Dear Prime Minister,
We are very happy that you will not revive RDA 18C as we do have free speech but everything, there is a limit.
Unity Party WA
Safe the trees – Use email
UPWA is the only political Party that calls a spade a spade.
Tony Abbott rules out reviving 18C changes
TONY Abbott will proceed with unpopular policies such as raising the pension age after the next election, but has ruled out resurrecting changes to the Racial Discrimination Act.
After dumping changes to section 18C of the act last year in a “leadership call’’, the Prime Minister effectively told journalist Andrew Bolt, who was prosecuted under the law, that he would not revive them.
“I absolutely, passionately believe in free speech,’’ Mr Abbott told The Bolt Reporton the Ten Network yesterday.
“I think we have free speech in this country. I think the episode that you suffered was an aberration and I don’t believe we’ll ever see anything like that again.’’
Last week parliament’s joint standing committee on human rights found proposals by Family First senator Bob Day to remove the words “insult” and “offend” from section 18C would not breach Australia’s international obligations.
Discussing last week’s attempt to force a leadership spill, which he defeated 61 votes to 39, Mr Abbott said he had been so focused on economic security and national security issues he had not had enough time to talk to colleagues.
And he said he regretted breaching commitments not to cut ABC funding but said that, on coming to government, he discovered the fiscal position was much worse than Labor had revealed at the last election. Instead of being $18 billion, the deficit was $48bn.
“There were some gymnastics, if you like, in the budget, to avoid breaking promises. By the time of the … mid-year statement at the end of 2014, yes, we did have to break some promises, including the promise not to reduce funding for the ABC,” he said.
Mr Abbott said he would press ahead after the next election with legislating to raise the pension age to 70 by 2035, with indexation pegged to the cost of living.
“If we don’t encourage people to work, to extend their working lives, we are going to have the situation where we simply have too many retirees and not enough working people to support them.’’
However, he said the government would not propose changes to Medicare unless they were supported by the medical profession.