The Federal Attorney General, Mark Dreyfus QC this week announced that the Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Bill will not be immediately introduced to Parliament.
The Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) urges the Federal Government to introduce the Bill before the federal election in September.
The Bill would significantly improve equality and access to justice for all people in Australia.
By consolidating five existing statutes, the Bill would simplify the law and help to resolve discrimination disputes in a fair, just and timely manner. It would streamline the discrimination complaint process and reduce the costs of bringing and defending a discrimination claim.
PIAC’s experience in representing victims of discrimination is that these are critical steps in making protections more accessible to victims of discrimination.
The Federal Government has already announced that it will remove or amend the clause in the draft bill that caused substantial concern regarding protection of the right to free speech.
PIAC welcomes the Federal Government’s announcement that it will introduce amendments this week to the Sex Discrimination Act to protect people against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity and intersex status. These important amendments will enhance human rights protections for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex Australians.
The reforms to the Sex Discrimination Act are a significant step forward. PIAC hopes that the Federal Government will also deliver on the important reform process to consolidate all federal anti-discrimination laws that has involved substantial community consultation over a significant period of time.