It seems that the government is getting cold feet over their planned changes to anti-discrimination law. Pressure is building for the Bill to be quietly dropped.
The consolidated Human Rights and Anti-discrimination Bill would make anti-discrimination laws more effective and more accessible for disadvantaged and marginalised people in Australia, including
- people with disability,
- culturally and linguistically diverse communities,
- LGBTI communities,
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples,
- older people
The Senate Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs recommended that the scope of the Bill be expanded to explicitly cover
- intersex people,
- people who have experienced domestic violence and
- people with irrelevant criminal records
The Committee also recommended the removal of controversial sections in the Bill including
- 19(2)(b) which included the test of ‘offend or insult’
- exceptions allowing religious organisations to discriminate against individuals in the provision of services
BUT . . . . there is a strong likelihood that the Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Bill will not be introduced, let alone passed, before the election. The need to show politicians how important the Bill is to all of us is absolutely critical this week.
What can you do?
Write a letter to your local politician
1. Google your local MP to find out their email and postal addresses.
2. Post off one copy and send the other by email
Write a letter to the editor
- The Australian – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Sydney Morning Herald – email@example.com
- The Age – http://www.theage.com.au/national/letters/submit
- The Courier Mail – http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/opinion/editorials/letters-form
- The West Australian – firstname.lastname@example.org
- The Adelaide Advertiser – http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/opinion/send-letter
- The Mercury – http://www.themercury.com.au/opinion/letter-to-the-editor-submit.html
- NT News – http://www.ntnews.com.au/ntnews/letter-to-the-editor.html
Join the Get Up! Campaign
- Go to http://www.getup.org.au/campaigns/anti-discrimination/act-for-anti-discrimination/take-action-for-human-rights
- Sign up to Get Up! if you aren’t already a member
- Sign the online petition to Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus
- Send an online standard letter to your local MP
Don’t let the Bill die!