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I rise to condemn the threats and hate put forward by a small minority of hate-filled bigots towards the councillors, staff and residents of the City of Monash. Today is IDAHOBIT, the International Day against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia. Monash City Council libraries organised a drag story time event to celebrate today. As with other councils across Victoria that planned to host events to celebrate IDAHOBIT, fringe groups decided to intimidate and threaten library and council staff. This behaviour is unacceptable. This behaviour was demonstrated at the last Monash City Council meeting, where councillors, members of the LGBTQIA+ community and members of the public were subjected to hate speech, threats and intimidation. I am proud to be part of an Andrews Labor government that stands with the City of Monash and our LGBTQIA+ community. We have made it clear that equality is not negotiable. We will continue to work with our queer community, our local government and Victoria Police to ensure that such events can proceed safely in the future, and we as a state government will do the work to extend our anti-vilification laws. To Monash City Council councillors and council staff: thank you for all the work you do to serve our community. We stand with you. To the LGBTQIA+ community in my electorate, in the City of Monash and across Victoria: we hear you, we see, we love you and we stand with you.

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