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Tackling age discrimination



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ATTORNEY-GENERAL HON ROBERT McCLELLAND MP

MINISTER FOR EMPLOYMENT PARTICIPATION AND CHILD CARE MINISTER FOR THE STATUS OF WOMEN HON KATE ELLIS

MINISTER FOR MENTAL HEALTH AND AGEING HON MARK BUTLER MEDIA RELEASE

Parliament House, Canberra ACT 2600  Telephone (02) 6277 7300  Fax (02) 6273 4102 www.attorneygeneral.gov.au

30 September 20 10

TACKLING AGE DISCRIMINATION

Atto rney -General, Robert McClelland, has today introduced legislation to establish an Age Discrimination Commissioner in the Australian Human Rights Commission.

This will mean, for the first time, a stand -alone Age Discriminati on Commissioner will be able to advocate for the rights of older Australians in the community and workplace and handle complaints under the Age Discrimination Act.

“A dedicated Commissioner would tackle discrimination in getting a jo b, applying for a promotion, enrolling at a TAFE or university, applying to rent a house or using services such as banking, superannuation, insurance and government services,” Mr McClelland said.

Currently, the Sex Discrimination Commissioner, Elizabeth B roderick, has been responsible for age discrimination issues.

“I would like to, on behalf of the Government, acknowledge and thank her for her strong advocacy in this area ,” Mr McClelland said.

Minister for Employment Participation, Kate Ellis, said the new Commissioner would en courage employers and the broader community to appreciate the important qualities and skills older Australians bring to the workplace and their communities .

“A new Commissioner that addresses the barriers to equality and particip ation faced by mature workers will complement the work of the Government’s Consultative Forum on Mature Age Partici pation,” Ms Ellis said .

Minister for Mental Health and Ageing, Mark Butler noted that tomorrow is the Internat ional Day of Older Persons.

“This day is an opportunity to recognise that action is needed to address the attitudes and stereotypes that can co ntribute to age discrimination.”

Under the legislation, the new Commissioner would take office from 1 July 2011. The Government will conduct a transparent and merit -based appointment process for this position.

Attorney General News Release 2

The Bill also includes important amendments to improve the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 , including stronger protections from sexual harassment and discrimination on the basis of family re sponsibilities and breastfeeding.

Media Contact: Daniel Gleeson 0417 886 111