I have taken note of the public response by various individuals and groups to the comments I made to ABC television. Through my comments, I sought to convey the message that, as a country we have emerged from a very violent past and that some tend to use cultural and religious beliefs to justify gender inequality and abuse.
It has become clear to me that my comments may have offended some members of our community. I would, accordingly, like to retract these remarks and apologise unconditionally to them. I value national unity and social cohesion and will continue to work tirelessly towards nation-building.
Issued by: Department of Women, Children and People with Disabilities