10 January 2012

Australian MP apologises for migrant hygiene lessons gaffe

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Australian Liberal MP Teresa Gambaro apologised today for claiming that immigrants should learn how to use deodorant and queue properly in order to better integrate into Australian society.

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MP Teresa Gambaro has been forced by her own party to apologise for her remarks.

Ms Gambaro, the opposition citizenship spokeswoman had claimed that Australia was failing in its obligation to teach new immigrants on the country's standards of health, hygiene and lifestyle. In order to combat this Ms Gambaro argued, new immigrants should be subjected to mandatory "cultural awareness training" by employers who were bringing in immigrants on temporary working Australian visas.

Ms Gambaro's remarks sparked an immediate outcry and she has since been reprimanded by her own party and ordered to apologise. "She obviously went too far in her comments and they're certainly out of step with modern Australian attitudes" said Acting Opposition Leader Warren Truss.

Ms Gambaro admitted that her comments were inappropriate and did not reflect the Australian Coalition's policy but she argued that her comments were "taken out of context". However, she has since apologised for any offence caused.

Immigration Minister Chris Bowen labelled MS Gambaro's remarks as a "gross stereotyping of migrants", a sentiment echoed by migration groups who highlighted the fact that most workers emigrating to Australia on 457 visas were skilled professionals.


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