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Australian Greens oppose changes to Racial Discrimination Act

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Wellington, August 17, 2016

The Australian Greens say they will keep standing with the community to protect Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act, in the face of revelations, Prime Minister Turnbull promised yet another attempt at changing it to win his leadership coup over Tony Abbott.

“In his rush to become Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull sold out those who would face discrimination to secure power for himself. It’s disgraceful,” said Greens Leader Richard Di Natale.

“Once again the far Right of the Liberal Party is leading Malcolm Turnbull, instead of the other way around. The Liberals and a few Senate crossbenchers tried and failed to change 18C under Tony Abbott, and if they’re determined to try again with Malcolm Turnbull, the Greens will make sure history repeats itself.”

Greens legal affairs spokesperson Senator Nick McKim said, “The campaign to destroy the integrity of the Racial Discrimination Act is not about freedom of speech, it’s about freedom from consequence.”

“The fundamental questions remain unanswered by those who advocate change: Why and how do they want to insult and offend other people on the basis of their race?

“The truth has been abandoned by many arguing for change. Section 18C is not designed, nor has it been used, to protect against ‘hurt feelings’, and Section 18D of the Act contains widespread freedom of speech protections that go beyond what can be found in defamation law.”

“The Greens will fight to retain strong protections against racial discrimination.”

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