PM Scott Morrison Pays Tribute At Christchurch Vigil

'Beautiful, powerful memorial'


29 March 2019

Article heading image for PM Scott Morrison Pays Tribute At Christchurch Vigil

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Prime Minister Scott Morrison has paid tribute to a "beautiful, powerful" memorial for the victims and survivors of the Christchurch mosque massacre.

Mr Morrison said it was overwhelming and "deeply moving" to hear the names of the 50 people who were killed in the mass shooting earlier this month.

"Today, New Zealand has responded to hate with love. They've responded to violence with peace. And I think that is a very, very powerful message," he told reporters on Friday.

"And for Australia, while this didn't happen on our own shores, it certainly felt like it did, because of the closeness of our two countries."

Mr Morrison has disowned the Australian-born white supremacist accused of the mass murder.

"Extremist terrorists have no nationality. Their only nationality is hate and violence," he said.

Mr Morrison also attended a bilateral meeting with New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, where the pair discussed the pursuit of tough gun laws and a crackdown on live-streaming violent content on social media.

He said the two nations shared a joint resolve to ensure social media platforms were not "weaponised", after the alleged Christchurch terrorist broadcast his killing spree.

"We'll continue to form a strong team - a strong Anzac team - when it comes to pursuing these issues globally as well as domestically," he said.

"So, a very sombre day, but amongst the darkness there was a bright stream of light today."

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten also attended the memorial at Hagley Park in Christchurch.

He said it was particularly galling that an Australian was charged with murdering the 50 innocent worshippers.

"That has been a common comment I've heard from a lot of Australians. Australians are ashamed this person was an Australian," he said.

The opposition leader said he was struck by just how quiet and peaceful the neighbourhood was.

"The mosque is set opposite a park - it's in a quiet area. People should be able to live in quiet neighbourhoods and worship their god without a deranged terrorist killing them," he said.

"When we think of this sort of violence we think of battle scenes in the Middle East, so to see that sort of violence and hate in a suburban quiet park tree-lined street, it's horrible."

Mr Shorten praised the New Zealand prime minister's "outstanding" response to the right-wing terror attack.

"It's a reminder to us in Australia that when we let the better angels of our nature in political debate, when we try and bring everyone together, it leaves everyone feeling better about ourselves, as Australians," he said.

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