The New South Wales government has discussed the issue of attacks on Indians with the community leaders, who have stressed that from their own experience they believe Australia is not a racist country.

State’s Attorney General John Hatzistergos said, “I am told the Indian community leaders at the meeting agreed that from their personal experiences they did not believe that Australia was a racist country, or that criminal attacks on Indian students or residents of Australia from Indian background were racist, although it’s possible that some individual actions may be racially motivated.

“The meeting also noted the strong anti-discrimination laws in place in New South Wales and the accountability of government agencies through mechanisms such as the Anti-Discrimination Board, the Office of the Ombudsman and the Police Integrity Commission,” he was quoted as saying by ’Herald Sun’

“The Premier and I will again meet with Indian community organisations and representatives in February,” he added.

Hatzistergos said he met with Chair of the Victorian Multicultural Commission George Lekakis in Melbourne.

“Lekakis gave me a thorough overview of the situation in Victoria, and put forward some ideas about how we can work to prevent such incidents occurring in NSW,” he said.

There is “no place for intolerance and violence in NSW,” state’s Attorney General said, adding “Australia is one of the most multicultural, harmonious and safe countries in the world.”

Hatzistergos said: “There is absolutely no place for intolerance and violence in this state. Our laws authorise courts to impose aggravated penalties if a person’s crime was motivated by race, and anyone caught engaging in this sort of behaviour will face the full force of the law.”

Courts also have the power to impose prison sentences on anyone caught found guilty of unlawfully inciting racist violence or hatred in the community, he said.

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