NSW government snub over 20D

NSW Opposition Leader Luke Foley has promised to strengthen racial vilification laws if Labor is elected in the 2019 NSW election.

JEWISH communal leaders are furious that after a lengthy campaign supported by a coalition of faith and ethnic groups, the NSW government is not making expected changes to Section 20D of the Anti-Discrimination Act, despite an admission from former attorney-general Gabrielle Upton that the legislation as it currently stands is not working as intended.

The AJN understands the various community groups expected the proposed changes to pass through cabinet and be put forward for public consultation in the coming weeks.

The changes would have made it possible to prosecute people for inciting hatred and violence against people based on race.
However, NSW Attorney-General Mark Speakman told The AJN this week “there are no present plans to amend section 20D of the Anti-Discrimination Act”.

Responding to the government’s announcement, NSW Opposition Leader Luke Foley told The AJN that if he is elected in 2019 he will legislate to strengthen racial vilification laws “within 100 days” of being elected.

“We thought the government was simply slow to act and would eventually get around to strengthening the provisions so I was shocked and appalled on Monday,” Foley said.

“I think the Liberals are pandering to Pauline Hanson.

“That is all that I can think of, that some bright spark in the Liberal Party said we must play footsies with Pauline Hanson and One Nation to win the next election.”

Plans to make any changes to the Act were quietly shelved at a recent cabinet meeting.

Responding to the government’s announcement, NSW Opposition Leader Luke Foley told The AJN that if he is elected in 2019 he will legislate to strengthen racial vilification laws “within 100 days” of being elected.

“We thought the government was simply slow to act and would eventually get around to strengthening the provisions so I was shocked and appalled on Monday,” Foley said.

“I think the Liberals are pandering to Pauline Hanson.

“That is all that I can think of, that some bright spark in the Liberal Party said we must play footsies with Pauline Hanson and One Nation to win the next election.”

But instead plans to make any changes to the Act were quietly shelved at a recent cabinet meeting.”

JOSHUA LEVI