi and hire car driver I drove throughout Victoria and met many people. I have seen Victoria grow and develop during that time, watching the streets and the communities change. The Victoria I see today is very different to when I started working. It is rich in cultural diversity. It is a better place today than it was all those years ago. I believe our Parliament should reflect that diversity. Everyone here has a different background, different traditions and different beliefs. This should be accommodated for all. This motion will not stop those who want to continue the Lord’s prayer. However, it will provide everyone with the opportunity to reflect on their faith, their constituents and their reasons for being here.
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I do not know what lies in my future. I do not know if I am going to be here in a few months time. I do not know if I am going to be here at the next election. I do not know if I am going to be here beyond this election. But I know that among the people in my party who are going to follow me there are such rich and diverse views. We have Jewish people, Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists—these are the people that will be following me. I am not a religious person, but I am leaving that door open for those people to reflect when they come into this workplace—so that they can do so. This is not a reflection or disrespect to any of the other faiths or people who want to follow this, but this is my view. Everyone in this place should be able to feel that their religious beliefs are equally respected. I will leave it there.