Mr PEARSON (Essendon)- Today I rise to express my solidarity with the people of Hubei province and of wider China in the fight against the novel coronavirus. I have been shocked and saddened by the impact that the coronavirus has had not only on the people of China but also on our wonderful Chinese-Australian communities and businesses. Fear has driven some of the negative responses, but we must stand together during this time to support each other as work continues across the world to control the spread of the virus and to develop a vaccine. I am especially proud that Victorian medical researchers at the Doherty Institute have joined the work to find a cure for coronavirus, being the first to recreate the virus outside of China.

It is pleasing to see Victoria’s Chinese diaspora as well as wider Victoria working together not only to aid those suffering in China but also to support local traders to say, ‘We are open for business’. The truest of friendship emerges in times of adversity. Victorian communities are standing together in friendship, and I stand with them to convey our support to Wuhan, to Hubei province, to China and to Victoria’s Chinese communities.