Shadow Minister for Citizenship and Multiculturalism Michelle Rowland said today that the Abbott Government’s plans to scrap racial discrimination laws will have a detrimental impact on Australia’s culturally and linguistically diverse communities.
Australia is a richly multicultural and diverse country and these laws have acted as protection for these communities against hate speech since they were introduced,” Ms Rowland said.
“These are laws which were passed in 1995 with bi-partisan support and it is extremely disappointing to see the Government confirm today its plans to scrap these laws.
“These laws carefully balance the rights of freedom of expression with the rights of individuals and groups to be protected from discrimination based on race and they should be maintained.”
Ms Rowland who addressed the Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Council of Australia’s Conference today said representative bodies in the CALD community were extremely concerned by the proposed changes.
“A number of organisations expressed concern to me about the repeal of these laws and were disappointed in the Government’s eagerness to remove these protections,” Ms Rowland said.
FRIDAY, 8 NOVEMBER 2013