Advocates call on PM & Albanese to stand against weakening discrimination protections

Equality advocates have called on Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese to explain their stance on Tasmania’s “gold-standard” anti-discrimination protections.

The Morrison Government’s Religious Discrimination Bill will override existing discrimination protections for many Tasmanians, and Labor leader Albanese has not committed his party to voting down this potential override of state legislation.

Both national leaders will be in Tasmania repeatedly between now and the next year’s election with Albanese in the state yesterday and Morrison tomorrow.

“The Religious Discrimination Bill attacks Tasmania more than any other state because we have the strongest discrimination laws,” Equality Tasmania’s Rodney Croome said.

“People with disability will lose their protections from bullying and teachers will lose their job security.”

“Mr Morrison must explain why he wants Tasmanians to lose our existing rights under the Bill he has championed.”

“Mr Albanese must explain why he hasn’t adopted a strong and explicit stance in defence of the rights of everyday Tasmanians.”

“They both have a duty to explain why they think the basic rights of Tasmanians matter so little.”

The Religious Discrimination Bill will weaken Tasmanian protections against discriminatory behaviour. The largest proportion of current complaints under this protection is from people with disability.

The bill will also weaken existing protections for teachers in faith-based schools, and possibly for staff in, and clients of, other faith-based organisations.

Tasmania’s anti-discrimination protections have been in place since 1998, and in their current state have vocal support from advocacy groups such as Disability Voices Tasmania, The Multicultural Council of Tasmania, Women’s Health Tasmania, Unions Tasmania, Family Planning Tasmania and Equality Tasmania.

OIP Staff

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