Conservative Party leader Cory Bernardi has spoken in support of a condolence motion in the wake of last month's Christchurch mosque attacks which left 50 people dead and at least 50 others injured.
Finance minister, Mathias Cormann, who moved the motion, described the attack and the racist ideology that inspired it, as “vile”.
“There must be no mistaking it: the Christchurch attacks were crimes committed against innocent men, women and children,” he said.
Cormann also described the attack as an assault on the ideals of diversity, of faith and culture.
He said the attacker sought to divide New Zealand, but he had been “defied, and the people of New Zealand united”.
The perpetrator’s “sick cause is doomed to fail”, he said.
“To all those who fan the flames of racism, hatred and violence, we utterly condemn and reject you.”
He spoke of the deep bond between Australia and New Zealand, developed since Gallipoli.
“That experience, that shared sacrifice and loss built a bond to last the ages. In the more than 100 years since then, our two nations have only grown closer. Many Australians treat New Zealand as our second home," he said.
“Ours are two nations united by so much more than geography. We are united by common history and a common set of values. That’s why the horrific attack ... affected us so deeply.”
Senator Bernardi labelled the attacks as, "senseless and tragic".
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