6 August 2014
The Australian Council of Social Service today joined the chorus of human rights and community leaders welcoming the Federal Government’s decision to maintain current protections against discrimination in the Racial Discrimination Act.
The Government’s proposed amendments to section 18 C of the Act were widely opposed by ethnic community leaders, state governments and civil liberties and human rights experts, who warned it would effectively give the green light to racial based vilification of minority groups in our country.
“This is a sensible step and we praise the Prime Minister for listening to the overwhelming voices in the community,” said ACOSS CEO Dr Cassandra Goldie.
“The last thing we want to see in our country is the watering down of important protections that have helped make our community strong, by condoning abuse and intimidation on the basis of a person’s race or ethnicity and potentially fuelling racial tension.
“This decision ensures that an appropriate balance between freedom of speech and protection from racism is maintained in our laws,” Dr Goldie said.
Fernando de Freitas – 0419 626 155