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Senate votes down equality motion

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Penny Wright

Australian Senate Australian Greens Senator for South Australia

media release

August 23, 2012 Senate votes down equality motion The Government and the Opposition today joined forces to vote down a Greens motion calling for new equality legislation to include, among other things, a duty on public and private sectors to actively promote equality and eliminate discrimination and the removal of arbitrary and blanket exemptions. Greens spokesperson for Legal Affairs, Senator Penny Wright, said it was very concerning that despite the Government’s commitment to streamline Australia’s anti-discrimination laws, it today was not willing to support the improvements suggested by the Greens, which are aimed at adopting global standards of best practice. “The Government said it will release an exposure draft for a federal Equality Act soon. So it is disappointing that today, so far into the process, it would not support specific improvements that will help bring our equality laws into the 21st century,” Senator Wright said. “We know that discrimination remains alive and well in Australia today and that we need to improve our laws to address these issues. “It’s time for this to be a priority. Equality is for everyone. “The Greens’ suggested improvements would help strengthen and modernise our laws and make them consistent with our international human rights obligations. “If the Government is serious about creating a fairer, more equal society, it needs to urgently release an exposure draft aimed at eliminating discrimination and promoting equality in our society.” The motion can be found online at: Media contact: Jennifer Maisel 0417 173 508