“Attorney-General Nicola Roxon’s proposed changes to anti-discrimination laws announced on Monday are an attack on the fundamental freedoms of Australians,” said Simon Breheny, Director of the Legal Rights Project at the Institute of Public Affairs.
“The right to hold and express political opinions is fundamental to a liberal democracy. The Gillard government’s proposed changes to anti-discrimination laws threaten to eliminate these freedoms.
“The draft laws will punish individuals who express political opinions, if someone is offended by those opinions while working. Andrew Bolt was censored for talking about race. The Gillard government wants to censor talking about politics,” said Mr Breheny.
“The Andrew Bolt case under Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act showed how ‘offend, insult, humiliate and intimidate’ on the basis of racial or ethnic characteristics can be used to silence free expression. These draft laws censor the expression of political opinion while working.
“Tony Abbott must immediately commit to opposing this extraordinary attack on our political liberty. If these laws are enacted, the Opposition must commit to repealing them in government,” said Mr Breheny.
The Institute of Public Affairs’ FreedomWatch project was founded in 2012 to focus on freedom of speech, the rule of law and personal liberties.
To donate to the IPA Freedom of Speech Fighting Fund visit: support.ipa.org.au
For media contact: Simon Breheny, Director, Legal Rights Project, 0400 967 382