Ethnic tensions ‘set to explode’

A key ethnic affairs adviser to the NSW Coalition government has warned that religious and ethnic tensions in western Sydney have the potential to “explode” the nation’s multicultural fabric in the aftermath of last Saturday’s Islamic riot.

Dai Le

Dai Le, a Vietnamese boat-person and former ABC documentary maker, yesterday warned that multiculturalism was threatened unless new arrivals continued to integrate into overarching national values like their predecessors.

Ms Le, a former adviser to NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell, was recently appointed by him to the NSW Community Relations Commission.

“It has always been my argument that multiculturalism, in more recent times, has been interpreted to mean people have the right to keep their cultural heritage and traditions without needing to reach out, or without being responsible for creating bridges between them and wider Australian society,” she told The Weekend Australian. “We are starting to live in ‘pockets’.

“As a result, I feel that our unique Australian multicultural society could be at risk if people do not make the effort to integrate.

“Western and southwestern Sydney is where Australian multiculturalism can be seen to be operating at its best — or, if we are not careful, could explode and destroy a way of life that many Australians have come to appreciate.”


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