Human Rights Policy Branch
3-5 National Circuit
Barton, ACT, 2600
Dear Attorney General
Amendments to the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (RDA)
I have reviewed the proposed exposure draft of the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (RDA) and wishes to express deep concerns regarding the amendments/deletion to the current S18B, C, D, and E of the RDA. In short the proposed changes including the wide exemption and deleting the words “offends, insults and humiliates” and insert “vilify” in S18c and deleting S18d and b will weaken the protection provided and giving approval to hate speech, offensive languages, increasing the chances of abuses through intimidation and vilification and threatening the fabric of a harmonious and diverse society.
The current legislation, in particular S18c and S18d of the RDA have served well for almost 20 years. For the Government to proposed changes based on one case (Andrew Bolt) is totally unacceptable as the Bolt case was in breach of S18d test for “ reasonableness and good faith”.
Based on empirical evidence, I strongly believe the current RDA is working well (close to 100% in solving disputes by the Australian Human Rights Commission) and serving the needs of our Multicultural Communities. This has also been supported by the recent Poll which indicated that 9 out 10 Australians were opposed to any change to the RDA .
I believe RDA S18b, c, d, e and f should be retained, codify the case laws into the current RDA, and include a penal cause into the legislation like those in West Australia and finally, if the exposure draft is to be debated in the House of Representatives, a Freedom of Conscience vote for MPs as part of freedom of speech.
I urge the Government not to proceed with the exposure draft.
Unity Party WA
Protect environment-save trees-use Email.
UPWA is the only political party that calls a spade a spade.