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Thursday, 6 March 1980
Page: 609

To the Honourable the President and Members of the Senate in Parliament assembled. The humble petition of the undersigned citizens of Australia respectfully showeth:

That because we already inherit constitutional safeguards and many free institutions which assure to us as an unconditional right, the enjoyment of all basic human rights,

And because the exercise of our true common law rights is the proper means of dealing with attempted infringements or abuses of our human rights or personal freedoms within the Commonwealth of Australia and its territories,

And because the Human Rights Commission Bill 1979 would virtually eliminate our common law rights and heritage by substituting so-called rights and freedoms as defined under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of December, 1966, which does not correspond with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and in fact deletes some of its essential safeguards,

We have the conviction that the above-mentioned Bill would in due time destroy much of our traditional liberties and rights and established system of law, remembering that it calls for all 'the laws of the Commonwealth' to conform to it, that we would be liable to the definitions, whims and decrees coming from a foreign source instead of our own sovereign, elected, constitutional parliamentary democracy, that the United Nations today is composed of a large majority of totalitarian-type States, and that the Bill must certainly result in a quickly expanding costly bureaucracy with wide and alarming powers of investigation and opinion-making.

Your petitioners therefore humbly pray that the Government of the Commonwealth of Australia will withdraw, or repeal as the case may be, the Human Rights Commission Bill 1 979 to protect the rightful interests of Australia and all Australians.

And your petitioners as in duty bound will ever pray. by Senator Sheil.

Petition received.

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