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Failure to move on 18C a breach of faith



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For immediate release - 2 March 2017

MEDIA STATEMENT

Failure to move on 18C a breach of faith

SOME of the arguments put forward for failing to act on the issue of Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act are a nonsense.

I have heard it stated that "this issue doesn't create one job”.

Neither does the Omnibus Savings and Child Care Reform Bill, but we’re still doing that.

I have also heard it said that it’s not the issue people are talking about in pubs or in farm sheds.

They weren’t talking about the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) either, but we still brought it back.

Section 18C is political correctness enshrined into law, and it stifles freedom of speech in Australia.

Nothing could be more of an affront to Australian values.

And nothing could be more at odds with National and Liberal Party values.

The National Party Constitution states that one of the party’s objectives is …”the maintenance of democracy and liberty.”

A fundamental Liberal Party value is that “We believe in those most basic freedoms of parliamentary democracy - the freedom of thought, worship, speech and association.” And where this issue definitely is being talked about is at local party meetings and state conventions.

It’s an issue of great importance for the people who fundraise for us, who hand out how-to-vote cards for us and who pre-select us so that we can stand as candidates and serve our electorates.

As far as I’m concerned this is a fundamental issue not only for democracy, but for the base of the Liberal and National Parties. I would expect that those parties who form the Coalition would not walk away from it.

We should repeal, or at the very least amend, Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act sooner rather than later.

Failure to do so will represent a fundamental breach of faith with our base.

ENDS For more information, contact Lynnis Bonanno on 0408 773 207