Victorian Premier Ted Baillieu today condemned as "sickening" an alleged racial attack on two young Indian women on a local bus in Australia, while denouncing the idea of racism as "contemptible" and "disgraceful".
In an incident that reportedly happened on December 12, a woman of solid built who has been described as "very manly" slapped the Indian women while racially abusing them after getting off a bus in Melbourne, the police has said.
The premier said "the reports of two women being attacked on a bus due to their cultural background is sickening, the overwhelming number of Victorians find racism disgraceful".
"Racism is contemptible, disgraceful, cowardly and illegal.
Victorians are proud to be the multicultural centre of Australia and anything that looks to diminish our multiculturalism needs to be challenged," Baillieu said in a statement released by his office.
He said his government has done more than any other government in the past to welcome members of the Indian community.
"We stand shoulder to shoulder with Victoria's Indian community," he said.
According to local police, the aggressor woman had launched her attack when one of the sisters accidentally knocked her with a handbag.
The sister whose bag had bumped the larger woman had tried to apologise, but the aggressive woman shouted abuse and told the sisters to "go back to your own country".
Other things were said but Senior Sergeant Bills did not specify what they were.
"The girls got off the bus, the woman followed them, slapped them and smashed a mobile phone," he said. The woman then got into a taxi.
Security footage from the bus was not available, Bills said, because the camera was faulty.