An open letter to Malcolm Turnbull calling on him to sign a The Pledge Against Racist Hate Speech has gained more than 400 signatures in less than 24 hours.

Mr Turnbull reopened the debate on changing Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act after telling blogger Andrew Bolt a change wouldn’t have “any sort of negative impact.”

Member for Watson Tony Burke said Malcolm Turnbull should take the pledge.

“Australia’s politicians should be leaders in striving for a more respectful and cohesive society,” Mr Burke said.

“The only possible outcome of changing Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act is for racist hate speech that is currently prohibited, to be allowed.

“No matter which way you look at it, more racist hate speech would not make Australia a better place.”

Since going live one year ago nearly 5,000 people have taken the Pledge Against Racist Hate Speech, which calls on the Government not to change Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act.

Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act protects against offence, insult and humiliation based on race, colour, nationality or ethnic origin.

18C was introduced in response to major inquiries such as the National Inquiry into Racist Violence, which found even low levels of racist hate speech can open the door to more severe acts of intimidation and violence.


I pledge to support:

  • Our multicultural community
  • Community harmony, and
  • Cultural respect

And reject:

  • Hate speech
  • Racism and bigotry, and
  • Changing Section 18C

Add your name at