Australian Conservatives leader Senator Cory Bernardi has defended distributing a flyer in the Victorian seat of Kooyong calling for a crackdown on “Islamic extremism”, just days after the New Zealand mosque massacre.
The flyer has been delivered to letterboxes in the safe Liberal seat in Melbourne this week.
A spokesperson for Senator Bernadi confirmed to The New Daily the flyer was printed long before the Friday attacks, but that he has no plans to withdraw it.
In the flyer, Senator Bernardi – who defected from the Liberal Party in 2017 – promises the Australian Conservatives will “fight to ease the pressure on the cost of living, keep our country safe and protect our Australian values”.
“There are important matters that confront our country. They impact on our cultural, economic and our social interests,” he said on Tuesday.
The handout also states “Labor and the Greens can’t be trusted with our national security” – and pledges that the Australian Conservatives will “clamp down on Islamic extremism”.
Its distribution comes just days after 50 people were slaughtered in shooting attacks on two Christchurch mosques. A further 50 people remain in hospital and a 28-year-old Australian man has been charged in relation to the massacre.
“Events may change the approach of the shamelessly opportunistic players but we are committed to a principled and consistent policy platform,” Senator Bernardi said on Tuesday.
“That includes protecting our way of life and keeping Australians safe at home and abroad.
“The events of Christchurch touch our conscience and our humanity but have nothing to do with Australia’s political system.”
Kooyong, in Melbourne’s inner south-east, is held by Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, with an 11.1 per cent margin.