The Abbott Government has started to back down on proposed changes to the Racial Discrimination Act with Attorney-General George Brandis forced to reconsider changes after strong community backlash.
Section 18C protects against offence, insult and humiliation based on race, colour, nationality or ethnic origin.
Labor Member for Watson, Tony Burke has been a strong opponent of the proposed changes, saying racist hate speech and bigotry are never ok.
“Last week I walked through the streets of Lakemba side by side with community groups from all around Sydney in a Walk for Respect to show this Government what cultural harmony looks like,” Mr Burke said.
“This Government is so out of touch with modern Australia, an Australia where people from many backgrounds and different stories are celebrated. The walk on Sunday was proof people overwhelmingly support our multicultural communities”.
The walk was one of several strong community campaigns across Australia opposing the changes.
“Our message is starting to get through, but make no mistake our fight isn’t over yet,” Mr Burke said.
“The Abbott Government has already lied about pension cuts, about health and education cuts, and they certainly can’t be
trusted not to meddle with this”.
The message is clear. No changes. No excuses. Keep Section 18C.