NSW Government Response to Proposed Changes to Federal  Racial Discrimination Laws

NSW Government Response to Proposed Changes to Federal Racial Discrimination Laws Featured

NSW GOVERNMENT RESPONSE TO PROPOSED CHANGES

TO FEDERAL RACIAL DISCRIMINATION LAWS

Minister for Citizenship and Communities Victor Dominello last night endorsed Premier

Barry O’Farrell’s concerns about proposed changes to federal racial discrimination

laws and said he had been asked to lead the NSW Government’s response.

Speaking at the Premier’s Harmony Dinner, Mr Dominello said he had been asked by

the Premier to prepare the NSW Government’s response to the Exposure Draft on the

Freedom of Speech (Repeal of s.18C) Bill 2014.

“The Premier has asked me, as the Minister responsible for Aboriginal Affairs and

Multiculturalism, to lead the NSW Government’s submission to the Federal Attorney

General.

“On 27 March, two days after the Federal Government’s Draft Bill was released, the

Premier made a strong and principled statement condemning bigotry and the

incitement of hatreds.

At the launch of the Museum of Sydney’s exhibition ‘Celestial City: Sydney’s Chinese

Story’ the Premier said:

“Vilification on the grounds of race or religion is always wrong. There is no place for

inciting hatreds within our Australian society. Bigotry should never be sanctioned,

whether intentionally or not. And we must avoid actions that would undermine these

foundations. No government, no organisation, no citizen can afford to be less than

vigilant in combatting bigotry, intolerance and hatred.”

Mr Dominello said the NSW Government’s submission will reflect the concerns the

Premier has articulated about racial discrimination laws.

“My preliminary view on the draft Federal Bill is that it needs to do more to protect the

vulnerable in our community from being vilified on the grounds of race.

“As I have said publicly, the definition of vilify should include ‘serious contempt’ and

‘severe ridicule’.

“Further, the requirement for acts to be done reasonably and in good faith, elements of

the existing section 18D defences, should be retained.

“The details of the NSW Government’s response will be made public following the

close of submissions on Wednesday 30 April,” Mr Dominello said.

Media: Matt Dawson 0427 145 575

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