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Greens back ethnic and indigenous groups on Racial Discrimination Act



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Media Release

21/11/2013

Greens back ethnic and indigenous groups on Racial Discrimination Act

The Australian Greens have today backed calls by a coalition of ethnic and indigenous groups to protect laws against racially-motivated hate speech, saying the Coalition’s plan to weaken protections against racism is shameful.

“The Greens will never support any moves that make it easier to abuse people on the basis of race,” said Senator Richard Di Natale, Greens spokesperson for Multiculturalism

“Multiculturalism is one of Australia’s greatest success stories but racial vilification is still a reality for too many people in our society. The statement today by the leaders of several groups such as the National Congress of Australia's First Peoples, Executive Council of Australian Jewry, Arab Council Australia and Chinese Australian Forum shows that the protections in the Racial Discrimination Act are crucial.

“The last thing we need is to be sending signals to the community that any form of racism is acceptable.

“Senator Brandis should be focussing on stamping out racism rather than making laws that help his mates in the media.”

Australian Greens legal affairs spokesperson, Senator Penny Wright, says human rights are at stake.

“The Racial Discrimination Act has served us very well. It strikes the right balance between freedom of speech and protecting people from racial vilification,” Senator Wright said.

“While Tony Abbott and the Coalition are showing a callous disregard for human rights, the Greens will continue to be the leading voice in parliament to create a fairer, more caring society.”

Media contact for Sen. Di Natale: Andrew Blyberg 0457 901 600 Media contact for Sen. Wright: Danielle Forsyth 0417 173 508