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Melbourne Mayor claims Sydney and Brisbane have the same problems with gang violence…

Steve Price

The Melbourne Lord Mayor is attempting to shut down claims her city has a problem with African gangs, saying Sydney and Brisbane experience similar problems.

The issue reignited this week after Victorian Human Rights Commissioner Kristen Hilton revealed formal racism complaints have jumped more than 70 per cent in the past year.

Many in Melbourne have blamed the spike on Coalition politicians, particularly Immigration Minister Peter Dutton, for calling out the violence.

Mr Dutton told Ray Hadley on Thursday, “it’s just fairyland stuff”.

“I’m racist (because) I called people involved in home invasions African gang members.

“Even though they’re of African descent and they’re involved in gang activity.

“It’s like some parallel universe going on down there at the moment Ray.”

Greens MP Adam Bandt claims Mr Dutton and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull “want to use race to try and win votes” and says they’re not welcome in Melbourne.

Lord Mayor Sally Capp says that’s nonsense.

“He’s absolutely welcome. How are we going to build up his understanding of how good Melbourne is if we don’t say, ‘come on down and come more often’.

“I acknowledge Adam’s passion for Melbourne but I also feel that you can’t build tolerance by being intolerant.”

However, Ms Capp denies her city has an issue with African gang violence, saying Melbourne faces the same issues as Sydney, Brisbane and every other big city.

“That’s just rubbish. Every big city has its issues from time to time.

“And I really pick up on the Prime Minister’s comment as well. I’m not sure why he felt the necessity to single out a particular cultural group.

“We have incidents from time to time unfortunately across Melbourne, like every city does. And I’m sure Sydney and Brisbane feel the same way.”

Click PLAY below for the full interview

 

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