Businesses & unions join community groups in opposing Religious Discrimination Bill

Tasmania’s peak business and union bodies have joined the campaign to protect Tasmania’s ‘gold-standard’ Anti-Discrimination Act from being overridden by the federal Religious Discrimination Bill.

Advocates around Australia have been concerned about the effects of the Morrison Goverment’s proposed legislation superseding state-based protections, including anti-discrimination protections and conversion practice bans in Queensland, Victoria and the ACT.

In Tasmania specifically, the collective are concerned the Bill would override Tasmania’s existing provisions against humiliating and other bullying behaviour, protections for teachers, students and staff in faith-based schools and clients accessing faith-based services.

To announce their opposition to the override, the Tasmanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (TCCI) and Unions Tasmania stood with other community groups at a media conference in Hobart on Monday.

TCCI CEO, Michael Bailey, said, Tasmania’s strong Anti-Discrimination Act has boosted business and tourism in Tasmania thanks to the perception that Tasmania is “the most inclusive state in Australia”.

Bailey adds that the Religious Discrimination Bill will have negative impacts on Tasmanian workplaces.

“What it means is a worker could potentially bully a co-workers or a colleague and then step behind this legislation as a defence,” Bailey said.

Unions Tasmania secretary, Jessica Munday, also highlighted the negative impact of the Religious Discrimination Bill on workplaces and the value of what she described as Tasmania’s “gold-standard” anti-discrimination laws.

“What we don’t need is to see the federal government come in and override our laws,” Munday added.

“They have been very good for productive relationships between employers and workers and have encouraged the development of inclusive policies for workers who would otherwise find it difficult in some workplaces.”

Other groups and individuals who joined the TCCI and Unions Tasmania to condemn the override of Tasmania’s Anti-Discrimination Act included Equality Tasmania, former Anti-Discrimination Commissioner Robin Banks, Disability Voices Tasmania, the Multicultural Council of Tasmania and Women’s Health Tasmania.

You can support our work by subscribing to our Patreon
or contributing to ourĀ GoFundMe campaign.

Tags: , , , ,