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Emergency laws allow for fines of up to $12,600 for vilification

Emergency laws to stop people being vilified during the debate surrounding the government’s postal survey on marriage will be introduced to parliament this week.

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The laws will see civil prosecutions with fines of up to $12,600 for people who feel vilified or threatened during the campaign.

The emergency laws will only apply up until the end of the campaign in December and any prosecutions that proceed will first need to be approved by Attorney General George Brandis.

Courts will not be able to oppose fines or jail time on people who break the law, only civil penalties will apply.

“It will be unlawful to vilify, intimidate or threaten to harm a person either because of views they hold on the survey or in relation to their religious conviction, sexual orientation, gender identity or intersex status,” a government spokesman said.

“That will be a sunset provision, it will only last for the period of the postal plebiscite.”

The new laws are expected to be rushed through both houses of parliament on Thursday.

OIP Staff


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