"Shame on China, go home yellow Dogs."
These are words spray painted on the hoarding of a construction site in Melbourne.
This grotesque racism is, sadly, far from an isolated incident. Chinese Australians and Asian Australians more generally, are being subjected to unacceptable vilification.
Last week a South Australian councillor was spat at during a racist attack as she went to pick up groceries.
The same week an international student in Melbourne was called "coronavirus" on a tram, and a bus driver attacked.
COVID-19 has brought out the best in Australians, but it's also brought out the worst in some of us.
It seems barely a day goes by without news of another Asian Australian experiencing shocking racial abuse.
The pandemic appears to be accelerating a pre-existing trend of increased racism in our community.
In recent months Australia has seen a spike in race-motivated violence, including the brutal bashing of a heavily pregnant Muslim woman by a stranger in Sydney. Anti-Semitism has been on the increase, too.
Now, the Human Rights Commission says around a quarter of people who have lodged complaints about racial discrimination in the past two months have been targeted because of COVID-19.
The division is being fanned by the likes of One Nation, who are weaponising fear on social media. Mixing messages, spreading confusion as well as fake news.
Of course, the Chinese government has questions to answer but a pandemic is no excuse for racism.
At this time of great disruption and anxiety we need facts, not fear. We need to build solidarity, and reject hate and division.
We can do so with the confidence of knowing the majority of Australians value our multiculturalism and abhor racism.
But the challenge of fighting, and defeating racism isn't just a matter for individuals, it's a responsibility of our leaders.
In response to all these racist attacks, inflammatory political rhetoric, and hateful materials being circulated online, we need consistent national leadership in Australia that makes it clear this crisis requires us to pull together, not fracture apart.
We need a new national strategy to tackle racism. A strategy that will enable us to work together to take action against racism, in all its different forms.
Last week 16 prominent Asian-Australians put their names to a campaign aimed at stopping coronavirus-fuelled racism, calling for us to choose unity over fear.
Labor has also been calling for an anti-racism campaign, seven years since the last such campaign was launched by the Gillard government. It's now urgent the Morrison government supports a similar campaign - to say to all Australians, but most importantly those Australians who have been confronting abuse and exclusion, that there's no place for racism in this country.
That we're really all in this together.
A campaign urging zero tolerance towards racism should be the start of a broader strategy that seeks to strengthen our social cohesion through tackling head-on the damage racism does, listening to the voices of those most affected and working to challenge the attitudes that enable racism to persist.
Just as we must strive for bipartisanship in bringing the nation together to combat coronavirus, we must do the same to stand up for the inclusive, diverse and dynamic multicultural society that is modern Australia's greatest achievement.
Indeed, that is modern Australia.
- Andrew Giles MP is the federal opposition spokesman for multicultural affairs.