‘Team Australia’ language disturbs: Commissioner

DEBATE on national security in Australia must make room for "robust expressions of opinion", the Race Discrimination Commissioner said on Tuesday.

Commissioner Tim Soutphommasane told the National Press Club that amid the debate on terrorism, free speech and national security, democracy needed to allow for criticism of the country and government.

He said that civic security was an essential part of national security, suggesting people should be allowed to express dissent as part of being a citizen.

Mr Soutphommasane said after speaking to many community leaders, including those from Muslim backgrounds, the "language of Team Australia" needed to be "fleshed out".

He said people using such terms, such as Prime Minister Tony Abbott, needed to explain what they meant as people needed to be reassured at what was "a testing time" for the nation.


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