Australia still has a problem over 'racist' attacks on Indians, admits Oz FM

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Melbourne, Feb 1(ANI): Australian Finance Minister Lindsay Tanner has said that Australia is not a racist country, but there are Australians with racist views.

Tanner said that he lacked detailed information about attacks on Indian students, which were supposedly racially motivated.

He said there is no doubt Australia still had a problem due to the number of attacks, but claimed often initial reports of the case are quite different to the final story.

"I wouldn't want to put a particular view. There is no doubt there is a problem for Australia here. The Prime Minister has acted to work with the states to actually develop a response and to ensure that we are tackling the issue in a measured way," The Sydney Morning Herald quoted Tanner, as saying.

"Australian is not a racist country but inevitably there are people in this country who hold racist views. And there are people who are violent. As in all nations, there are bad apples," he added.

The violence has made headlines around the world and India has warned it could jeopardise Australia's lucrative education sector, which earns two billion dollars annually from Indian students.

There are believed to have been over 70 assaults during the past year, culminating in a number of stabbings in Melbourne last month.

Tanner further said that the Australian Government is working overtime in concert with the states, particularly Victoria and New South Wales, to address these concerns.

"We are very conscious of the importance of Australia's image internationally and we are working hard to deal with these things," he said. (ANI)

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