The Leader of the Opposition, Bill Shorten. Picture: Getty
The Leader of the Opposition, Bill Shorten. Picture: Getty

Shorten would crack down on ‘hate speech’

LABOR has pledged to crack down on hate speech if elected later this month.

The Australian reports that opposition legal affairs spokesman Mark Dreyfus made the vow to enforce section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act, while also promising to overhaul defamation laws.

"We've seen, over the course of the two terms of government by the Liberal Party of Australia, very serious attempts made to allow more hate speech in our community in the form of their attacks on section 18C," Mr Dreyfus told The Australian.

 

Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act makes it unlawful to offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate someone because of their race.

Mr Dreyfus said Labor would also bolster the Human Rights Commission's efforts to stamp out hate speech.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten are very close in the polls. Picture: AAP
Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten are very close in the polls. Picture: AAP

"We are going to do what we can to assist the Australian Human Rights Commission and the Australian race commissioner to renew campaigns against hate speech … which this government has defunded," he said.

"We think that's an area that should have resources put into it. We think it's an area the national government should lead on and the opposite has occurred under the Liberal government.

 

Human Rights Commission president Professor Rosalind Croucher. Picture: Ryan Osland/The Australian
Human Rights Commission president Professor Rosalind Croucher. Picture: Ryan Osland/The Australian

 

"We are certainly going to be defending section 18C and I would propose to beef-up the activities of the Human Rights Commission."

Mr Dreyfus said though that Labor was not supportive of a religious freedoms commissioner, like the Coalition wants, but would add an LGBTIQ commissioner.

 

To read more go to The Australian