All communities deserve equal participation in Parliament: Philip Ruddock

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‘Liberals friends of India’ organised a get-together and dinner at Chutney Restaurant, Harris Park on February 20 in which many new liberal supporters joined the ‘Liberals friends of India’ committee.

It was an effort to bring all the liberal supports from Indian background to come together, discuss and also an opportunity for the people to join the ‘Liberal Friends of India’ committee.

Liberal Friends of India is led by Liberal Party and was framed by a group of likeminded people on April 17, 2013.

Councillor of Hornsby, Gurdeep Singh organised this meet which was attended by many Indian supports of the Liberal party, Parliamentarians and prominent persons from Indian community.

Philip Ruddock, MP, who is  also the Patron of this group, while addressing the attendees said, “Every one living in Australia is Australian and it also includes all those people who have come here and contributed towards this country. You all are as much Australian as anyone else.”

He said that all have equal rights and deserve equal participation in Parliament.

“I acknowledge my colleague Gurdeep Singh for organising such an event. We really want that people from all cultures, backgrounds should make their way to Parliament house and represent their own communities. Many people from different ethnic backgrounds already have carved a space for them in the Parliament house”.

“We have laws which operate for all and there are no separate laws for any one. But who makes these laws – Parliament and you all should have a say in that.  Like any other country, we have political process and electing our candidates is a way we choose the people who help to make such decisions in the political process”, stressed Philip.

“If you are Australian, you should be engaged as much as you can in the political process as any other person. You should make choices. For me, I am involved in a political system for the last 40 years and I am grateful to the people who elected me”, said Philip adding “I should be there as long as I think and you think that I can make a difference. It is very special privilege to be in Parliament house and it is not easy to achieve,” he said.

“ 1/3rd of the Parliamentarians  are over-seas born and even our Prime Minister was born overseas. I am sure that soon there will be Indians   as well in Australian Parliament. If you have skills and knowledge, opportunities will definitely come to you”, he added.

Charles Casuscelli, MP Strathfield also appreciated the efforts of the committee.

He said though Liberal Friends of India started as a small group but now it has grown substantially and it all happened due to the efforts of the committee people.

Matt Kean, MP, Hornsby while speaking on the occasion appreciated the Indians for their contribution in Liberal party and said, “The Liberal Friends of India is a group designed to strengthen and promote the relationship between the Liberal Party and the Australian-Indian community”.

“We have so many different communities living in Australia. Multicultural Australia is becoming stronger because of the all the communities who are living here.  The values of all these communities have made Australia stronger,” he added.

“Indian-Australian relations are special as we have so many things in common and we are hopeful that soon we will see Indian representation in Australian Parliament house,” said Matt Kean.

Raman Bhalla, part of the leadership group and organiser of the event  thanked everyone for making this event a huge success. “I am thankful to everyone for attending the occasion particularly Matt Kean , Gurdeep Singh, Charles Casuscelli and Philip Ruddock who shared their views and experiences with the people,” said Raman Bhalla.
“I am really happy with what we have delivered and many more such events will be organised in future frequently”, He added.

Gurdeep Singh, Councillor of Hornsby and co-chair of this group thanked the committee members for their contribution towards the growth of the group and their support throughout.

He appreciated Raman Bhalla, the organiser of this committee for his efforts and hard work  and added that more young  people like  him should come  forward and join  the Liberal party and the Liberal Friends of India Committee if they really want to make their presence felt in Australian Parliament.

The dinner was attended by over 80 people who unanimously supported that Indians have  to be more politically active if they want  their representation in Parliament house.

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