NSW Labor labels Berejiklian as “disingenuous” on race hate laws

December 17, 2017 by J-Wire
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NSW Labor labelled NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian as “disingenuous” on changing section 20D on race hate violence – and accused her of saying one thing in public and doing the opposite behind closed doors in Cabinet.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian

NSW Labor was responding to News Limited and 2GB reports where the Premier claimed she supported laws to stop hate speech, but in Cabinet, they were blocked.

“This is a clear case of the Premier saying one thing to the community, but then doing the complete opposite behind closed doors,” NSW Labor leader Luke Foley said.

“The Premier says she supports the proposed laws, but then allows her Cabinet to vote them down. It is completely disingenuous.”

“This is a Premier who can force her Cabinet to support spending $2.5 billion stadiums but she cannot force them to support race laws and protect the community.”

Walt Secord, the deputy chair of the NSW Parliamentary Friends of Israel said: “If Ms Berejiklian believes in the laws, then she should have fought for them. She should show leadership and stop kowtowing to the extreme right-wing fringe in her party.”

On Friday December 15, Ms Berejiklian told 2GB’s Ray Hadley that she supported changes – however, her cabinet had voted to block them.  Ms Berejiklian said: “There is, as you know, there’s ongoing debates between what’s perceived to be freedom of speech and what’s perceived to be causing other people angst, or, worse, inciting violence. It is in relation to how do you protect the community, but at the same time make sure that people don’t feel that we’re impinging on their free speech.”

Mr Foley has pledged to introduce these laws within its first 100 days of winning government in March 2019.

Mr Secord said he shared the Jewish community’s disappointment and accused the Berejiklian Government of “absolute betrayal” – in relation to its decision to secretly drop plans to reform the State’s racial vilification laws.

“Let’s face facts: there has not been a single prosecution in 30 years and the spirit of the laws have not been followed. Reform and change is desperately needed.

“There have been some of the most disgusting attacks and examples of incitement to racial hatred and violence – especially against the Jewish community – and nothing has happened to the culprits.

“Previous Attorney-General Gabrielle Upton admitted the laws were not working and promised the Jewish community and other community groups that her government would strengthen and streamline Section 20D.

“The Berejiklian Government has done nothing – despite a cross-party parliamentary committee led by her own Government recommending changes in 2013.

“The Berejiklian Government has been absolutely sneaky and dishonest. Without telling anyone, they shelved the plans and pretended otherwise,” Mr Secord said.

Gabrielle Upton told J-Wire: “I have always been and will remain a strong supporter and advocate for the Jewish community in NSW. “

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