18 September 2020

The Greens have lodged a dissenting report to the report into the Anti-Discrimination Amendment (Complaint Handling) Bill 2020 which was handed down today. 

The final report is an unbalanced and unrepresentative response to the evidence the committee actually heard, led by the Bill’s proponent Mark Latham of One Nation, whose main concern appears to be limiting access to remedies for discrimination. 

The majority of the recommendations, if accepted, would reduce access to remedies for discrimination for the most marginalised and vulnerable members of the community. This is unacceptable.

Greens MP and Deputy Chair of the Inquiry David Shoebridge said: 

“I refused to endorse this report because it simply doesn’t reflect the majority of the evidence heard by the committee, nor the best available expert information. 

“This report shows adopts the basic premise of the hard right on seeing remedies for discrimination as the problem, not the discrimination itself. 

“All Parliaments should be working to ensure the vulnerable are supported and their rights are protected and expanded, not that the powerful are free from consequences for their actions.

“As a Greens MP this is what I will always fight for. 

“Clearly there is a political attack on existing discrimination laws, so it was especially disappointing to see no converted push back from other political parties. 

“We can amend the laws to slightly improve the ability to respond to vexatious complainants, but to revise the entire system to respond to overblown complaints from the far right is reckless overkill,” Mr Shoebridge said. 

A link to the report, including the Greens’ dissenting report, can be found here.