The Senate Legal and Constitutional Senate Legislation Committee yesterday handed down their report on proposed changes to anti-discrimination legislation that would make it illegal to offend someone and reverse the balance of proof to make you guilty unless proven innocent.
After a lengthy campaign, led primarily by the staunch freedom fighters at the Institute of Public Affairs (If you havn’t joined already, they are presently running a promotion for new members), some of worst excesses of this bill will likely be removed and the Coalition presented a dissenting report calling for it to be scrapped entirely.
It is also worth noting that the Committee received close to three and a half thousand submissions regarding the bill. Of these, the overwhelming majority opposed the bill: close to 3000 submissions were in opposition, while less than 200 were in support. I would also like to thank the over 500 of our members who contacted their Member of Parliament outside of the committee process to demand they oppose this bill.
It is clear that the Australian people overwhelmingly oppose this bill, and the government has responded by removing one of the most publicised features.
But it’s too early to celebrate: the majority report remains a significant attack on freedom. In fact, in some ways the proposed changes make the bill even worse!
Make no mistake: This is a deliberate strategy on the part of the anti-free speech authoritarians.
While everyone is focussing on congratulating them on the “concession” they made, the really nasty bits sneak in. So they get the long-term outcome they want, while looking like they ‘compromised’.
In fact, I’m starting to think that this was a deliberate ploy by the government. So egregious and stupid was the plan to make offending someone illegal, that surely they could never have believed it would have passed. So, it was inserted as a lightning rod to divert attention to the real intention of the bill.
We can’t let them get away with it. If you have not done so already, please contact your MP using our form and DEMAND it be rejected in its entirety.
A full analysis of the Majority Report coming shortly…