Congress Opposes RDA Amendments

29th November, 2013By Marc Tong

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The National Congress of Australia's First Peoples have joined forces with eight other peak community organisations to oppose any repeal of the Racial Discrimination Act.

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It's a fine line that most take caution not to cross.

Comments and opinions on anything that's race related is often a contemptuous issue.

But where does being able to speak openly about an individual's heritage, culture, skin colour or language stand, when it comes to freedom of speech in this country?

Now the federal government is seeking to make that line clear - that if you use language that insults or offends, it won't be illegal.

The proposed changes would repeal sections of the Racial Discrimination Act, in particular section 18C that was used to charge Andrew Bolt over his articles on light-skinned Aboriginal people.

The federal government says repealing sections of the RDA is meant to strengthen freedom of speech in Australia.

But others disagree.

Peak community orgnisations have banded together to oppose any repeal that weakens the RDA.

The National Congress of Australia's First Peoples has been in discussions with eight other organisations that say if anything the RDA should be built upon and not be diluted.

Co-Chair of Congress Kirstie Parker tells Marc Tong, if the repeal is successful it would destabilise one of the country's foundational laws.

 

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