Senior Labor frontbencher Penny Wong wants fellow politicians to call out hate speech and remind Australians of our values of inclusion, acceptance and respect.
A senior Labor senator has made an impassioned call for Australia's political community to learn from the tragedy of the New Zealand mosque shootings and help the country stand against those who would tear us apart.
Penny Wong hopes Australians will be moved not just to change their behaviour and grieve for a week, but to change the way race and faith are discussed.
"And, more importantly, to recognise that there is a difference between hate speech and freedom of speech," the senator told ABC radio's AM on Tuesday.
She was elected at the 2001 "Tampa election".
"Since that time we have seen a willingness by some politicians to engage in language or actions which have not been, I think, in the national interest, have not been good for this country," Senator Wong said.
"I hope that what we can do is take this moment, a moment of such sorrow and grief, such tragedy and such horror, and do something with it that is good."
Senator Wong said one concrete action the coalition government and her own party could do would be to make sure they preference One Nation and extreme right-wingers like independent senator Fraser Anning last at the coming federal election.
Politicians needed to say to Australians that the values we all as a country believed in were those of inclusion, acceptance and respect.
"We have to choose unity over division. We have to choose respect over prejudice. We have to choose hope over fear and we have to choose love over hate," she said.
We have to choose respect over prejudice
"That is a job for all of us, whether it's the Labor Party, the coalition, you in the media or the whole community.
"We have to choose the values which we want this country to have and we have to stand against those that we know tear us apart."
Senator Wong's call comes a day after Prime Minister Scott Morrison decried the retreat to "mindless tribalism", saying Australians had to learn to disagree better.
"As Australians we need to stand against the militant and lazy group think that distorts our public debate, stand up for our individualism and seek to think better of each other," he told the Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce.