Stopping the spread of racial vilification

October 19, 2015 by J-Wire Staff
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The NSW Government is planning to reform laws impacting on racial vilification.

NSW Attorney-General Gabrielle Upton

NSW Attorney-General Gabrielle Upton

NSW Attorney-General Gabrielle Upton said: “Following extensive consultation, the NSW Government will release an exposure bill in January 2016, and introduce legislation into NSW Parliament in the 2016 Budget Session.

Recent events have reinforced the necessity of being vigilant to and guarding against the spread of racial vilification.

We cannot allow violent race hate speech to fan flames of division and tear our community apart.

Make no mistake, words are dangerous weapons for race hate preachers and violent extremists.

Change is needed to disarm them and to safeguard our inclusive, pluralist and harmonious community.

The NSW Government will fortify racial vilification law to better protect vulnerable people and groups from violent race hate speech.

But it is vital that we get any changes to the law right from the outset.

That is why, we will extensively consult on our plan to strengthen and streamline racial vilification laws, which will include implementing most of the recommendations of the Legislative Council’s Law and Justice Committee’s Report, Racial vilification law in New South Wales.

We will also invite the community to comment on whether further changes to the law, in addition to the Committee’s recommendations, are necessary”.

 

Gabrielle Upton told media: “What we’re going to do is consult with the community, very broadly, to bring an exposure draft bill out for public comment early next year and the plan is to have the laws changed in the first half of 2016.

It has taken a new significance because we’ve had the Parramatta shooting. We’ve got particular circumstances at the moment that focus most people’s minds, but this is something that’s well overdue and we’re going to do it now.

If anyone uses words to racially vilify anybody there should be very serious consequences and that’s what we intend to happen.

The section of the anti-discrimination act that deals with racial vilification has been in place for quite some time. There have been no prosecutions and since I have been the Attorney for the last six months I have had meetings with various parts of our community say, ‘look it’s just not working.”

NSW Jewish Board of Deputies president Jeremy Spinak commented: “The NSW Jewish Board of Deputies is very pleased that reform of Section 20D of the NSW Anti-Discrimination Act is on the government’s agenda. There is an important need to legislate and educate effectively against incitement to racist violence, racial harassment and intentional promotion of racial hatred. We look forward to participating in any public consultation and commenting on any Exposure Draft when it is released.”

Comments

2 Responses to “Stopping the spread of racial vilification”
  1. Eric Belcher says:

    Let’s remember in this debate. Islam is not a race!

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