Ahead of an appearance before the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights’ inquiry into section 18C today, the Institute of Public Affairs has released polling conducted by Galaxy Research that shows 95% of Australians value freedom of speech:
The committee has received more than 11,000 written submissions and is this week conducting hearings in five capital cities. Today in Melbourne it will be given polling by Galaxy Research commissioned by the Institute of Public Affairs showing rising public support for changes to counter criticism that the campaign is a niche or fringe issue.
The poll of 1000 people taken last month shows 48 per cent approve of calls to remove the words “insult” and “offend” from section 18C, an increase of three points from the previous survey in November.
Some 36 per cent of people were opposed to the change, down from 38 per cent. The Galaxy Poll found 52 per cent of men approved of the change to remove the words compared with 44 per cent of women…
IPA director of policy Simon Breheny said the poll also showed that 95 per cent of Australians rated freedom of speech as important with 57 per cent saying it was very important.
“Much to the surprise of some members of the media and the political class, free speech matters,” Mr Breheny said.
“It is time for our elected representatives to listen rather than trying to tell the public it is a niche or fringe issue.
“On top of the incredible overwhelming support for freedom of speech, support is also growing for changes to be made to section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act so that it is no longer unlawful to insult or offend someone.”
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