Statement on the Racial Discrimination Act 1975
A couple of months ago, as shadow minister for Indigenous affairs I attended the Garma Festival and saw the young men identifying with Adam Goodes. On their torsos they had the red and white and number 37, identifying with Adam Goodes, the great Sydney Swans star and dual Brownlow medallist. Unfortunately, today we see in The Sydney Morning Herald a man maligned, as tragically in this country racial vilification and racial abuse continue. That is why it behoves the now Prime Minister to stand up to the tea party faction in the Liberal Party. It is time he stood up and spoke up against these people who want to water down the protection of 18C.
Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act has stood the test of time for 20 years. In the year of celebrating 40 years of the Racial Discrimination Act it is time those opposite realised that in a multicultural society we need to protect. They should have a look at section 18D of the Racial Discrimination Act, which also protects against racial discrimination and protects freedom of speech. But those opposite do not bother looking at the legislation, and we need to stand up for a society that protects all of us. Multiculturalism is important. I call on the Prime Minister to do the right thing by those opposite and by all communities in this country by opposing the watering down of racial discrimination in this country. 18C needs to be protected.