Robertson walks for respect
NSW Opposition Leader John Robertson has described a recent community Walk for Respect to show support for Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act as a resounding success.
Mr Robertson said he was proud to have marched alongside more than 1000 people to stand up against the Liberal Government’s plans to wind back protections against bigotry and hate speech.
The march was organised by Tony Burke and attended by many federal and state Labor representatives.
“Australia is a nation that embraces all – and for the Abbott Government to even contemplate winding back our anti-racial discrimination laws is unforgivable,” Mr Robertson said.
“I believe the Walk for Respect has sent a strong message to Tony Abbott to back off this attack on multicultural communities.
“Protections against bigotry and hate speech are fundamental to our success as a multicultural society.
“The community is speaking with one voice that they want these protections maintained.
“What Tony Abbott and George Brandis have proposed would give the green light to racists, while stripping victims of racial abuse from legal recourse.
“Freedom of speech is important – but it comes with responsibilities as well as rights – and NSW Labor’s view is that the current Act gets the balance correct.”
Robertson wrote a submission to the Prime Minister earlier this month explaining that NSW Labor would oppose his changes to the Racial Discrimination Act.
“I’ve told Tony Abbott firmly and clearly that NSW will not tolerate any winding back of protections against racial abuse and bigotry.” Mr Robertson said.