Alt-right speaker Milo Yiannopoulos will be allowed to tour Australia after Immigration Minister David Coleman ignored advice that he be denied a visa.
Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs Penny Wong criticised the decision.
“I think we can decide who we want to come to Australia,” she said.
“This is the bloke who has condoned relationships between younger boys and older men. He’s a bloke who has described feminism as a cancer and Islam as AIDS.
“Do we really want these ideas given this sort of coverage in Australia?”
Wong noted that there had been a significant outcry about the denial of Yiannopoulos’ visa, with One Nation leader Pauline Hanson saying last week that she had been lobbying Coleman to grant it.
Conservative columnist Andrew Bolt has also been one of Yiannopoulos’ vocal proponents, publishing the excerpt from the initial letter containing advice to deny the visa and following it up with a series of harsh critiques of the government, yesterday writing it was “too late” for Coleman to restore his “free speech credentials.”
“Let’s be clear about what has happened,” Wong said.
“Some right wing commentators have got angry about it so the Prime Minister, Scott Morrison and the Liberal Party decided to change their mind.”
Liberal MP Tim Wilson called Yiannopoulos “a boring, unimaginative, self-absorbed attention-seeker of questionable character”, but said that he was alarmed that he would not be allowed to tour because “free speech is for everyone”.
In addition to recent accusations of antisemitic behaviour, Yiannopoulos has previously chimed in on the marriage equality postal survey, telling Australians to vote No just weeks after his own same-sex wedding, and in 2017 claimed that trans children “are just gay”.
“Free speech is important in Australia, but people have to be responsible for what they say,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison said of the decision.