Social Commentator and columnist, Andrew Bolt, has vehemently denied the ABC's claims that he was involved in consultations with the Abbott government on proposed changes to free speech laws back in 2013.
Ryan Liddle

1 Feb 2018 - 5:30 PM  UPDATED 1 Feb 2018 - 5:50 PM

Andrew Bolt has responded to the ABC's allegations stating that he helped the Abbott government revise free speech laws.

The claims of Mr Bolt’s involvement were made after the ABC published the 'Cabinet Files', an exposé of hundreds of top secret documents recovered from a couple of locked cabinet drawers that were purchased from a second-hand store in Canberra that sold used government assets.

Mr Bolt said he was not consulted about changes relating to section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act, he was merely informed of the decision once it had already been made.

In an article published in the Herald Sun, Mr Bolt disseminated his written response to an email from the ABC enquiring about his role in the drafting of changes to the legislation.

Excerpt from Mr Bolt's article in the Herald Sun:

Mr Bolt made headlines in 2011 when he was successfully sued in a federal court for breaching the Racial Discrimination Act, after writing two separate articles that gave the impression that light-skinned Aboriginal people only identified as Indigenous for personal gain.

Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act makes racial discrimination in Australia unlawful. It covers offensive behaviour towards individuals or groups because of race, colour or national or ethnic origin.

The Abbott Government proposed changes to water down section 18C as the party believed it unduly restricted free speech. The draft amendments were eventually shelved before re-emerging under successor Malcolm Turnbull, but they were voted down in the Senate in March last year.

Bid to change 18c race discrimination law killed off in Senate
Changes to race-hate speech laws have hit a Senate road block in what critics say is a win for multicultural Australia.
Labor says 18C denies Indigenous voice
Labor is disrupting parliament over proposed changes to race-hate speech laws, lashing the federal government for failing to consider the views of Indigenous Australians.
Parliamentary report recommends passing changes to race-hate laws
A Parliamentary report has recommended proposed changes to Section 18c of the Racial Discrimination Act be passed.