NSW Government fails to oppose change to racial vilification laws

March 20, 2014 by J-Wire Staff
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The NSW O’Farrell Liberal Government has refused to stand up to the Abbott Liberal Government over moves to remove vital protections against racial vilification.

Guy Zangari

Guy Zangari

The Federal Liberal Government is proposing to remove Section 18C from the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 – which makes it unlawful to “offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate” a person on racial or ethnic grounds.

Under questioning in NSW Parliament today from Labor the NSW Minister for Citizenship and Communities Victor Dominello was given the opportunity to make a strong statement against racism and declare the O’Farrell Government’s opposition to the plans – but instead refused.

Shadow Minister for Citizenship and Communities Guy Zangari said it was disappointing that the O’Farrell Liberal Government had refused to oppose the watering down of Racial Discrimination legislation.

“The Minister needs to take a stand against racism and reject his Liberal colleagues’ attempts to water down these laws,” Mr Zangari said.

“Minister Dominello and the Liberals have abdicated their responsibility to diverse communities across NSW.

“This is very disappointing for the vulnerable and marginalised people of NSW. Minister Dominello needs to stand up to the Abbott Government for the rights of everyone in NSW – not just a select few.

“It is simply not good enough to just claim this is a Federal issue.

“Communities across NSW should be concerned that the O’Farrell Government has chosen to not stand up to their Liberal colleagues in Canberra rather than fighting for their rights in the face of racism.”

Minister Dominello told J-Wire: “The Federal Government made a pre-election commitment to examine the operation of Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act in its current form.

I know the Federal Attorney General has met extensively with representatives of our Aboriginal and multicultural communities as part of his review of the law

An appropriate balance must be struck between the fundamental principles of freedom of speech and preventing vilification of people based on race. The views of those in our community who are vulnerable to racism are integral to this consideration.

The O’Farrell Government is proactive in the fight against racism.

In December 2012 the Premier Barry O’Farrell called for a parliamentary review of our racial vilification laws with a view to strengthening protections against racial discrimination.

The Legislative Council Law and Justice Committee released its report in December 2013 and the NSW Government will respond formally to its recommendations in the coming months.”

Comments

One Response to “NSW Government fails to oppose change to racial vilification laws”
  1. I loathe discrimination and intolerance towards another no matter who sends it and who receives it.
    Because of intolerance, my main concern is the ramifications involving children and how this can create feelings of hatred towards the group perpetrating such views. No wonder the world is in such a mess!

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