Media Release - Canberra concerned by Racial Discrimination Act changes - Wednesday 30 April




MICHELLE ROWLAND MP, SHADOW MINISTER FOR CITIZENSHIP AND MULTICULTURALISM and MEMBER FOR GREENWAY

ANDREW LEIGH MP, SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER and MEMBER FOR FRASER

DR CHRIS BOURKE MLA, MEMBER FOR GINNINDERRA



MEDIA RELEASE

CANBERRA COMMUNITY CONCERNED BY RACIAL DISCRIMINATION ACT CHANGES

Members of Canberra’s multicultural community are concerned by the Abbott Government’s plans to weaken the Racial Discrimination Act, ACT MLA Chris Bourke said today.

Dr Bourke was speaking after attending the Canberra Multicultural Community Forum last night where a range of community leaders condemned the Government’s proposed watering-down of the Racial Discrimination Act.

“Giving a green light to racial abuse will have dire consequences for our country and people targeted including increased mental and other health issues,” Dr Bourke said.

The forum also heard from Dr Helen Watchirs, the ACT Human Rights and Discrimination Commissioner; Australian National University law professor Simon Rice; and Mr Rod Little, chair of the ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elected Body.

“Protection against racist hate speech is fundamental to Australia’s success as a multicultural nation,” said Dr Andrew Leigh, who was among the 50 Canberrans at last night’s forum.

“If the Government bothered to properly consult with the community, as the Opposition is doing, then it might come to appreciate the lasting damage that racism has on many individuals and why these proposed changes to the Racial Discrimination Act are so abhorrent,” said Shadow Minister for Citizenship and Multiculturalism, Michelle Rowland.

Ms Rowland encouraged people to tell  the Abbott Government what they think of the proposed changes by sending a submission to s18cconsultation@ag.gov.au. Submissions close today.

WEDNESDAY, 30 APRIL 2014

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