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Thursday, 12 November 2015
Page: 8430


Senator SIMMS (South Australia) (12:11): I seek leave to make a short statement.

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Leave is granted for one minute.

Senator SIMMS: The Australian Greens support free speech in this country, but we recognise that freedom of speech is a limited concept in any democracy and does not extend to the right to be a bigot, as Senator Abetz would have us believe—and I know he is a champion of the right to be a bigot. We believe that the rights to express a view should be balanced against the rights of members of our community to feel safe and secure from persecution and discrimination. That is why we will not support the motion being put forward today. As the Labor Party has identified, it is subject to antidiscrimination action as well and therefore not appropriate for this place to consider.