The Government today objected to a parliamentary motion in what can only be described as a mindlessly partisan move following the federal Liberal Party’s open hostility towards the Australian Human Rights Commission.
The motion by Greens MP David Shoebridge read:
1. That this House commends the work of:
a) The Australian Human Rights Commission; and
b) The President of the Australian Human Rights Commission, Emeritus Professor Gillian Triggs.
2. That this House supports independent statutory oversight bodies that hold governments accountable.
Greens NSW MP and Spokesperson for Justice David Shoebridge said:
“It’s disappointing that the Liberals in NSW are blindly following their federal counterparts in demonising professional human rights bodies.
“By blocking this motion, the NSW Liberal government is standing against independent statutory oversight of government, which doesn’t bode well for the people of NSW.
“The resounding consensus by everyone outside the Liberal Party is that there’s nothing partisan about the Australian Human Rights Commission or its President, Professor Gillian Triggs.
“As far as I’m concerned, evaluating the government against human rights standards, like whether people are imprisoned without charge or being abused, doesn’t make you biased. But then I would say that, I’m a Greens MP.
“The Greens are in favour of a bill of rights in NSW, and an independent statutory body to make governments comply with it.
“It’s now clear that at both State and Federal levels we have governments that are hostile to human rights and the independent agencies that oversight them,” Mr Shoebridge said.