Victoria, NSW premiers wrestle over racist attacks on Indians

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Melbourne, Feb. 12 (ANI): Victorian Premier John Brumby has slammed his NSW counterpart, Kristina Keneally, for suggesting that Indian students fearful of coming to Melbourne due to recent racist attacks should instead consider Sydney.

Brumby accused Keneally of seeking to exploit Victoria's problems with violent attacks against Indian students.

He claimed that Keneally was trying to drag down Victoria while her state was much less safe than Victoria.

"We are the safest state in Australia, full stop. All of the statistics on that are unambiguous," The Age quoted Brumby, as saying.

He pointed out that the crime rate against the person was 552 per 100,000 people in Victoria - half the 1100 per 100,000 in NSW.

His attack came in the wake Keneally's announcement on Wednesday that a NSW minister was being sent to India to sell the message that students who came to NSW would be helped into safe accommodation.

"The difference between Sydney and Melbourne may be lost in the overseas market. We want to send a message that NSW is a welcoming place for international students," she said.

Brumby said Victoria continued to attract visitors and residents from around the world and interstate - "by the way, including from NSW".

"When you are the best performer, as we've been in this area, of course you get people trying to drag you down. But the facts remain: we are seen as the most liveable city anywhere in Australia," he said. (ANI)

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