Chance to consolidate federal anti-discrimination laws

PIAC welcomes the release of a discussion paper seeking community views on the consolidation of federal anti-discrimination laws.

Launched by the Attorney-General, Robert McClelland, and the Minister for Finance and Deregulation, Penny Wong, the discussion paper is an opportunity to clarify existing protections and address gaps in Australia’s protections against discrimination.

There are currently five pieces of Commonwealth anti-discrimination legislation. These are the Racial Discrimination Act 1975, the Sex Discrimination Act 1984, the Disability Discrimination Act 1992, the Age Discrimination Act 2004 and the Australian Human Rights Commission Act 1986

The Attorney-General said these acts ‘are now substantially inconsistent and unnecessarily complex’. 

Lizzie Simpson, Senior Solicitor at the Public Interest Advocacy Centre said, ‘This is an opportunity to create consistency in Australian anti-discrimination law.  

‘It is also a chance to improve the legislation. We hope that it results in better protection and access to justice for people who have suffered discrimination.’

Submissions can be made until 1 February 2012.  Further information about the project is online at

Photo: Flick

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