Broadcast on 2CH Sydney, 10 Feb 2013.
Churches and faith-based agencies have applauded the federal Opposition’s strong defence of freedom of speech by opposing outright the Gillard Government’s Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Bill.
Family Voice Australia national research officer Ros Phillips said the draft bill was fatally flawed and, as Senator George Brandis had pointed out, unamendable.
“The bill would undermine freedom of association as well as freedom of speech. It would reverse the burden of proof – a basic principle of our justice system. The complex exceptions to its provisions, which may not be granted and cannot be relied upon, indicate that ‘discrimination’ under this bill is an arbitrary concept. Discrimination may be either good or bad – but no one can tell for sure. The bill does not provide the certainty which we are entitled to expect from our laws.”
Such tinkering with effective human rights legislation is irresponsible and must not be allowed to progress.
I’m Rod Benson for the NSW Council of Churches.