Greater Dandenong Labor Members fight for 18C

Posted 30th November 2016 by Josh Sinclair in Articles, News, Policy | 0 Comment

Federal Labor Members Mark Dreyfus, Clare O’Neil and Julian Hill will hold a community forum in Dandenong on Thursday 8 December in support of retaining Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act.

Section 18C is the law that protects against racial hate speech, making it unlawful for a person to insult, humiliate, intimidate or offend someone because of their race or ethnic background.

“Labor will fight to keep Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act. It has protected our community against racial hate speech for over 20 years and there is no good reason that it should be changed now,” Mr Dreyfus said.

“It is important to the Dandenong community that every person feels safe to go to the market or walk down Lonsdale Street without the threat of being intimidated because of their racial background.”

The forum will feature speeches by Human Rights Legal Centre Executive Director Hugh de Kretser, Shadow Attorney-General and Member for Isaacs Mark Dreyfus, Shadow Minister for Justice and Member for Hotham Clare O’Neil, and Member for Bruce, Julian Hill.

“It is deeply regrettable that Malcolm Turnbull is revisiting the mistakes of his predecessor Tony Abbott. The safety of our multicultural community should not be a plaything of the far-right in the Liberal Party and I can assure local residents that my Labor colleagues and I will be doing everything we can to oppose any repeal or change to Section 18C,” Ms O’Neil said.

“The last time I attended an 18C forum in Dandenong was in 2014. It is almost unbelievable that with all of the issues facing the current government, the repeal of protections against racist hate speech is one of their top priorities.”

The forum will be held at The Castle, next to Hemmings Park, in Dandenong, in Julian Hill’s electorate of Bruce.

“I’m very proud to host this forum right here in the heart of Dandenong, one of the most multicultural places in Australia, built upon a respect for all people. Government attempts to water down our race hate laws won’t create one job, or help one other person find a hospital bed, or deal with the problems of the aged pension – it won’t do any of that. It’s an intellectual exercise for people in Canberra,” Mr Hill said.

“This forum provides an opportunity for local residents to have their say on this important issue and to fill out a submission to Parliament about these proposed changes.”


The details of the forum are:

  • What: Forum to discuss the Federal Government’s proposed changes to the Racial Discrimination Act.
  • Where: The Castle, Hemmings Park, Princes Highway, Dandenong.
  • When: Thursday 8 December from 7pm.
  • RSVP: There is limited capacity at this venue. Interested residents should RSVP by email to: [email protected] or by calling Julian Hill’s office on 9547 1444.


Media are invited to attend this event.

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